It’s not you. It’s me. That’s what I’m supposed to say, right?
I’m supposed to be tense and feel guilty, find some public, neutral place to break this news to you and then slink away.
Look, we’ve been together for years, but it’s just not the same anymore.
We used to have so much fun together. We tried new things, rearranged the furniture for no reason at all, went dancing. You have always been there for me. Anytime I needed you, you were there, even if I just wanted to watch TV for a while. You never cared if my hair was a mess or my stinky socks landed in a corner.
You taught me so many things about myself. You reflected my insecurities and strengths and without saying anything about them, you gave me room to grow and adjust. Not everyone is so completely accepted.
I admit now, there were some parts of you that I wasn’t interested in, but that’s not a deal-breaker for me. I’m not criticizing you, everyone is an individual and no one is perfect. I loved you for you.
And let’s be honest. There were only specific parts of me that interested you, as well. I know that. I get it. Between us, we had an abundance of material to maintain our relationship. We both gave to it. And we both let each other down once in a while. But we always hung in there during the tough times and made it work. I want to thank you for that.
I’ve heard people say, “You’ll know when it’s time to go.”
And that’s true, but hard to understand until you’ve arrived there.
This year, everything between us was an emotional rollercoaster. There were times we blew hot or cold and weeks where we just weren’t on speaking terms. Relationships go through that and it’s normal and I wouldn’t have thought much of it in the big picture, except that deep down in my bones, for a long time, I knew that we weren’t going to make it.
I can’t really explain why.
But over time, a numbness crept in and I stopped fretting over us so much because it hurt and I didn’t want to live like that indefinitely. I looked for other ways that would make me feel happy. Just to see if there really was another way to move and think and breathe.
There always is.
It’s not that you changed dramatically, but time marches on. This isn’t so much about “you changed” as much as it’s that I don’t smile when I see you anymore. Even if you changed dramatically (and I would never ask you to be something you’re not), I wouldn’t be interested.
But the change is inside me. Perhaps I am finally learning what makes me smile?
And that I really want to smile over this big, beautiful life.
This thought is why it all circles around to land on my doorstep.
I isn’t you after all. It is me.
As soon as I release the idea that I have to blame someone or something, there is only truth and peace. This is actually the way it is and it is okay and I made choices and I can keep making choices.
Yes, if you must know, here at the end of all things, I have been cheating on you a little. The guilt doesn’t hurt like it should. I’m just tired of waiting for you to be attractive again.
The fact that I feel no emotion when I say that is very telling. It sounds heartless. But that’s the point. My heart is no longer in the game.
And that is how I know for sure.
The emotional rollercoaster has been disabled and dismantled.
There is no longer a game in me for you.
For a while, we were exactly right for each other, and we will always have that.
You don’t need me, either, though it may take you a while to believe that truth.
I’ve already cleared out my stuff.
Thank you for everything. I wish you well.
This piece is about me quitting the gym after a dozen years. But…I mean, I could have been writing about gluten.