I often find that when I write, it is very personal for me. I have always had what I attribute to “high emotional intelligence” and my ability to write about what I am feeling would make Freud dance in his grave. Because of this self-awareness I have, I know that when I am really going through something in my personal life, my articles tend to become less personal. It is more difficult for me to write about the things I am so closely attached to in that moment. Words, to me, are like a smack in the face: a very real reminder of the pain that you are facing and frankly, I am better at running than I am at letting go. So, rather than confront my feelings, I turn the dial down. Talk about something that does not seem to affect me. I jump out of the hot seat for a moment and take a dip in the cool water, if only for a little while. But life has a funny way of reminding you that you cannot run forever. I always forget that even Forrest Gump gave up on running, even though he seemed so good at it, but eventually he just got tired, and frankly, I am exhausted. So here I am, writing the letter that I should have written a long time ago. If you cannot tell by now, even this introduction is my way of procrastinating the inevitable pain that I am about to type, but if I can only hold on to this feeling, hold on to you for just one moment longer. I have waited what seems like my whole life for you. I know that sounds dramatic, and maybe that is, but when you grow up the way that I did, you learn not to give your heart out to just anyone, only THE one. It is crazy for me to even sit here and admit to myself that despite all the jokes I make about never wanting to get married, I actually believed that this would be you. I pictured it all in my head: who would be walking me down the aisle, the way I would look at you during our first dance. I can see it all, but only with you. No one has ever made me feel that way before, and I guess a part of the reason I have held on this long is that I am afraid that if I let go, no one will ever make me feel that way again. The thing is, I can only put so much effort into this forever I envision before it becomes a delusion. I have waited, given you everything that you have asked for. I have respected your space, supported your dreams. I have been there when no one else was around, forgave you when I should have ran, believed you when I should have known better. I could chalk it all up to ignorance, but I do not believe that is true. I believed in YOU, the person you are in the core of your being. I believed in the person that you wanted to be, the person you dreamed of becoming. I would have waited forever for that person, but it started to feel like that person stopped coming around. Little by little, you stopped showing up, not just for me, but for yourself. I supported you in your journey of self-discovery. I sat back and broke my own heart as you went on dates with other people, and let you talk to me about them. I told myself that if I could handle the fact that you were not mine to have for four years, I could handle this too. I told myself that I had to be patient. Good things come to those who wait. If I pushed you too hard, if I asked too many questions, if I challenged you too much, if I was too honest with how I was feeling, I risked losing you. I did not want that. So, I said nothing. I swallowed my fears, along with all my feelings until I felt like I was constantly choking. You literally deprived me of air. Through all of this, I was struggling on my own too. Life has never been easy, but boy do I feel alone right now. I wanted you to be by my side. I wanted to talk to you so badly, to comfort me like you used to. I would replay the night everything was falling apart, and we went back to your house and you fixed me a drink and we laughed until I forgot what I was upset about. But, that person never came. I tried to talk to you about it too. Just once I tried to force up the courage to speak my mind. You threw out “I’m sorry” as carelessly as you threw out your first “I love you”, and I thought to myself that this is my life now: accepting less if I ever hope to have the more that I want. I love you. I have burned so many bridges in my life, lost so much, cried so many tears. I do not believe in God, but boy do I pray for you. I pray for you every night and every day. I pray that one day you will realize just how much I have given up for you, and stop putting me through the fire just to be with you. I hope that one day, you will either love me enough to be with me, or respect me enough to let me go. You say you love me, you say you care about me, but you need to decide. Because if you love someone, you should not want to see them burn themselves just to keep you warm. By now, my entire life is a fire. It is like setting all of New York City on fire, and wanting the ocean. I am tired of unanswered questions and unanswered prayers. I am tired of drunk assertions of your love with no actual plan. I do not want to be the one that everyone thinks is your girlfriend without the rights of the title. I do not want you to call me in the middle of the night when you are scared and lonely and need a friend because no one else is there for you. I love you. I want everything with you. I want the white picket fence and the dogs and the kids. I want the struggle, the fights over finances, and what movie we are going to watch that evening. I want breakfast for dinner and sex in the morning and good night kisses. I want to miss you when you are gone, and need some space when you are here too much. I want your problems and your faults, your anger and your inability to say exactly what you are feeling unless you have had a little too much whiskey. I want your last name, our child to have your first, and to spend hours arguing over the rest. I want it all, and I only want it with you. But I am tired. And you are not ready for me, and I have been told that you do not always get what you want. I have waited four years for you. I would not take it back for the world. Loving you will never be a mistake. But to sit here and wait four more would be like waiting for rain in a drought and I just cannot be without answers anymore.
Photo Credit: Eye For Ebony