I figured that eventually you would find this blog. It doesn’t surprise me, and honestly, there’s a part of me that was hoping you would. You should know that you’re always welcome to read. I made this blog public for anyone who needed it. Anyone who wanted to remember the feeling of a long-lost love, or find solace in heartbreak, or strength in solitude, or even just a restaurant or movie recommendation. In case you were wondering, no, I haven’t been back to your blog. I’ve learned too much too painfully from it already.
You now know for yourself what the past year has been like for me. More or less. I’m not going to feign humility here, I’m damn proud of what I’ve done here. I’ve met some incredible people with incredible, fascinating, insightful outlooks on life I might never have touched on, or it might have taken me years to learn for myself when they were willing to show me and teach me. And there are some posts on here that I really really do love. They might not be the happiest, and in fact some of the best really have come from deep hurt, but they are honest and true and, in my eyes, beautiful.
You may look around this blog and think I built this to villainize you. And I admit, the times when I was more angry than sad, I wanted to make you out to be the bad guy. The cause of my heartbreak. But I didn’t do all this because I wanted to tell the world how much you hurt me and how horrible a person you must be to do so. I’m no more the victim than you are the villain.
Last November I participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. And my novel was supposed to be about you and I, but really it was about my own expectations and obstacles with honest, true love. I liked almost everything about it but I struggled with the ending. And some of my readers pointed that out, and didn’t like it much either. They thought I victimized myself too much, putting all the blame on you, none on me. And it didn’t show much growth, honesty, or bravery really. I haven’t gotten back to it to rewrite a more satisfying ending, but let me tell you what I would want the ending of that story to be.
Beautiful was never the villain of this story. What happened in our relationship, from the very beginning in college to its very end as young adults happened to both of us. We both felt the pain and the loss and the hurt. And we hurt each other. I hurt her. The truth is, the worst thing I did when we got back together again was never let her be herself. I was so overcome with the joy of being reunited with Beautiful, my Beautiful, I didn’t take a moment to enjoy and appreciate the brand new woman who was standing before me. I lied to her. I entertained her interests enough to say I did so that we could go back to ‘where we left off’. ‘Who we were when we first fell in love’. At least a complete stranger would have had the time and opportunity to let me learn about her before I started doing what I normally did and shoved her into some mold. Because of my short-sightedness and my obsession with cookie-cutter romance, I put her on a pedestal she felt she couldn’t come down from. Our relationship was probably doomed to begin with because of this. After all, what outcome could result from this? Either she would not live to the unbearable weight of expectation I had spent years building up to unload onto her, or she would find any means of escape to get out from under the prison of who I wanted her to be for me.
No, unfortunately, there is, and was, no third option. No happy ending. Not for the people we were, the relationship we were in, the things we wanted of each other. Were I to try and defend that our relationship should have lasted because of the person I was, or to put blame that our relationship should end because of the person she was, I’d still be falling back on molds and expectations. I wanted so bad to play the victim, to have the world cry for my story.
But this was our story. A story where two people were hurt, and two people lost something very deeply special.
I wish I could say to her I never wanted my dream girl. I never wanted my ideal. I only wanted her. I wish I could say how sorry I am for making her feel she had to be anything other than herself. I didn’t know anything about her when she first spoke to me at that college club meeting. Everything I loved of hers, I learned to love.
I wish it didn’t take losing Beautiful twice to learn this important lesson. What use is a man whose lessons are learned after the test? She was never supposed to be anything more than Beautiful, because that’s all I wanted. She was my everything, my Sun, and the flower asks nothing of the Sun other than to be itself.
Whatever anger I thought I would lash out onto her, through lessons learned, reflections, and staring deeply into this love, I’ve found should really have been towards myself. Taking romantic movies and novels and cheap comics aimed at teenage boys and trying to focus all of that on one incredible woman.
Two people were deeply hurt when all of this came crumbling down. I wish I could have taught myself sooner to love the person and not the idea. I wish I could have told her I loved her and not who I wanted her to be.
I wish I could have learned this lesson some other way, because there will always be a deep part of me that wishes I could have saved this. Saved her. Saved us. I learned my lesson at the expense of possibly the most important person I wanted to share it with. We both did horrible things, not just to each other but to ourselves and to the people around us who would have cared for us too. And of course I wish it weren’t so.
But not all wishes come true. And not all happy endings come to the Prince and Princess who believe in them.
I really am sorry, Beautiful. You were never supposed to feel the weight of my own unreasonable expectations and ideals. I could wait forever for a perfect woman, a perfect love, but for so many years of my life, I learned to love you. Love is not an instantaneous reaction. It is an act, a muscle, it’s something you grow and foster and care for and bloom together. We never should have tried to fool ourselves into thinking we knew exactly who the other person was after so much time. Was I proud and happy and satisfied that you felt I knew you so well, connected so deeply to your soul, even after so much time apart? Yes, indubitably so. But I would have rather swallowed my pride and gotten to know you all over again if it meant a better chance, a stronger chance, a lasting chance.
What and who I am, I would gladly show you, teach you, guide you, for however long it would take. And what and who you are, I would learn if you would just understand all I ever asked for, all I ever wanted, was to love you. Ikea and sushi be damned, the test isn’t getting to know who you are, it’s loving you for it.
I wish you could have seen that, before you left us. Before you hurt me. I’m so sorry you’ve had to struggle with who you are with the one person who should have made you feel the most comfortable and proud. You are a flawed, broken person. But aren’t we all? Did I ever ask for perfection when all I ever wanted was you?
I can’t say I’m glad for how things have turned out, or for the lessons you’ve learned yourself, the growth you’ve experienced, or even the happiness you’ve found somewhere else. But I do support it. To ask me to be happy for you is to accept that the best place for you is somewhere else. I’m sorry. I can’t do that. But I’m a bit wiser and smarter now. And I know the world is huge and that we’ll find plenty of people who will make us happy and fulfilled. So I believe it to be true with you, and I support you in that. And I’m sure it must be true for me too, so you don’t have to worry about that either.
It is wonderful that you’ve moved on, and seen the faults in both of us. I’m so proud of you for finishing grad school, and excited for your new job. I knew you would push forward and succeed. I have always believed in you, and I know that the world was just waiting for the right moment to believe in you too. I don’t blame you for anything that’s happened, and I want you to keep going forward with a clean conscience. Not because I think you’re perfect and capable of no wrong, but because I’ve learned to love and accept you for who you are.
Don’t worry about Y. I’ll deal with that.
I wish I could get you to see that whatever I thought I was looking for, I learned to look beyond that to see you for who you are. It’d be a lie if I said it was always the case, but I did learn my lesson on that. I wish you could have seen me for who I was, the man I became apart from you and the man I became because of you. I’m sorry, but it’s very important to me that I tell you, I really don’t want to ever see you again. I don’t think I can ever be your friend.
A lot of times I’ve been asked on my blog by readers if, given the chance, I would ever want to get back with you. And I’ve said wholeheartedly, no. But you should know, it’s because I believe I live in a world where that isn’t a possibility. And I need to live in that world. I may have learned a lot this past year about love and relationships and expectations, but I never unlearned how much I love and care about you. If anything, because I realized you weren’t the villain of my story, I lost the hurt I could hold against you. This isn’t about you, or who you feel for, or who you felt for. It’s about me. And it still hurts, paralyzingly so, to hear from you, to see these reminders of you, to think of you. Please understand, I can’t ever see you as anything less than what you mean to me. I can’t be your friend. I would always come running to see you again if for the chance two people who’ve known each other and loved each other can try again as two brand new people, start fresh as strangers. But unless for that reason, I can’t, won’t, ever see you again.
With all the love that I can muster,