I don’t need another panegyric, telling me that I’m “worth more” or that finding the “right one” will make things simple. I already know that – already know that I am involuntarily wasting my own time, hoping that they’ll one day see me as I see them. What I really need is to learn how my heart can release the emotion that’s hitching a ride on it, like sticky weeds do on your clothes.
It’s been years that I’ve carried this weight. For the most part, I can carry on regardless. But when I am reminded of its existence, knowing that there’s nothing I can do to make it any lighter, it brings me down. Unfortunately, letting go hasn’t proven easy. After all that’s occurred, the feeling should have wilted by now – every petal fallen. Yet, all it does is grow back. Whether I want it there or not, it seems to want me.
Maybe if there was finally someone new, it could be somewhat replaced? After all, they say that the only way to stop caring about someone is to begin caring about another. Though, as much as that sounds like a suitable panacea, I know that – no matter what happens – I’ll appreciate the irrevocable change that happened to me; can’t ignore the indelible mark knowing them has left behind. “Always” is a word for the fanciful, but the fantastical imprint this emotion has given to me is something I’ll struggle to forget.
Alas, I know they don’t see me. I’m a ghost in their eyes. But perhaps that’s my favourite thing? My idolatry of them would soon falter if it became tenable. A tangible reality soon obscures the art of fantasy. Being a wallflower is ideal. Like two characters in a novel, the relationship created can last an eternity. Untainted and unchanged by time. But so can the heartache. The story is so perfect that it hurts to know it can’t be anything more.
They say that heartache is supposed to be a part of life, though. Yet, in order for a lesson to be learned, a balance needs to be met. Without enough happiness alongside it, it can destroy your spirit. Too much heaviness only wears a person down. I’m not asking for anything grand, just for a chance to feel something light again.
Do not mistake my yearnings for validation. That is not something I require. After many years of self-discovery, I am secure in my identity. Due to this, I am copacetic in knowing that the relationship is unrequited and that the other person is nothing more than a beautiful illusion. And, if reality is anything to go by, I think they are best kept that way – a muse for timeless fiction. They are not my reason for sadness. The fact that my heart is unyielding towards what I thought they represented is.
As incredulous as it may sound, I never realised how significant meeting them would be. Serendipity played a wonderful role, crossing our paths. But since the road was made visible, that was when the collision stopped. Admitting that the friendship is not meant to be isn’t something I like to say, especially after forming a connection that initially seemed so poignant; so rare. Nevertheless, it’s a two-way system, and I can’t force them to join me on it.
For that reason, I’m going to continue walking the path alone and greet the new experiences along the way with open arms. In Japan they’d call this philosophy Shoganai – accepting your fate. Whatever life brings from here, I will view it the way I did before we met, but with a newly enhanced vision and wisdom.
Freeing unrequited emotions begins the moment you accept the situation for being out of your hands. Alternatively, consider the experience like a tattoo on your skin or a box in your mind, yes - they're there for reference; they shape our thoughts and next move, but they must not be pined over. What's done is done. Life is never free of pain. Thinking it should be, is a fool's game. Our time is best spent focusing on the kind individuals who support us through those challenges.
Whatever feelings today brings to my world, I know that happiness and good people will always find a way to come back in. All I have to do is keep making plans.