An Open Letter To A Past Self
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An Open Letter To A Past Self

There were days I wanted nothing to do with you. Turned away from you, I would recognize that you seemed like my biggest detractor. What pained me the most was knowing that I so wanted your support. You were the only opinion that ever mattered.


I hope you've been well. Genuinely, I do care, as I know how carelessly that phrase can be thrown around, especially nowadays. Admittedly, it's been far too long since I last reached out. It goes without saying that you were a huge part of my life, and I'm sad because I don't think things ended the way either of us wanted them to. It's in hindsight that I think I can acknowledge the necessary cruelty of certain cards that were dealt to both of us.

I'm writing now because I don't think the idea had really struck me before this. It might have been a mix of anger and confusion or even just simply being too busy to sit and reflect that kept me from ever putting pen to paper. If I had tried to do this any earlier, I'm not sure what these words would look like, or even if they would mean as much. My current days, hectic as they are, are still and quiet, my movement is mostly limited to the few steps that are required to reach various points of my living space. Spending so much time confined, it only makes sense that one would begin to find more room in other places. There are arguably miles of uncharted territory for me to explore in my mind, and I'd be lying if I said I was certain of where these roads are taking me.

This stillness and exploration within myself have been a gift and a curse. On the one hand, I feel the sudden need to reach out and connect with loved ones that may have previously slipped out of my grasp or frame of vision. You stand out in that list, and it's unfortunate how much space has been placed between us.

On the other hand, there is so much time to ponder and question my past, and more crucially, my future. Vulnerable as ever, I'm left alone with my truths and a confusion surrounding what they possibly might mean to you. Should what I think today even matter to you? My clearest realization has been that whatever future I hope for has no room for open wounds or scabs that beg to be picked at. I'm not sure that ridding myself of these things can happen on my own, but it's very likely I might prove myself wrong. Nonetheless, I'm hoping you will play a part in my healing. Something within me senses you are hurting as well. Is it unreasonable for me to think we can heal each other?

In writing to you today, I suppose my hope is to assert the truth of my feelings and previous actions. One, my feelings, varied as they are, are a part of me that I can never assume others will be able to comprehend without translation. The other, my actions, visible as they may be, seem to often betray me relentlessly. Before anything else, I cared for you deeply. Even in times of confusion, my hopes were always to return to our peace together. Sometimes it felt as though that simply would never be possible. This feeling of despair led me to leave you. In that act, I like to think there was only the hope that something better for both of us rests around the corner.

I'll admit that I went off course, and it's largely the reason things ended the way they did. At the time, I was scared. Things I thought I had known, like solid ground, suddenly disappeared out from under me. Then, looking to you, I searched for answers or some kind of sign that everything was going to be alright. Your assurances, well-intentioned as they might have been, felt empty. It was as though you had already given up. My reaction was an act of radicalism, something that was probably rather jarring for you, but it seemed to be my only option at the time. Easily, I could chop it up to chance, or growing pains, but I'm realizing it might simply be in my nature. I will expand out of boxes that have been placed around me, and work with what scraps remain to create even larger ones.

To live so fully as I do, and to give so deeply, it can become quite easy to lose sight of certain things. Since those days, my decisions, to some degree, have become more calculated. It's beginning to feel like I might not need a box to define myself at all. The stakes have also increased in some instances, and I'm left wondering whose life I have stumbled onto. To look back on our days, I easily recall the comforts we shared and the coziness that seemed to envelop our soft, silent moments together. How quickly though, have I forgotten our turbulent times, moments of hurt that seemed to erupt like wildfire. The ice that coursed through your veins to something that was once your heart.

I was mad, too. There were days I wanted nothing to do with you. Turned away from you, I would recognize that you seemed like my biggest detractor. What pained me the most was knowing that I so wanted your support. You were the only opinion that ever mattered.

At the end of everything, I have always been thankful. I hope that's one thing you and everyone else will see. What I have learned however is that I need not depend on some kind of stamp of approval to finally move on. I write these words as much for myself as I do for you. Hopefully, what's transpired hasn't burdened you too heavily. With sincerity, I hope you see that your acts of kindness were not in vain. Truthfully, I smile today because the person I am is so largely in part to you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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