[being over a thousand miles away from both cities that helped build me has left a lot of unconscious space for thinking about the relationships that have faded over the past 10 years or so. I learned that I’m good at fading. In some ways, it’s felt safer than tear-filled goodbyes or clear-cut it over. But it’s also left plenty of space for uncertainty and reminiscing. And, even if I’d like to think that it’s for the best or that I’m over it all, my daydreams and night dreams tell a different story. So, in an effort to provide myself with some closure (in a “coward’s way, still not reaching out, but at least I’m getting the thoughts out of my head” sort of way), I’ve decided to share an open letter to relationships that have faded or been lost along the way. I recognize that I am beyond blessed to have maintained friendships for 10+ years or made new ones within the last few years that are filled with love and memories…to you all, I thank you and will write soon (because fading is absolutely not an option for us). but for missed opportunities with kind souls that crossed my path at the wrong time, a time when I was too broken to accept that I could be loved; and for old friends who were like sisters or brothers, providing comfort in uncomfortable places; and for ‘friends’ who I will never know true intentions but harmed my spirit more than they helped; this letter is for you.]
“Sometimes in life there is not enough time to say all the things we need to say, and when it is all over all we can say is goodbye.”
I don’t know if I ever said I’m sorry. You were kind. And I wasn’t ready for that. I ended (or never started) things before I could cause more harm. I’d like to think that if I were in a different place, we would have worked. But I’ve always believed things happen for a reason and things happen as they should. You look happy. You ended up where you should. …and if you haven’t gotten there yet, know that it’s coming. I have missed you…more than I thought I would. Memories of you come while I dream from time to time. Maybe part of me doesn’t want to forget or let go. Maybe part of me never will. Mostly because I’ll always have hope. not necessarily for “us,” but for “good.” Things will work out, in whatever way that means.
“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Thank you and I love you. If I said it a hundred times, it wouldn’t be enough. You were there for me during moments of transition. New friends built as I stepped away from home for college, a city away that felt like a lifetime. New friends that welcomed me back to the Windy City, my city, during grad school. You were there, with open hearts and open arms. I never took your friendship for granted. I wish I didn’t suck at being a friend. I wonder where we’d be if I tried harder. Social media has allowed me to reminisce on the good times we had, on the memories we built, on the adventures and shenanigans we got into. I loved it and I love you. Thank you, old friend. a million times thank you.
“A farewell is necessary before we can meet again, and meeting again after moments or a lifetime is certain for those who are friends.” – Richard Bach
Out of nowhere I think of you. Often enough to be reminded that you helped build me. …but when I focus on the image of our time together, I realize you also helped break me. I will never know your true intentions, the conscious extent of your manipulation, or if you ever valued our friendship. I have toyed with the idea of reaching out one.last.time. of taking more blame for falling out of touch. of continuing to make excuses for your past actions. I looked the other way one too many times. I put your feelings before mine way too often. I ignored the most basic truth of friendship:
Most things will be OK eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room. ― Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed