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I think there is always at least one relationship in our lives that breaks us.
I’m not talking about your typical heartbreak or saddened goodbye. It’s the kind that alters everything.
There could be more than one, but there is always one.
I remember all those years ago, thinking that I knew myself. I remember feeling like I was confident and knew who I was—unshakable. Boy, did the universe have a f*cking lesson for me.
I also remember when I met you. At this point, I was already carrying those bags of self-hatred that come after a sh*t relationship. It was the kind of weight that comes from being gaslighted and, frankly, emotionally f*cked. I felt like cellophane—a lifeless thing that had gotten quite used to molding to the ways of others.
You asked me to come on an adventure, but I couldn’t even remember how to move my feet. You asked me to be brave and take the plunge, but I had forgotten how to swim. I had forgotten that I had legs. I had forgotten my name.
I told you, “I’m at odds with everything, love, can’t you see?”
I was suffering from indecision and brokenness. We wrote letters. I wanted to be ready, but sometimes my words are braver than I am.
And then I remember when we finally saw each other again. We laughed. It was a euphoric kind of laugh. And it was the kind of laugh that wasn’t right, the kind that flew past the parts of the mouth made for misery. I still didn’t know who I was. Nonetheless, we laughed harder and harder until we were entirely lost in our own twisted symphony of air.
I came to you carrying so many things, and then you offered me your heart, but I couldn’t carry a single thing more.
And I remember you sitting there sweetly looking at me like I held every light of the universe in my eyes. I remember you telling me you weren’t afraid to journey through my dreams. You weren’t afraid to venture through the forest I had grown around my fears. Somehow you saw through it. Somehow you saw me (even when I couldn’t).
And I’m not saying that you saved me because that wouldn’t be right—I had to save myself. I had to thaw my frozen body from the depths of the emotional winter I had plunged myself into. But you waited for me. You told me I was worth the wait. You told me that you would sit beside me in the wreckage of my mind. You supported me. You saw the summer on my skin. My warmth. My strength.
And I guess when I look back on it now, I am grateful for my shattered pieces. I had to be broken to remember my worth. To remember who I was. And to find you—the love I deserve.
What a foul endeavor
we tend to drown ourselves in.
But, even so, love
is a maddening
that is why we let it defile us,
so it can color the hollows of our hearts.