“First of all, thank you. Thank you for keeping me safe during the time that you did. At the core of who you are, I’m aware that your intentions were pure and even loving because without you I would have been subjected to feelings of resentment, rejection, and being unlovable like so many others do had you not stepped in and played your role to your fullest capabilities.
I was never laughed off a stage for forgetting a line, not having the best voice, or playing the wrong note on the piano. I was never fired from a job I loved that resulted in a crushing awareness of my lack of skills. I was able to keep a lot of people at arm’s length until I had really figured them out and save my heart from those who would’ve broken it. I never let myself down by missing a workout, because it’s actually impossible to do that when you didn’t plan one in the first place. I never spent “too much” money because I didn’t define what it would look like to go off a budget that was never created. I wasn’t disappointed about not being valedictorian or getting perfect grades because that wasn’t my goal anyways. I never looked at myself in the mirror and felt let down from not measuring up to my potential because you told me that would only hurt my ability to show myself love. I never had to stretch myself too much to forgive others, let go of grudges, and move forward because you taught me that they were still to blame for how I reacted and held onto all that hurt. You taught me that if something didn’t come naturally or “feel right” that instead of pushing myself to expand who I was, just move on to easier things. Give up on people who I don’t understand because it would be a disappointment to have unmet expectations. Why shoot for the moon and be disappointed when I only reached the stars?
You taught me that, and for 24 years I’ve been thankful for the lessons on the “safety” I perceived in mediocrity, something I falsely took for contentment. As much as you’ve stuck by me through the years with your tight grip on my mindset…our time has come to an end. Honestly saying that to you feels a little like I’m letting down a faithful friend because, like it or not, you’ve probably been the most consistent relationship I’ve been in. As cliche as it sounds, it really is me, not you. I’m the one whose changed and, like so many other things that have evolved in my life, our relationship just no longer functions the way it used to.
You see, just as you helped me dodge a lot of emotional implications that choices can bring, I also chose for you to keep me trapped inside my own mind for far too long. What do I have to show for our time together? I lost the joy that using my talents brought me. I passed up job opportunities that I didn’t feel qualified for because everyone would see how hard I would have to work to keep up at places I could have made a real difference at. I didn’t learn to discipline myself with my time, my health, my money…I justified how I reacted to others. I didn’t learn to forgive or that other people weren’t who controlled how my life had to look. I sold myself short.
Despite our best attempts to stay cozy and safe in our own world, life has taught me lessons along the way that help make this breakup a little easier. You see, I still got hurt. I still made decisions that resulted in me being aware of what both my strengths and weaknesses are. I have parents who tried to tell me you were wrong for me. I’ve been given the gift of a partner and friends who encourage me to look past what you’ve been able to give me and step into the next chapter. Those who let me know that finding my worth comes from within, not externally like you and I were always so worried about. Through it all, I survived. The crippling fear that I had of failing could not protect me from experiencing both highs and lows, and I surprised myself that without realizing it….these growth opportunities were making me stronger. Why spend one more day living, loving, and learning things halfway?
I know we’ll run into each other and at times, I might even miss you. I know at any point you’d welcome me back and forgive me for ending things this way. When things don’t turn out the way I hope, people aren’t who they say they are, and (the scariest of all) I’m not the best at everything I try…those are the times I’ll remember you and wonder if I made the right choice. But, the reward of staying in this space of you no longer compares to the payoff that I know this risk can bring. However, I’ll know that there’s no longer room for you in who I am now and where I’m going because if I let you, we would spend another 24 years together living in denial and limiting ourselves, which is just no longer acceptable. For the first time I’m admitting what I’ve always known to be true: Regardless of how things turn out, I am worth it. I am enough. And I’ve no longer got time for anything or anyone who tells me otherwise.”