One year ago today (Christmas Day 2015), I moved every item I owned into a new apartment, and began what has been the best year of my life. I had been living with my boyfriend, who moved with me from Philadelphia to Atlanta. I moved to Atlanta for grad school almost as much as I moved there to get away from my life, and to start over. I wanted to break all of my ties, form new ones, and find out who I was. I told my boyfriend not to move with me – we could try long distance or just drift apart, or maybe we could end things now on good terms.
But he came along with me, and it didn’t work out. And on Christmas Day 2015, I moved all of my stuff out of the apartment we lived in together because I had wanted to go to grad school and start my life over again in Atlanta. This wasn’t the worst Christmas of my life – it wasn’t even that bad a Christmas, to be honest. It felt like a big and necessary step forward. When I moved to Atlanta, I wanted to start over. I got to do that when I moved out of that shared apartment last Christmas.
I wrote him (my ex) a letter before I left, although I didn’t give it to him until 6 months later, when I wrote him another letter as I was packing to move again – this time from Atlanta to Cleveland, and this time for a guy, rather than a guy for me. I don’t think the first letter reflects who I am now, or how I would feel if I was put in the same situation today. More importantly, I don’t think I would left myself get into the same situation as the one I was in one year.
I wish it didn’t have to end – especially under these circumstances. If you’re reading this then all of my stuff is probably already gone, and I won’t be seeing you again for a while. I’ll leave that up to you though… At least I’ll try to. I can’t say it will be easy – I think i’ve talked to you every day for the last two years. You’ll move on though. I might too. But I wish it could have worked out with us. I wish we each could have been more of what the other wanted, but maybe that doesn’t even make sense. The media has left me with a fucked up sense of what a relationship should be.
I feel like our relationship was chipped away at little by little until there was nothing left but rubble. I wanted a teammate, you wanted an audience. I wanted a partner in crime, you wanted a sidekick. I wanted us to be equals, but it felt like you had too much to prove. I could have been happy to be at home waiting for you every night, but you seemed to stop wanting that. I don’t know how to be any other way though. I give all of myself in a relationship. I don’t know how to do less. Maybe that seems dependent, but I don’t want to be completely independent. I want someone to go to when I’m upset. I want someone to care enough about me to ask how my day was – even if they know I didn’t have much to do. I want someone to listen to me even when they think I’m overreacting or that my emotions don’t make sense. And I don’t think that is too much to ask.
A relationship should be about give and take – and I gave as much of myself as I could without getting much back. You broke my heart every day without even noticing. But there were always glimmers of hope that things could get better. We stayed together so long because I am an optimist despite how you always call me negative. I thought we could make it work. I was so willing to try, but I felt like I had to beg for an audience with the king to have a conversation with you. And even if you would talk to me, it was with a timer ticking in the background. I felt so unimportant to you.
But in the end, it’s my fault. When you tell the story of us, I will be the villain. 1,000 acts of neglect and emotional abuse do not equate to sleeping with someone else one time. All of the times I sat in the other room crying while you pretended I didn’t exist aren’t as bad as that one time I went to someone else’s apartment and allowed them to do something nice for me (and I mean the dinner and conversation here). You threw me away, and then shamed me for looking elsewhere for affection. I couldn’t ask you for forgiveness, because I don’t think we’re good for each other. I think we used to be, but we stopped. I don’t know if we ever will be good for each other again. I’m sorry I hurt you, but I don’t think I’m sorry it’s over. You hurt me – worse than you seem to realize.
I left on Christmas with a note in my hand – which you’ve either just read, will read next, or will throw away while thinking about the gall I must have to have sent this in the first place. The letter is for you, and it’s unfair for me to keep it in my possession. You are the owner of the thoughts I put on that paper because you were their inspiration.
If i’m being completely honest, the sadness didn’t stick around much longer after we said goodbye. I thought it would be difficult – I even felt guilty when it wasn’t. I was far more ready to move on than I knew.
I met someone. I won’t dwell on the details, because they’re only important to me and him, but he makes me feel like life is worth living, and living well. I am happier than I have ever been. I’m moving away to be with him. I’m not scared that I am making a mistake, because I already learned from you how not to treat someone you change your life to be with.
I want to thank you for helping me get where I am now. Even if the road was rocky. Even if we didn’t work out. Even if you hate me. I needed all of it to happen.
As for the Hitchhiker’s Guide: 1-3 were wonderful, but I didn’t care much for 4 and 5.