I spent this past weekend driving through the places that meant a lot in our lives. It wasn’t an intentional trip down memory lane that brought me by these places but nonetheless it is where I ended up. It started with me passing the house that we bought, our sweet little 3-bedroom ranch on our 2 acres, they finally cleaned up the backyard after it had overgrown from previous owners. Then I drove by our high school where we met, where I fell in love with you, and where we became best friends. There were many other places that I passed that only you and I know about, places we would go before we lived together. It was nice to think of these times no matter how they ended. I also saw friends we once shared and my former mother in law, each one asking me the same question.
“Are you seeing anyone?”
When I answered each one of them with a resounding “No”, knowing it has been two years since you left they, each one of them, sighed and wanted to know why. I struggle to explain to people why it is that I do not want to find someone new to share my life with. While speaking with your mother I described everything I was thinking and how I felt about everything. There were tears shed by the both of us. I think she eventually understood. I told her about how tired I was, about how my insides felt like they were hollow, how this life is one that I simply tolerate, and how I feel like I don’t have anything left to offer anyone. I don’t mean that in a way that I am not a good person, or that I literally have no qualities that I could offer to someone else. I meant it in the way like I gave my all, everything that I had to you, and I believe that I have nothing left to give to any other. The thing is, I don’t feel sad about it. I do not feel troubled by the idea that this is how the rest of my life will be. Am I lonely? Yeah sure there are certainly times where I miss having someone around but the thing is, I don’t want just anyone around. I worry that is where most people who lose relationships go, to just anyone because they don’t want to be alone. That is not me, I am far too selective with the people I allow into my life, something of which you are very much aware.
I want to let you know I tried, for about a week. It was interesting to be with another woman, it was scary, it was a little exciting, and when the thoughts in my head were screaming, “This doesn’t feel right!!” I tried to work through them thinking it was just me as this was the first woman I was hanging around with after you left. It wasn’t though, it wasn’t right, it didn’t feel right, and I ended it. I felt bad for her, truly. I used the “it isn’t you it is me” line, the thing is, it wasn’t a “line” it was true, it was me and I didn’t have the ability to offer her what she was looking for. I lost it along the way. Maybe in the year and a half I spent alone I have become too much of a person who is set in their own ways, maybe I prefer the feeling of being stuck in the middle (neither happy, nor sad), and maybe just maybe the love I had to give, a love that I never expected to be able to give out to anyone so when the opportunity arose to give it away I gave and gave and gave until it was just too much. Maybe whatever place the notion of love is generated has an expiration date and I reached mine shortly after you left. Maybe you knew this?
“I have no heart left to give” is what she said to me, your mother that is. It sounds harsh when you read it, like I don’t actually have a heart, but what she meant was 20 years ago I gave it to you and I gave it to you because I wanted you to have it. When you ended it, much like the other things I gave you, it didn’t feel right asking for it back. I don’t want it back, it is yours and it will always be yours. That doesn’t mean that I cannot live a good life, it doesn’t mean I cannot enjoy other peoples company or that I don’t have love for others because I do, but there is a limit there. There is a line that is drawn in the sand; it isn’t dramatically drawn in the blood that beats from my aching heart (corny), but with a simple stick that washed ashore. And when the waves come crashing in fading that line I simply draw it again, maybe I will recite some epic line while raising my stick in the air while waving it around like a mad man “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” or maybe I will simply turn my back to the line and walk along the beach. The thing is it is my line I can place it where ever I choose, letting through whomever I choose, and to some that may be sad but to me it isn’t. I know where my heart lies, I know who once held it and sure maybe it has been put down and tucked in a drawer somewhere with the ALF doll and the engagement ring, but it is there with you where it belongs.
She was right though and I have exhausted that particular emotion. Of course I still love our boys and will always, but when it comes to another woman there is nothing there. There is no desire to seek it out. I would feel too bad for anyone else that wanted to be apart of my life like that knowing that I could never truly engage to the depths that it would take. There would always be that line, maybe it got moved closer but it would never be gone. That is a terrible thing to do to another person, not feel the same but act like you do, or even try to feel like you do. I don’t want someone to use up their heart on someone who wasn’t ever going to be able to accept it the way it in the way it should be accepted. Someone should care for it, cradle it, and not hold it at arms length praying they don’t drop it only to get it covered in the (animal hair of your choice) on the floor. The guilt that I would feel daily by selfishly wanting someone around just so that I could feel less lonely while they pin their lives to mine hoping for something that will never truly be there, would be unbearable. I do not have it in me to treat another like that.
I am not sad like I was; I really want you to understand that. I want you to free yourself of the guilt that you feel for leaving and “breaking up” the family. I will forever be proud of you and the steps you took to make sure that you were enjoying your life. When I tell you how happy I am for you it is genuinely how I feel. I have always wanted you to be happy and to free yourself from whatever was holding you back, I hope you have found that or are on your way to finding it.
Anyway I know you will never get the chance to read this so I think it is time for me to go but take care of yourself okay?
Best wishes and enjoy!