GUEST POST – writer would like to remain anonymous
1 | the one who taught me the danger of sacrifice.
To my first fancy, the one who made me feel the tingle and excitement of young love. How were you so perfect? The ideal spark of creativity and pop of colour in my life, the perfect complement to my left-brain. I’ve come to realise that you were simply what I needed at the time. Perfect in the moment, but nothing lasting. Your lack of ambition was something we could never look past, and for good reason. Why could you never match my drive, and my constant ambition? Regardless of how good we were together, a lack of ambition has become a key deal-breaker for me. And I refuse to settle.
Thank you for all the fights, #1, you are the reason I’m driven and look seemingly impossible things in the face with a spirit of conquering it. All the demands to travel two hours to see you each day after a 10 hour day at university, and all the fights about me putting in “too much effort” made the distance even worse. How could you not see the bigger picture? I’m grateful that you happened, but I’m more grateful for the lesson you taught me. Thank you for showing me the danger in sacrifice.
2 | the one who taught me that love is friendship intensified.
Friends don’t break one another’s hearts, but you were extraordinarily talented at it. Thank you for teaching me that sometimes we miss the memories, not the person. How could a supposed “best friend” lull me into such a false sense of security, that I gave my heart to you willingly, only to have it torn to shreds without a second thought? You were the one to give me serious relationship red-flags, something that haunted future relationships for years to come. The beautiful attachment during the friendship turned to the ugliest shade of heartache when you left so easily… Leaving me shattered over not only losing my girlfriend but my best friend.
I’m still reminded of you, whenever I see someone sipping on earl grey tea. Or playing with the flyaway hairs from their loose bun whenever they’re concentrating. Enough time has passed to savour the good memories, but dear God, did you break me, #2. I will always remember you for what you should have always been to me, my best friend.
3 | the one who broke down my walls.
To the first girl I ever slow-danced with on a Cape Town beach, the one who was so unexpected and unassuming that the privilege of finding you shocked even me. Were you the right girl, but at the wrong time? Your witty banter, not-so-subtle flirting, constant effort, and passion for the things you loved have become things I now seek in a girlfriend. And you were the one to show me just how two people could be intertwined so naturally. I have no words for the spark you gave me, and when I think of all our good times, I still feel goosebumps on my cheeks.
Distance became the enemy of this perfection. A factor that ended up being so temporary, that ending such a beautiful relationship makes no sense to me in hindsight. The way you seem to disappear and pop back into my life exactly when I need it makes me wonder whether you are my “forever after”. But maturity now shows that people meant for you are constant and ever-present, something you could never be. I’m grateful for finding a girl like you, the one to truly break down my walls and allow me to love without the toxic fear of all that came before you. I love you for what you are, and for what you showed me I needed.
I see parts of you in myself now, and I will always be grateful for that first dance on the beach, #3, because without it, I would never have experienced such unconditional love.
4 | the one whose name I still struggle to utter.
To the girl whom I dreaded writing about the most. How can so much of happiness result in such torture? You were “my girl”, my home and comfort, and the first girl I could honestly say I was IN love with. I will keep a piece of you forever, and will always consider you one of my great loves. With the risk and vulnerability of the feelings I had for you, you turned out to be my biggest lesson in love. For months after, I could not even look at another girl without feeling disloyal to you. The same “you” who spoke words of care and affirmation, but in your actions, was never able to choose me. How could I be so foolish, so attached, to be loyal to a relationship that no longer existed?
I guess that’s the difference between you and I, #4. I love unconditionally, while you love in the moment. I’ve come to realise that the girl I was in love with simply does not exist anymore. But boy did she cause some emotional scarring when she left! Even now, despite all the heartless, selfish things you did after our breakup that absolutely tore me to pieces, I struggle to write anything about you that doesn’t show off your absolute best side.
The nights spent drinking whiskey straight out of the bottle whilst crying over you, and the days spent broken inside over you while I forced myself to work would disagree, but you really were one of a kind and I do miss you tremendously. You’ve taught me so much about myself, of love, of sacrifice, and of happiness. I just pray that one day, I can actually utter your name.
What are some things you have learned from your past relationships?
Enjoyed reading this post? Read part 1 to this sequel