Saturday, January 9, 2016

I Must Let You Go So I Can Set Myself Free


*This article was originally published on Thought Catalog.*

You don’t realize how many times I’ve wanted to text you. I would click your name on my contact list and create a new text message, only to delete it after seeing the blank space next to your name that once used to be filled with blue, emoticon hearts.

You don’t know the number of times I’ve gone to bed teary-eyed, eyes swollen shut from crying for hours, wishing that I could go back in time and fix everything that went wrong from the moment you left for college.

You have no idea how it felt to see our relationship deteriorate before my eyes, every day we spent apart was another piece of fabric being torn away from the blanket of life we had sewn together since you asked me out in December.

I wanted so badly for us to defy long distance, the stealthy monster that hides in photos and between sheets. Long distance, the overwhelming sense of loneliness I felt whenever FaceTime stopped working mid-sentence and our texts grew less meaningful. Summer should have been bonding time: three whole weeks to make up for five months apart. However, bonding time just isn’t enough when we spend more time apart than we spend together.

What went wrong? I asked myself this question thousands of times. After we broke up, I sat in the car for three hours thinking and replaying our breakup over and over in my head until it was ingrained in my memory for the next few weeks. At first, I blamed the distance. I let myself believe that long distance was what went wrong. Long distance was the reason why I needed to let you go.

Over time, I realized that our problems weren’t solely caused by our 2,000 mile-long relationship. Yes, we grew apart because of the time difference, but we also grew lazy, tiresome, curt and impatient. We stopped talking about our futures and debating the meaning of life, we sent the same “What’s up? – Nothing much” texts every single day and somehow over the span of two semesters, “I love you” lost its meaning in a heap of unread text messages and missed FaceTime calls.

Now as I sit here reminiscing, I wonder if it’s possible that we could have tried harder? Would it have made a difference if I had loved you more, held you tighter in my arms, let my lips linger on yours for just a little longer? Or was it too late—did nighttime sneak up on us when we were too busy to give each other the time of day?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but maybe I don’t need to solve them just yet; life is full of mysteries and perhaps we are just another big question mark. Regardless of whether or not we could have made it work, I must let you go in order to set myself free.

When all of this is over, when I can lie in bed without remembering that you once lay next to me, when I can drive past “our place” without recalling the times we cuddled, laughed and fell asleep in each others arms, when I can just get through a week without allowing my thoughts to wander towards your playful smile, your fuzzy head of dark hair and the way you furrow your brows as you read—then maybe, just maybe we can still be friends. The most I can ask for now is time: time to heal wounds, time to grow up and time to move on, even if that means learning how to live without your hand to hold, your voice to hear and your heart to fill.

I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason. If you’re meant to be mine—if you are the love of my life as you once told me I was yours—you will come back. If we never speak to each other again, I will be okay. Because although I may have lost you, I’ll never lose the moments we spent together, no matter how fleeting they were. As are all moments in life, we are forever imbedded in time and space.

I will always be thankful to have shared those moments with you.