By Rylie Borden
You may not believe me when I say this, but I will leave you behind in 2019. Yes, I’ve said that before, but this time, it’s a promise.
It’s taken me a long time to get here. It’s taken me a lot of self-discovery, depression, and a recreation of my entire being to be able to say this. I had to learn who I am without you.
I’m not entirely sure who I am without you anymore. I spent so long being yours, my entire identity revolved around you. But I’m picking out the pieces of you in me, the shards of glass that were left when we broke.
I’m weeding out every last bit of you. My garden will no longer be contaminated by your abuse, your lies, your harsh words. I’m speaking light into myself; I’m growing the most beautiful flowers into my soul. I’m taking care of myself. I’m watering and nourishing myself. I’m letting Mother Nature turn me into the beautiful being I was put on this earth to be.
Your anger will no longer consume me. I no longer get sick to my stomach leaving work, wondering which version of you I’ll get tonight. I’m owning my scars, both physical and emotional. I’m learning to love again. I’m learning to love myself again.
It’s such a weird feeling to relearn yourself, to relearn how to care about your own body and heart. Because you never realized you forgot how to. You didn’t realize at some point you became so wrapped up in him that he was everything that mattered. I’m not talking face masks and painting my nails. I’m talking about waking up and telling myself I am loved, I am strong, I have a kind soul, and believing these things.
I wish I could tell you what you meant to me now. I wish I could help you understand the light I saw in your eyes, the way the universe would stop spinning whenever I heard you tell me you loved me. I wish you could grasp how dramatically, helplessly, pathetically I was in love with you. It’s something you won’t ever understand until you feel it.
Maybe you’ve felt it before. Maybe she broke your heart so horribly you didn’t think you’d recover. Maybe you went through all that pain and misery and just wanted to watch someone else suffer the way you did. Whatever the reasons for your actions, it was cruel, heartless, and unforgivable.
I promise not to ever be like you. I promise not to play with an innocent heart the way you did. You may have let your past wounds turn you into the cold hearted monster I see in you now, but I won’t. I’ll take your abuse and raise you kindness. I’ll raise you growth; I’ll raise you love. Because that’s all I want to bring into the world anymore.
I want you to know that this really is the end. No more making excuses for you, no more apologizing and begging and crying at night, no more lies, no more fighting, no more chances. I’ve finally reached my breaking point.
I want you to know I didn’t think I could live without you. The thought of being on this earth and not being yours destroys me. I have to take it day by day, and some days I still don’t think I’ll make it, but I always do—something you didn’t believe I could do.
I need you to know I still love and care about you with every inch of me. I still crave your presence at night, and I still break in the mornings when reality hits. I still want to beg you to change, but I know it won’t ever make a difference. I know it’s time to give up. Please remember that you are loved and cared about, genuinely and sincerely, with the purest of intentions. I hope you can learn to better yourself someday and find someone who you feel is worthy of your love, since you never believed I was.
So with a few days left in 2019, this is my last and final goodbye. The end of the year, the end of a decade, the end of your chapter in my book. I’ll save the pages you linger on, but the story is written and closed, and I have so much more to tell in this lifetime.
2020, please be gentle.