In with the Impermanence

“An empty carton of Pall Mall cigarettes. Of course!” I laughed to myself and kept walking down the sidewalk. It’s in these moments I wished I could reach out and let him know.

“Him” being this dude I dated on-and-off for way too long. My latest garbage-day discoveries from “QAnon Neighbor’s” recycling bin was one of maybe three things we had actual conversations about. Why did I try so hard to make something stick with him? And why does it aggravate me that he’s no longer part of my life? Like, block-and-ignore-me out of my life.

I’m annoyed because I’ve had a successful track record of keeping former boyfriends as friends. I’ve never understood where the love goes at the end of a relationship. Like your soul reincarnating when you die, my past loves mostly reincarnate as besties with whom I can eat massive quantities of bar food.

I agree it’s not always a healthy or realistic choice. And everyone’s entitled to spend their emotional energy in a way that aligns with their boundaries. But also, life is short. And if I’ve learned anything in the past year, it’s that connections with people who truly know and see you are precious. (That said, if ol’ boy did not make ANY effort to know or see you…boy bye.)

I constantly assert that people come into your life for a reason, at the exact time they’re supposed to – romantic or otherwise. I’ve clung to this belief so tightly I sometimes forget to let it go. Or am too stubborn to loosen my grip. Not everyone shares my philosophy, nor wants any part in my reincarnation experiment.

The stupid reality is all beautiful things come to an end. Impermanence is a terrible lesson that knocks you on your ass over and over. Whether your friend moves out of town, your favorite bronzer gets discontinued, or your go-to coffee mug shatters during a fit of morning clumsiness…things go away. Even with repeated opportunities to experience this, it never gets easier.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned one of the truest forms of love is to let someone go. Having been on both the giving and receiving side, I know what a confusing, painful, lovely gift it can be.

It sucks to know you’re keeping someone from what they’re evolving into. No matter how much you care or how tightly you want to cling, the kindest thing is to say goodbye. Love sometimes means breaking your own heart to give someone else what they need. 

To be completely honest, my whole reason for writing this is because I saw a jaunty little Easter Bunny adorning QAnon Neighbor’s door today. Since dude refuses to accept any form of communication, I really needed to tell someone. Thanks for being here for me.

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