An Unsent Letter

You’ve been gone for almost a year now.

Clear across the country.

We didn’t try hard enough. That is, not until you were already gone. It was too late.

It wasn’t until you were gone that we both got brave. We were finally able to fully express ourselves. And it was because we were afraid. We were scared it would never get said. That it would rot inside us like a cancer and kill us slowly from within.

We would have never been able to move on if we hadn’t expressed it, even if we did express it too late.

I honestly don’t know if it would have changed things. If I had kissed you that first night. If we had thrown caution to the wind and jumped in without thinking of the consequences. If we had followed our hearts instead of how we thought things should be. If we hadn’t been so scared.

It’s possible that you still would have ended up in a different state. That we’d still be separated without any ability to change it.

You said once that maybe it was better, that maybe it’s good that we never dove in, because it would have been harder to tear ourselves apart.

I disagree.

I would rather have had the experience, to know that I once followed my heart regardless of the outcome, that had not sat idly by and let my fear and hesitations take hold of me.

I believe the colloquial saying is, “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

I live my life with few regrets. I find that regret is useless. What’s done is done. You cannot undo it. You can wish that you had done or not done something all you want, it will never change the fact that it did or did not happen. You can’t spend your life worrying about the past, because it’s pointless. I don’t want to say irrelevant, because the past is extremely relevant. You can learn from the past. Learn what works, learn what doesn’t.  But you can never change it.

I hate to do it, but another quote (this time from a song) seems appropriate, “We’d never know what’s wrong without the pain. Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.”

It might be partially my fault, but you broke my heart. You let me believe you felt the same things I did, but you didn’t end the broken relationship you were in. Yet, you made it clear that as long as you were in said relationship, you would not be comfortable moving forward. It destroyed me. It felt like you were choosing him over me over and over again.

I’ll never forget the first time I laid eyes on you. It was a simple enough interaction. We were both cashiers, so it was safe to assume we’d have much further interaction. I was standing with my till in my arms, waiting to put it in the cabinet, and you casually asked where I got my hair done. You quickly followed up with the fact that you had just moved to the city recently and didn’t know where to go. I told you that I got my hair done back home in Massachusetts and that I was sorry I wasn’t any help. My natural reaction was to avoid further eye contact and move on with my day. I was shy and awkward and just generally timid. But there was something about you. Something about the sparkle in your eye or your smile or both. Despite all of my natural instincts, some voice from deep within me continued – I had a friend who told me about this hair salon…

I was fascinated by you. By everything about you. Every interaction we had gave me a rush of adrenaline. Every smile gave me chills, every touch made me dizzy.

It was unlike anything I’d ever felt before.

I don’t know if it was love. I don’t know if we got far enough into it to know either way. All I know is that it was unlike I had ever experienced, and is something I have yet to find again.

I hate to admit it, but part of me still feels like I would still want you if you ever moved back to New York. If you came here and said, I want to try this for real – no fear, no boundaries, no distance, no one else in the way.

Luckily, I’m sane enough to know that this will never happen. That for some reason, fate has decided that we are not meant to be. I still can’t help, in my darkest thoughts, wishing I could do it all over. Be braver. Be more expressive of my feelings.

Who knows if it would have made a difference.

I honestly don’t know if it was love. If it wasn’t, it was certainly the closest I’ve come thus far.

I do miss you. I’m glad we’ve maintained some semblance of friendship. Though there are some people in my past that I have learned that this rule does not apply to, I need you in my life even if it’s just as a friend.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully let you go. Maybe that’s good. I think I’ll always be looking for that spark or something like it. I can only hope I find something stronger, though I can’t imagine a feeling more powerful than what I felt for you back then. Knowing how I felt with you makes me feel like I should refuse to settle for anything less.

So, I thank you for everything you gave me. I despise you for all the pain you caused me. And I am glad you are not completely gone from my life.

I hope you know how much you meant to me, even how much you hurt me, and I hope we can both learn to be braver, stronger, and truer to ourselves than we were then.

More than anything, I hope you’re happy.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.  A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful.  Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.” — Eat, Pray, Love

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~ by Valerie Anne on 01/13/2011.

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