Being who I am, my heart broke writing this imaginary letter to someone who does not exist. I was okay with that. As I've learned, you cannot break someone's heart without breaking your own. Even if there was no one on the other side of this one.
As I wrote it, I saw truths emerging. I saw bits of myself coming out. Things that are truth, truths that I am realizing and learning in at this moment in time. So I thought I'd share this imaginary letter that holds certain truths in it.
"We wrote our Dear John letters in the same pen..." (the lyrics that got it started):
I don’t know how it has come to this. Please believe me, this is not something I looked for or anticipated. One thing I can assure you of, there is no other man in my life. I am not unfaithful; I am not looking around for something you are not, or for someone here.
“If you love someone, you do not allow yourself to find perfection in someone else.” I heard that line from somewhere, and it stuck with me. You are whom I love, honest and true.
It is simply, you are there and I am here. I know that one day we will both be on the same soil. But my love, that is years from now.
There is fear in my heart. I will not be the woman you left when you come back to me. Nor will you be the man I fell in love with. That is just simply not how life works. Each day, we make choices, good, bad or just necessary. Over the days, weeks and years those decisions build something. They build who we become, little by little. So small and unnoticeable until a certain amount of them have accumulated and you look in the mirror and all of a sudden you are someone entirely different. And you cannot point to the moment, the decision that brought you to where you are. You cannot explain how you are who you are. It can be scary my darling. That moment in the mirror. For most of the time, you noticed it because you are no longer the person you enjoyed being. One day you wake up and notice anger, or fear, or sorrow has crept into the essence of your being.
Perhaps you don’t find joy like you used to, or you are not as patient and understanding as you were ‘way back when.’ It hits you square in the chest, and a certain kind of panic can hit. You don’t know how you got this way, or how to get back; since you don’t remember how you got there. There are not steps you can take to backtrack. One day you thought you were one person, and then one day you are someone completely different. I am not saying that this is something we desire to do, I am saying this is something that happens whether we want it to our not. This, my darling, is simply a fact of life.
So see, it is impossible that we will be the people we were when we knew each other last. There is no other option than for us to be different.
And yes, this happens to everyone, even when we marry someone. The difference is this though: when you are married you make those decisions together and alongside one another. So as you grow, so do I. As we look in the mirror we work to be who we want, we work to be next to each other. To be the best and most loving version of ourselves.
My dearest love, how are we supposed to do that when we are apart? How can we help but be strangers to one another when we are to meet again? Even that is not difficult. We could find our way to one another again. But not like this. Not when we are desiring and missing the person who left. You will come home, and I will see you, and expect us to be what we thought they left. We can say we know we will be different and it will be hard for a season. But knowing and having it live before your face? Those are two very different things. I can have hope and say I will understand and I will love who you have become, for those central things about you remain the same. But I do not want to lie. I will be looking for who I had. I will search for those things, I will ask you to contort and conform to my idea of you. Not who you are, made by your experiences. Experiences that I could never comprehend, decisions I could never make. Things I know you had no control over.
Reading over what I have already written, I suppose I have not said what is clear as you read this letter. I suppose I have avoided saying the words. They are so plainly seen and felt, yet I know there is worth in saying exactly what you are trying to.
This is goodbye for us my love. I hate that I am doing this while you are there and I am here. Yet, I think it is better this way. I have no desire to give any sort of false hope or have unfulfilled dreams when you come back. I am sorry, this is not leaving my heart whole and clean, have no illusions. I simply cannot stand the thought of having you stand before me and loving someone else. Even if that someone else is the person who you were. That is the heartbreak I am trying to spare both of us.
You shall always have the pieces of my heart I have given to you.
Find love, be at peace, come back safe.
Having written that, feeling every word, I am so thankful that there is no one to whom this is written. I have no need to send it off, it can simply die here on this page.