And there ain’t no talkin’ to this man
He’s been tryin’ to tell me so
It took a while to understand
The beauty of just letting go
‘Cause it would take an acrobat
An’ I already tried all that
An’ I’m gonna let him fly
– Dixie Chicks
I read an article once that explained why our fingers and toes prune in water. It said they shrivel up to improve our grip. Sort of like tire tread on wet roads, I guess. Just another one of the body’s fancy built-in defense mechanisms…
It had been a year since I sat in that hot tub. A year ago, we had taken this very same trip, to this very same place, and did these very same things. I looked around. All the faces were the same. The stories were the same, the laughs were the same… we were even drinking the same goddamn kind of moonshine.
I traced my name in the bubbles with my finger.
My hands were shriveling up. My fingers and toes were pruning quickly under the hot water. My face was flush. My mind raced.
Everyone around me was different. They were moving on. Changing. Growing up. Getting married. Having children. And I had stayed the same. We had stayed the same.
Honestly, we were just getting worse.
Tires without tread.
This is supposed to be a happy time. A fucking coming of age. A next-goddamn-chapter-full-of-happily-ever-after-bull-shit few years. I’m watching every single human being I love carve out a path in life with their soul mate… and here I am, forced to start over. Why? Just why the fuck can we not make it work?
I’m so angry.
I’m hurt and bitter too.
But mostly, I’m just fucking mad.
I’m mad at myself for having spent so much of my youth breathing life into a relationship that always seemed to be on the brink of a breakup. I’m mad at myself for spending the entire last year of my life trying everything I possibly could to make it work. I’m mad at myself for foundering in depression – instead of just letting go. I’m mad at myself for how I let you treat me, the things I let you say to me, how I let you act, and all of the fucking nights I spent alone making up excuses for you. I’m mad I compromised as much as I did. I’m mad I neglected to see the true importance of my own wants, and needs, and goals, and dreams. I’m mad I let it get to the point you couldn’t sleep in the same bed, or eat at the same restaurant, or even walk on the same side of the goddamn street as me. I’m mad I allowed you to dangle my future – our future – in front of my face like it was some type of sick fucking reward. And I’m mad as hell at myself for thinking that was okay. I’m pissed it took a fucking appliance delivery for me to feel again – for me to break down – even if it was for only a few minutes. Why did I let you see through me? I was fucking invisible to you and I didn’t even care. I’m so furious. So fucking furious I let you say things about my weight, and my anxiety, and my depression. Furious I let your ignorance project on my soul – my spirit.
I’m infuriated that I managed to lose myself along the way. Infuriated that I changed, and molded, and contorted myself to accommodate the needs of a person who refused to do the same for me. Infuriated that I let myself believe for so long that it was me – that something was wrong with me.
Because all along… it was you. It was you who made me sleep those last few years away. It was you who made me size out of my wardrobe every three months. It was you who made me feel like I was going batshit crazy. It was you who stared back at me when I looked into a mirror and saw only a shell of the person I once was.
I tried. I tried so fucking hard. I wished, and I hoped, and I prayed for us. I threw coins into fountains, and whispered on falling stars, and held tightly to the magic of blown out candles. I clung to your promises. I overlooked things most would have walked away over. I talked to you. I cried to you. I pleaded with you. I yelled, screamed, and poured out my heart to you. I wrote letters, and blogs, and emails to you.
Did you hear me?
Or did my words just fall on deaf ears?
I waited too. I waited for “this summer,” and “Christmas,” and “when I get my house finished,” and “when I get my credit cards paid off,” and “when we’re getting along better.” I waited still, even after you said, “when you get back down to your high school weight” and “when you show up to a secret number of races I have set in my head.” I waited for you to get your shit together. I waited for you to grow up.
Did you think I would wait forever?
Well, I’m done waiting and I’m tired of trying.
I want a love. I want a partnership. I want to be one half of a fucking power couple. I want to share my life with someone. I want to be with someone who appreciates all of me – as opposed to who I could be… or should be. I want to be someone’s best friend. I want to find someone I can put every ounce of my trust in. I want to be happy.
So, I’m leaving now.
I am leaving not because I do not love you anymore. Not because I hate you. Not because I am trying to prove a point, or hurt you, or break your heart. And I am not leaving because I want to be with someone new.
I’m leaving now because I’d rather live alone than continue to coexist.
May you find your happiness. May you find a love that transcends any love we could have ever had. May you find freedom, and joy, and contentment. May all of your dreams come true. But most of all, may you find peace in what might have been.
Fly high, my love.