Three weeks ago today, I did one of the bravest things I’ve ever done.
The morning before, I couldn’t get you out of my head. And I wondered if writing would help.
It’s a funny thing, isn’t it: the thought that we can find closure in another person. The idea that in order to move on, we need to hear what we want from another being.
An apology, a statement, a regret.
After seven years, my subconscious still hasn’t let you go. After all these years, I still dream about you from time to time. Sometimes, I’m confident, sometimes insecure. Sometimes we’re on good terms; sometimes we fight.
Writing about it makes me feel tender, vulnerable. It’s because I’m embarrassed.
I’m embarrassed because it took me seven whole years to find closure.
But that morning, as I was on the train, I felt my words pouring directly from my heart into my fingers.
I don’t know why my subconscious keeps bringing you up and into my attention.
Over the years, I’ve found temporary closure in labeling you as narcissistic, in calling our encounter toxic, in pitying myself for having fallen for you, in knowing that what I felt wasn’t love, but codependency, in being proud of myself for having been able to open up to a partner who is more mature, honest, and loving.
Every time, a layer of closure was added, but none of them brought me to the core. And I get it—healing happens in cycles.
For good reasons, we never tested my theory of us. I’d have been miserable. We both would have.
Since Brené Brown, we know about the power of naming our emotions. Hopefully, sharing mine doesn’t only help me, but shows someone else that it’s okay for healing to take time. It’s okay for closure to take time.
That morning, after another dream about you, my biggest fear was palpable. I was afraid to run into you on the street (no matter how unlikely it was) and be surprised by my feelings.
So, instead of waiting for it to potentially happen, I decided to walk into that fear and reach out.
I asked you to meet, and you said yes.
Later that day, I saw this quote while scrolling through Instagram:
“You do not have to be fearless. Doing it afraid is just as brave.” ~ Morgan Harper Nichols
And it hit me in all the right places.
As written so beautifully in this article, closure doesn’t come from the other person.
And the closure I got that day didn’t come from you.
It didn’t come from admitting to your feelings or realizing how different our perception was of what had happened. The closure I got didn’t even come from your apology.
Instead, it came from learning how I felt when I was around you.
It came from the fact that I didn’t lose my ground, that I felt confident, that I didn’t let your words make me sway.
It came from the fact that hearing your apology was nice, but not necessary. That I was indifferent to it to some degree. It came from knowing that I would have needed your regret six or seven years ago, but that I don’t need it today.
I don’t think meeting someone who hurt us is always a good idea. Neither do I believe there’s always a good time for it, or that we can be prepared for what’s to come.
But I do believe that if meeting you this day had gone differently, I still would have been proud.
I want to believe that I would have celebrated my courage to face my fear—nevertheless.
If you’ve been hurt and you haven’t found closure yet, I see you. If you want to move on, but you can’t, you’re not alone.
If you want to celebrate how far you’ve come, I invite you to do so in the comments, so we can cheer you on.