This letter is to all of the men who never manned up or wanted to man up. It’s recognition of those that have hurt me. Through my twenties, I have learned to not only appreciate the memories, but also appreciate the hurt. I wouldn’t be where I am today without what I went through yesterday.
I wanted to take a minute and truly thank you.
Granted, at the time when my heart was bleeding, I couldn’t grasp the beauty or lessons in the grief and pain. Looking back now, I can say without sarcasm or anger that I do not regret.
Like many women today, I am an independent and driven woman. I have career goals and “to do” lists of things I want to do before I settle down fully. I may seem tough on the outside and sometimes even ruthless, but I’m still soft on the inside. Those that know me know that I wear my heart on my sleeve, fearlessly jump when live deems worth it, and I’ve gotten hurt more often than I’d like to admit.
I’m thankful for those that jumped on the roller coaster journey, even if it was for only a moment in the grand scheme of things. Those that embraced the journey and encouraged it taught me how to be spontaneous, to live, and to seek more.
As fast as it started, it burned down in flames, and for that I thank you too. It would have been too exhausting in my journey to constantly keep up with the excitement and look for the next great adventure. I learned through being engulfed with the wild child lifestyle that it’s okay to appreciate something as dull as grocery shopping because it can be a great adventure as long as you are with the right person.
Thank you, to all the assholes that disappeared or “ghosted”. I’m not going to sugar coat it…it was a dick move. I like to think you felt even an ounce of remorse or guilt for man up. However, through your thoughtlessness I learned to lean on my girls and saw who mattered most in my life. I learned to stop beating myself up for why you didn’t call or why you weren’t interested and learned to love myself no matter what. That realization of self-love is invaluable.
Thank you to those that searched for better. Through your own selfishness, I can respect that you not only saved me time, but you taught me to look for more. I know now that whomever I choose to settle down with, I won’t just settle. I’ve learned the value in appreciating not only who I am and what I have accomplished, but I now seek those who have likeminded traits. My friendships and relationships have become more fulfilling because through the hurt I have realized what is important and what can be cast aside. Life is too short.
Thank you to the one I’ve had the drunken, early quintessential twenties screaming fights in the bar. I’ve learned not to confuse drama with love. I’m thankful for those bawling your eyes out moments, because with any level of pain, you experience growth. The emotions that were triggered were not only lessons of what I didn’t want, but also lessons of who I wanted to become. When my insecurities were exposed, and I learned to control the effect others have on me.
Thank you for cheating on me. It wasn’t about what I did or didn’t do to you. I wasn’t there coaching you and forcing you to take the actions or say the words you did. Knowing that I am not at fault has been a weight off of my shoulders and easier to walk away from a toxic relationship that much easier.
Thank you for those that let me drown in my sorrows. I found strength in my loneliness and learned to appreciate my own independency again. It’s easy to confuse reliance with love in any relationship. Through that significant change, I was able to come back to who I truly was.
Thank you for being insecure of my drive and life goals. It showed me not only that we weren’t compatible in what we wanted out of life, but also it showed me that the right one would see my passions and want to challenge and encourage. You would have only resented me in the long run, and that dead weight isn’t healthy for anyone.
Thank you for each being a blip in my life experiences. I believe each of you taught me something about myself and about how to love. Despite all of this, you taught me to recognize who I really was and love myself more than anyone could ever love me. I learned the importance of keeping my identity and the value of my friendships. More importantly, I learned what I wanted and didn’t want with each one that hurt me.
You taught me that just because I saw the “white picket fence” and was cloud 9 in love with you, there are certain things I, without a doubt, cannot settle for.
You taught me to forgive and truly forget.
You taught me that someday, someone worthy will claim my heart. Furthermore, they’ll man up and know how to take care of it. They won’t hesitate because they are scared. They’ll know that being scared is a great risk worth taking.
I don’t regret my experiences with any of you. I don’t regret the pain because with each crack in my heart, I know that I have learned to expand its capacity. You were the best and worst for me, and I’m grateful that I will remember the sweet and the bitter.
For all of this, I will forever be grateful, but I don’t have to keep you in my life to move on. I forgive and wish you a lifetime of happiness, but the gifts stop there. Just because I have forgiven you, doesn’t mean that I want to open that door. Moving on is my own gift to myself.