October 7, 2020

A Letter to my Ex: I am so Sorry (& Grateful) for Everything.

I want to start by thanking you for the gift of pain.

For the discomfort of who we were together.

For all 2 a.m. fights, tears, and sparks of bitter resentment.

For all the times you came after me when I packed my bags.

And for the time you didn’t.

Thank you for the warm summer night in Texas, filled with fireflies, pizza, and dim, flickering magic.

Thank you for being excited about my cooking—even when it was over-salted and quite bad.

Thank you for asking me to lay on top of you when you were having a bad day (you liked being squished). 

Thank you for saving me from the darkest corners of my suicidal mind, even when I didn’t want to be saved. Thank you for staying with me as you battled your own demons.

There is a lifetime of little memories of you—fragments and glittering pieces of the world we built together. Each is now tinged with its own unique flavor of sadness, grief, guilt, and regret.

I hate how the sweetest parts of who we were now hurt just as bad as everything else.

What hurts is the dozens of little notes and love letters you gifted to me—the early ones brimming with the optimism and joy of a new relationship. And the later ones, hoping everything would be okay while we fought to keep our chins up.

The tears in your eyes hurt the most; your shaking hands when you handed me back the little pewter coins I’d given you. 

They said, “You are my sunshine,” “You’re my umbrella,” and “I love you.” That was the moment when I truly got to see how much our relationship meant to you—how much I meant to you. It’s still heartbreaking to remember and relive.

I’m sorry for asking you to be more vulnerable when you were already doing your best.

Sorry for being cold, stormy, and shutting down when things got rough.

I’m sorry it took me so long to figure things out.

I’m sorry I blamed so many things on you.

I thought I was the only one willing to grow, evolve, and put in the work (to make us work).

It turns out I just had more work to do, the entire time.

I appreciate your quiet patience. The reassuring thumb touches as we held hands—the small moments where you could step out of your shell and be fully joyful and live.

Most of all, I’m sorry we weren’t a fit in the end. I thought if we worked hard enough, the spark would be there. I was painfully wrong, and in the end, it cost us who we were for each other.

The hardest part is knowing in my bones that you, of all people, deserve to be loved as dearly as you love.

I wish I could do something to help you heal faster. To make your mind understand that the end of us doesn’t mean you aren’t desirable or that there’s something wrong with you.

I wish we could still be friends without giving you false hope.

I wish it didn’t feel like I was slamming the door on the outstretched hand of my best friend.

But it does. And in so many ways, I am.

Thank you for nearly six years of travel, inside jokes, cooking, and reality TV. Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for always wearing your heart on your sleeve.

There is so much more to say; there is always more to say.

I am so sorry—so grateful—for everything.

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