Disclaimer: This post features three versions of the same speaker, thinking/talking about the same situation. It shows how emotions progress with time, and what different approaches people take.
After months of calling me beautiful, kind, and smart, you left; acting as if none of that mattered. You told me that the beauty of my mind and heart surpassed the beauty of my facade, and I believed you. I believed that my worth extended far beyond my looks; that it was within me. I believed that you admired my strengths and supported my weaknesses, but only because that’s what I did for you. I noticed everything you said, did, and felt, because it mattered to me. I wanted to know what made your mind tick, your skin crawl, and your smile beam. I wanted to know how to make you happy. I thought you wanted the same for me. That was ignorant. It was enough for me to know that my actions were strengthening you, even if they were simultaneously beating me down. It was enough for me, because through your radiant smile, bright eyes, and lively voice, I could feel that strength that I helped you achieve. I gave everything to you, and when I was around you, I thought that was reciprocated. I was misled. Your radiance was constant; unaffected by me. I hope you learn to appreciate others the way I appreciated you. That is an irreplaceable feeling.
“You know… I wasn’t going to say any of this. I was going to keep my mouth shut and pretend everything’s fine like I always do. I was going to sit here and nod along, acting indifferent about everything you told me. But how is that fair? How is it fair to me, that you get relieved of all the pain and guilt that has been dwelling inside you, by giving it to me? Your words, your actions, your being there looking all too proud of yourself for “doing the right thing” enrages me. I am fed up pretending that everything is ok. What is it preserving? My reputation? Because I hate to break it to you, but my reputation is built off of my timidity. It’s built off of all the moments like this one, where I didn’t bother to stand up for myself, because I was scared of what I would be called. When you get angry as a girl, you get called irrational, sensitive, moody… You receive looks telling you to back down, and words telling you to “calm down.” You get told that you’re being hormonal, just because you’re raising your voice after months of being silenced? No. Get over yourself. You were the one who did something wrong; not me. I will not be treated like the villain, just because I’m finally defending myself. Kindness is something I always aspire to, but right now, you don’t deserve that from me.”
I remember the first time I saw you. Your brown hair falling in lazy waves across the top of your head; your emerald green eyes popping against your sunkissed, tawny skin. I didn’t know you, but I knew I wanted to. Not because of your charm, because of your radiance. People felt lucky when you looked at them, because it felt like you were sharing your happiness. It felt like a gift, crafted solely for their enjoyment. Your kind words and generous smile shone brighter than the sun, and when you felt pain, everyone could feel it. I couldn’t believe it when you chose me. The whole world gravitated in your direction, and you gravitated in mine. The looks of shock I received forced me to wonder what I was doing with you. No… what you were doing with me. I wanted to travel the world with you, live alongside you, learn from you. But eventually, we realized that we weren’t meant to be with each other; and that’s okay. At first, it hurt. I resented you. As much as I loved the feeling of being lit up by your radiance, I hated the feeling of it being ripped away. My sun, my beam of light, my power outlet was being pulled away from me and I couldn’t believe how different I felt. I cried, I lashed out, I felt alone. Nevertheless, I ended up okay. I healed, I went through that process, I learned how important it is to do so. The initial pain is unbearable, but putting it in retrospect, it is essential. Which is why I urge you: keep being happy. Keep lighting up rooms, and filling people with joy. Be someone else’s’ sun, let yourself feel pain, and let yourself grow from it. Make that matter; because if that doesn’t, what else will.