I don’t exactly know what to say anymore, or why I continue writing. Initially, I had thought I’d burn these all and somehow I’d feel better. I could never put the lighter to the pages though. There was something inside of me begging to hold on to you. My heart won’t turn off the lights, or maybe I just won’t choose. It’s all a choice, right? I think I heard that in a self help class once. Pain from others is a choice you make to accept? I became so obsessed with understanding why – why can’t I let go? Why do I choose to feel this way instead of moving on? I swear, it seems like I’ve said every prayer and listened to every sad song. There’s still no reprieve.
One day, I just decided that it is what it is. I stopped wishing, hoping, and praying for it to stop. One day, I looked to the sky and whispered I still love you. I can’t stop loving you. Suddenly, I felt better. It’s been how long since we spoke? I still love you. Sometimes, I imagine my whispers coming to you on the wind or when you hear the birds sing. I used to think maybe I didn’t love you, but I know I do. Every day, I don’t say I love you hoping to hear it back. It doesn’t matter to me anymore. I just want you to be happy.
Every song I hear makes me think of you. Tonight, the image of you walking through my door after work made my heart race with the expectation of you. My breath caught in my throat like I had sliced my own heart with paper. As quickly as the picture came, the feeling was choked away by the weeds of reality. I still love you.
This happens all the time. A song, a smell, a word, and I am a time traveler to a time with you. The pessimist in me says it’s a long time past. The optimist in me hopes it’s a future yet to pass. Unfortunately or fortunately, I can’t change how I am. My imagination, my heart, or my mind are set on you sometimes. It seems like by not fighting my love for you, I am freeing myself up to live. I guess right now, I live my life while my heart holds a candle hoping to see your face, my brain plays old movies, and my imagination paints a picture of a man walking towards me on the beach. I don’t know if you are that man, but when I’m quiet and still, the truth whispers that I hope it is.
I cannot change that. I cannot change you. At this point, I cannot even say if I love you or the memory of you. Have I just fallen in love with the dull ache inside my ribs? Sometimes I wonder if I have become so accustomed to being depressed that I find any reason to snuff my happiness to feel normal? It has taken me so long to get past missing you to ask that question. I became obsessed with “being happy without you”. Finally, finally, I started asking – why do I need you to be happy? Why would I give you that power? Why would I give you the key to my happiness when you didn’t even have a key to my house?!
I will not say that I will never love again. I fall in love with the sun and the moon every day. I fall in love with the same songs every day. I just have not found someone that makes me love the way you did. When I do, though, they won’t get that key. I don’t regret giving mine to you. Maybe I just needed to find a new way to be happy. Maybe I never really knew what happiness was. You are the last one that gets this kind of grief. Am I grieving for losing you or losing me? Another chicken or the egg. I never started asking these questions until I lost you.
Or maybe I did not lose you. Maybe all of this is my life’s version of the Chinese Farmer parable. I don’t know. It just feels more interesting to ask these questions besides “why doesn’t he love me? what did I do wrong?” I love you, and I am remembering to love me more. Thank you for being the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn. Thank you for helping me realize how lost I was. Thank you for being the pain that proves I am not numb. Thank you for being the sadness that lets me know I am happy. Thank you for being the tears that keep my eyes wet.
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