On this last day of this year, I will write this last letter to you. I am leaving you here, in what will soon be the past, and tomorrow I will move ahead without you.
I have spent the last month hoping that something would change and I would hear from you again. I waited longingly for some sort of apology, or admission of guilt, or explanation for your sudden change of heart. I mourned for so many things I lost all at once: A good friend, a great mentor, a motivating fitness buddy, and a relationship that would hold strong for years to come. In between moments of mourning, I have had flashes of clarity – the truth shining through the torment – that suggested to me that you were never really any of these things in my life. You were those things because I made you those things.
I admired you for the day I met you – but I didn’t know anything about you. I sought you out because you represented something to me that I needed and that I wanted, and so I made you into what those were. I was motivated and selfish, and it really did pay off. You liked me, and accepted me. I flattered you and praised you and maybe I gave you something you needed at that time too. I may have been selfish, but I meant everything I said and I gave everything I had as selflessly as possible.
For the years I’ve known you, I’ve wanted to be just like you: Strong, in control, an expert in my field, hard working… kind, giving, caring, thoughtful, sensitive, and all loving. Those first traits I saw in you, but those other ones I assumed were there: I assumed because those are my traits, and I wanted you to have them to – so that I could still be like you. In the past year I came close to realizing that we were so much alike, in so many ways, and when I bore the deepest parts of me, you gave me what I always wanted – an indication that I was important to you too.
But what you said to me, and how you threw me out, I would never do that to anyone – not even my least liked acquaintance. I was so sad to lose you, I thought it was my fault, and I couldn’t believe that the person I loved and respected so much could do something so hurtful. But as the clarity pushes through the fog, I am beginning to realize that the person I thought you were was someone I fabricated for myself. Maybe you knew that, and maybe it was too hard to keep it up, I’ll never know. But with clearer thought and stronger support, I am sure that I no longer strive to be like you.
I want to be like who I thought you were – and that person is a projection of myself. I never want to put the people I care about last. I never want to be so overwhelmed that I have to sacrifice the things that are most important to me. I want to be the person who makes people – all people – the most important parts of my life. I know I am that person already, and that’s why this is so painful for me: You were an important part of my life, and I wouldn’t have sacrificed that for very much, if anything. That is the difference between us. And now I know.
I don’t want to keep hurting over you. I don’t want to care if you ever feel like you made a mistake. I don’t know if I even care that you’re sorry. The only reason all those would happen is because you might realize that I was worth more than how you treated me. I am trying to make that my reality already – for the first time in many years, I don’t need my relationship with you to tell me that.
I don’t know what this New Year will hold for me, or if you will ever be part of it. But I will start off anew and move forward with you left behind. I have already forgiven you because we all make mistakes. I have learned what my mistake has been and it has been hard to accept. But if I have learned anything from you, it is that I am everything I already want to be, and I don’t deserve to be treated any less.