I spent my New Year’s morning backing up all of my old files on my laptop. Not the most thrilling way to ring in 2017, but it helps me with that whole “clean slate” feeling.
I then went to back up my iMessages. And that’s when I started scrolling through our entire history. I’ve been truly on my own for months now, and I’ve been reflecting on the past and who I was and currently am.
I kept scrolling, thinking I was going to hit somewhere in 2014, when we were still together. I was feeling nostalgic (when am I not?) and wanted to just see the words – see the words I love you that were sent from you to me. (And subsequently from me to you). Instead, I landed on some post-breakup texts. We were arguing and saying incredibly hurtful things to each other. Back and forth we went. Knots began to form in my stomach. So much so that I had to run to the bathroom because I felt physically ill. This is not how I remember our love, I thought. In fact, the way these two people are treating each other – well, that’s not love at all. At least not the way it should be.
For the record, I do know what we had was love. Maybe even true love. I know I fucked it up. I live with that every day. And you know from my recent (and unanswered – don’t worry, I understand why) texts, that I am still very much in love with you.
Those texts provided a much needed reminder, however. Of how much I have grown in the last year. They were so bittersweet to read.
They also reminded me of how much I hurt you. I don’t know if I truly got it until reading them all this morning. The pain I caused you. The hell I put you through. It was this weird, inexplicable epiphany. I instantly began to cry. Hard. Not just because I miss you, but because I was angry at that old version of me. In fact, I hated her. Probably as much as you did in those moments when you told me that hate and love are one in the same. I felt ashamed and guilty all over again.
And the epiphany I had was this: I wasn’t a good person then. I thought I was, but I wasn’t. Not really. I was selfish as fuck. I was rude. Inconsiderate. Especially to you.
That’s a hard thing to stomach about yourself.
I’m really not trying to belittle myself here, but I am being realistic. The person I loved more than anything in this world – I treated like that??? In some ways, I know I must have buried those “bad” memories in a deep, dark place where memories like that go.
I get it now though. Really, really get it. I finally understand everything you had been trying to tell me back then. About why you could never take me back. Why we never tried again.
But it’s a new year. This is supposed to be a fresh start, right? At least that’s what society wants us to tote around. Truth is, you can start fresh whenever the hell you want to. For me, I’ve taken the last year to realize that sometimes we as humans, we are shitty, shitty people. I realize I did not know how to properly express the love I had and have for you. You loved me hard and whole. You taught me that I deserve that kind of love. This version of me. The not so shitty version.
Like I said, I cried. The real, ugly kind of crying. In the middle of it, I also started to semi-laugh at myself. Because I had a second epiphany, too:
I wasn’t a good person then. But I am now.
And I know the old version of me apologized profusely, but as the person I am today, I wanted to apologize for her. She really did love you. She just didn’t show it well.
I really do love you. I know I could show you. I’m even showing myself now. (That may have sounded dirty – I didn’t mean it to).
It’s officially a new year. Taking the morning to reflect on us – taking the last year to reflect on everything – it was hard as hell, but very necessary. I really do understand it all now.
I’m a little late here, but I just wanted you to know.