There was never one defining moment when my fingertips began to slip from your grasp, no particularly significant time that my heart began to find its own rhythm instead of beating to the sound of yours. Letting go of you unfolded in pieces where I began to lose parts of you and, in their place, found more of myself in your absence.
In your lack of consistency, I learned how to stand alone. That being on my own was better than being with someone that would promise only how to break my heart and keep doing so.
When you frequently disappeared, you taught me how to live without you.
I realized that my love could not continually be stretched beyond its limits without leaving me spent and worn out. I began to understand that our relationship was entirely carried by myself; all effort that was made was mine. All plans that were made, I initiated. All love that was given, I gave.
I realized that love, when it is reciprocated, is both give and take. In those moments of being torn from you to me, I knew that choosing myself was the only choice. I could not lose me to save you anymore.
I began to recognize your intense moments of care and appreciation as being bound in toxicity. You would want me on your terms and expect my love to be constant, even though your actions and feelings could not meet mine.
I learned that hard words would never accumulate into soft love, it was just another form of your manipulation and my hope that things would change. I began to understand that this was not love for you, but just another way for you to find your ego. And I would not be just another way to pass the time on the road to your recovery.
I do not recall the moment when I felt myself fall out of love with you, but I do remember that the overwhelming disappointment took its place somewhere along the way and I no longer looked for your attention.
I remember being beside you and not feeling the familiar warmth I always reserved for you; suddenly my heart beat for myself and it wasn’t for you anymore.
And when it finally ended, after years of indecision, hurt, and heartbreak, I realized that holding on to you was only ever hurting me and that letting you go was much easier than I had let my heart believe.
There have been moments where I have wondered about you, where I have found my idle thoughts wandering into old territory. There have been moments where I have missed you and questioned what our journey meant.
I have found myself longing for you and at times wanting, even now, to reach out towards you to see if you reach back.
But in those moments of nostalgia, I remind myself that my heart is genuine, that missing you is just part of our ending.
And that the art of letting go is found in the ways we choose to hold on to ourselves without forgetting how much we have loved those that did not deserve to stay.