Closing Time

Yesterday. Wow, yesterday. While it didn’t go the way I wanted it to, it went the way it needed to. Sure, it was a decade in the making, and sure, it flipped on its head my belief in love, but I’m in a better place for it. After a series of texts and one phone call, I know that I’m finally going to be okay.

I’m in love, hopelessly so. While this is no new revelation, what is new is that I can now say that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. It’s been a decade’s long journey, a marathon. I have loved this person despite everything, despite all the reasons why he didn’t deserve my affection. And while I was previously very bitter and pained around it, I think it’s all starting to make sense in my thought-filled head. I was and will always be just an option for him. I am not, have ever been or ever will be a necessity for him.

I freely admit and accept what I feel just as it is equally okay for him to only care about me as a person. The thing is, if that’s his truth, okay. It’s not mine. And while we may see things differently, I’m finally at peace with not being so judgemental and unfairly overly critical about myself. He’ll always represent an ideal for me, he’ll always be the version I’d hoped he would be. In my head. A divergence. On the one hand, I can’t have lost something that I never had. What I now know and understand is that the reality of who he is doesn’t have to negate what I feel, what I’d hoped, or who I am. We’ve all had great loves in our lives, great dreams, and desires. And we’ve all likely had to deal with the reality of getting them, not getting them, and/or having to sometimes let them go.

I waited a decade for him to confess to me something he was never going to. There was no long game, it was was it was. I’ve waited a decade to realize that who he is and who I’d hoped he would be was always going to be at odds. That’s to say, the real him can now exist independently of the version of him in my head. Fantasy and reality, they’re not the same thing, and they don’t have to be (as long as you make the distinction).

I clung to the sound of his voice. A mental lust that was also physically shared. At times it didn’t matter what he said. I had his attention for those moments. I could pretend that it was affection too. But that’s just it, I realized that I was the one faithfully filling in that gap, I fooled myself into thinking that I actually meant something more to him besides a distraction from boredom. Each time he had the opportunity to show me that he genuinely cared, he showed me the opposite. It was a duck. I chose to always find ways to see only what I wanted or needed to see. I wanted the whispers of him to be who he really is. It’s not. He’s not.

And while I certainly would not have chosen to have loved him or to love him all the rest of my life, I’m finally okay with him not actually being in my life. I loved the better version of him, the one that I created in my head. Over time the lore grew, my esteem for it grew even when the reality was stunted. I allowed him to represent and be something that I felt love should be. And so I say to him directly…

You infinitely grew my capacity to love, to forgive, and to accept myself for who I am. You’ve made it clear for the last time that we don’t feel the same about one another and I am now willing to accept the truth of it. While I wish things were different, I will always love you the real you as a person, not just the version of you that exists only in my head.  I’m finished accepting whatever I get, the scraps of you, I am and have always been worth so much more than how you see or treated me. Yesterday, you helped me to see that. It still pains me and will for a long time, but this is goodbye, the end of our journey. It’s the beginning of new chapters in my life. You both gave and took away from me more than you’ll really know (or care to). I have you to thank for not only the heartache and pain, but for my now seeing that I’m f–king amazing just the way I am — your validation is not needed or required!

This is a good moment, an empowering kind of day. And I know that there will be bad ones ahead, but those will no longer have anything to do with him, what I wanted or needed from him, or his continued willingness to throw me away. Sometimes you can (and should) make it on your own.

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