I still think of you, even now.
I think of you almost every day.
I dream about you.
I swear I see you in the streets.
It’s not that I miss you or that I wish you were here by my side—no—it’s something much deeper than that. Something more complex and much less savory. Something more unresolved. Like a frayed rope that exists—yes, still—after all this time, between our two hearts.
As the sun rises in the pale pink pre-dawn sky, I think of you.
Even though the morning air is warm and thick with beads of humidity, thinking of you sends a shiver through my spine.
I think of how I blamed you for everything—and deemed myself blameless.
I think of all the problems that cropped up, like belligerent weeds, between us.
I think of the good and beautiful times we shared, memories inked like unforgettable tattoos, on the deepest parts of our souls.
We grabbed life by the balls together. Grew like glorious vines together. Laughed uproariously together. Forged mountains of ignited inspiration together. Dove incredibly deep together.
But we f*cked up together too.
We let our darkest fears and deepest triggers seep into our relationship like a virus and and throw us around by our throats. We let our unhealthiest patterns of relating color and corrupt our experience completely.
And we tried to talk about it.
We tried not to drown in the pain and bullsh*t of it all, but it was so hard to find the words back then.
It was so hard to know what happened.
The bricks of what we shared—the very foundation that formed our at-times soulful relationship—seemed to scatter, blow up and disintegrate so quickly.
We were good at stepping on each other’s toes—we were experts at it, in fact.
And over time, through the years—we stopped relating to each other’s hearts. Fear gushed into our perceptions, wholly altering the truth of the situation, we would look at each other and see only pain.
Hurt. Anxiety. Abandonment. Distorted shadow figures.
We saw our own sh*t.
Not each other.
But—and this is the key—the pain we felt was not actually caused by one another; it was already there, long housed in our hearts.
We didn’t know that at the time.
If we took a peek behind the scenes, we would have seen this: We used each other to play out the destructive patterns, the sob stories that were alive inside us—before we even met.
Really, we broke ourselves; we did not break each other.
And perhaps we both needed to break, so we could ultimately heal.
I know it was wildly painful for you, just as much as it was for me—and I know we did our best at the time.
We both deserve a gurgling well of the silkiest compassion.
But we were both wrong. The things we said, the childish sh*t we pulled. The secrets we tried to silent keep from one another—from ourselves even. The power struggles and passive aggressiveness and manipulative mind games we flirted with.
We were both wrong.
Both of us.
It’s so freeing to admit that I played my part too—it’s freeing to finally take responsibility.
Rather than just calling you toxic—I see the deeper truth that gleams from underneath the surface. I see that you weren’t toxic, but what we shared became that way.
What we shared got poisoned, because of both of us.
I’m no victim. You’re not a monster. That’s too simple and utterly untrue—I played my part, just as much as you.
It’s freeing to finally take responsibility.
And I’m not proud of my actions or behavior—but I can be honest. The untarnished edges of this honesty can crush me, just as it empowers me; it can humble me, as it cleanses me.
A welcome sliver of peace seeps into my heart, into the hallowed place where hating you used to be.
I don’t need to hate you anymore.
Because I learned so much. About love. About myself. About needing to own my sh*t, in the deepest possible way.
It was this learning—with you—that ultimately set me free.
So I’d rather be grateful than angry.
I’d rather say what I never thought I’d say to you—thank you.
I still think of you today, as the sun sets, ruby red—as the sun tucks itself slowly into bed, behind the horizon.
I still think of you.
What we shared wasn’t healthy.
But it was juicy. Ripe with growth.
It helped me wake up. I hope it helped you wake up too.
I hope it helped us both jolt to life, taste our truths, untangle the grittiest, most terrifying threads of our bullsh*t and learn to love ourselves, for real.
Maybe one day soon, I will have the balls, the heart—to call you.
To reach out
We were both wrong.
It was my fault too.
I still think of you, as the fingernail crescent moon comes out to play with the stars.
I send you a wordless message across mountains, across oceans—a message delivered by the cool summer breeze.
A whisper. A feeling. A fragile trail of stardust—
I was wrong, too.
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editors: Yoli Ramazzina; Catherine Monkman