“Instead of asking why they left, now I ask, what beauty will I create in the space they no longer occupy?” ~ Rudy Francisco
The lights from the street lamps were dim and far away.
I always wondered why there were so few of them. I hated being in the dark.
I asked him what happened. Where did the feelings go?
He said he didn’t know.
I let go of my breath and put down my expectations. It was the only answer that made sense.
There are days I still wonder about it though: the feelings that bubble up when it’s love.
The certainty. The declarations.
The we’re meant to be’s and the I’m falling in love with you’s. The we’re supposed to be together’s and the I think about spending my life with you’s.
Can that ever really be lost? When the feelings stop, do they disappear?
What do you do with the love when it just doesn’t fit anymore?
At some point, it was everything. That love fueled us. It gave us strength.
It was our power.
Why would we ever let that go? How would we even try?
Getting over it, moving on, letting go—it all sounds very adult and enlightened and healthy. It also sounds like denial and pressure and disappointment when you don’t succeed.
I’ve never been good at getting over it.
I suck at moving on.
Letting go sits weird in my body.
So I just don’t do it.
I hold on—two hands, real tight. I let love break me. I let it rip me apart. I let it burrow a hole into everything I believed to be true.
I let it do what it was meant to do, even when it’s gone.
I let love transform into something new—for him, for myself.
The man who stole my armor becomes the freedom I’ve been craving.
The love I felt becomes the tears I cry to heal myself.
The man who sought adventure becomes a catalyst for my wanderlust.
The love I felt becomes the passion I use to follow the impossible.
The man who radiated curiosity becomes the questions I ask myself late at night.
The love I felt becomes the words and art and music and dreams I didn’t know were inside me.
When the love no longer fits, when it’s been stretched and pulled, broken and cut off—when it no longer feels clear:
I let myself build and create and explore.
I let myself search for pieces that fit awkwardly into the space left behind. I sit with that awkwardness.
I try on new selves. I polish the old selves that have been hiding for too long.
I destroy and explode and tear it all apart.
I run away and come back.
I play the victim and the martyr.
I let the love leave me in the dark.
I let it change…
and I let it change me.
Author: Nicole Cameron
Image: Redd Angelo/Unsplash