Sometimes I wonder what the hardest part of letting go of someone is. Is it the actual act, the intention that you’re going to leave someone behind? Or is it the actual moving on part? Especially in the beginning- when you think of things you’d normally share with them, but can’t.
I’ve never lost a person I was very close to, not in the sense of a lost life. But I’ve walked away from my fair share of unhealthy relationships. I’ve always done it for the right reasons, and I’ve never regretted any of them.
The sadness has never left though, not for any of them. Even if that person was only in my life for a year, they still shaped me. All those people I used to be so close to- my identity is woven through with theirs. Especially relationships- they make you as much as they sometimes break you. Usually, the breaking ends up being a good thing, if you manage to find the bright side at the end of the pain.
I wouldn’t be who I am today if not for these people, those friends, those lovers. They’re a part of my fabric of life, and I’ll never be able to fully untangle or remove those lines. I will never want to erase the memories of the laughter, the parties, even the fights. It’s all a part of me.
Some people I walked away from because they were really bad for me, they kept me thinking negative things about myself. Some were emotionally and mentally abusive. One even got borderline physically abusive. Others just drifted away, there ceased to be a bond connecting us in a way that would keep us moving forwards as friends.
Sometimes you just need a break, with the hope that someday, further down the road, you’ll reconnect.
Though the grand scope of social media, and my own typically wandering thoughts, I still see pictures and names. Sometimes, it’s nothing. I brush it off and go about my day. Those other days though … when I stop and let the memories hit me … I wonder.
I wonder, when your face comes to mind, I wonder how you are. I wonder if you’re happy, or sad. I wonder what your life looks like now. I wonder if you miss me as much as I sometimes miss you, if you have these same moments of reminiscing.
I feel sad because I would have rather stayed in your life, and had you stay in mine. I wonder about who you’ve become, and who you’ll be. I think that I’ll never be at your wedding, or know your dreams anymore, when that used to be a given.
It used to be a given that I’d help you with your future kids, with moves from apartments to houses, that we’d share vacations together. Now you, and I, have others to lean on for that.
We’ll never share a meal as the same people we were then, or exchange gifts. When my birthday rolls around, it’s a sad ping when I know I’ll never hear it from you again. I wonder if you think the same. When I get married, I know there will be a moment where I’ll look around expecting to see your face, and you won’t be there. Either as a friend, or the person I thought I’d be marrying.
I wonder if you’ll think the same.
All that I poured out to you, that connected us. All that I am now, I am because of you. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. You shaped me, and I’ll be eternally grateful for the part you played in my story.
Some of you helped make me brave. You watched as I went through the pain of casting off the past, and moving into the space where I could be that person I’d always been afraid to be. Some of you challenged me in ways I needed to be challenged, even if I didn’t always want to be.
Some of you caused intense pain, hurt I was never sure I’d ever get over. Some of you brought love, and light, and safe places.
Mostly, at the end of memory lane, I look back and I’m grateful. Whatever part you played, it got me here.
So, I’ll never not be sad that we’re not still in each others lives, but I know that’s how life works sometimes. I hope you know that whenever I think of you, I focus on the good, and I smile for what you meant to me.
Letting go is never easy, but it’s never for nothing. Though most of you that I’m thinking of will never read this, I still want to say thank you. I want to say that I will always wish you the best.