I’ve always aspired to have a love like I’ve seen in the movies. The big romantic kind of love that has captured my heart since my pre-teen years. Of all of the boys I’ve dated, I’ve made the fantasy version just a little bit better than the reality. It’s all I’ve wanted for so long that sometimes I catch myself creating a better version of someone in my head than how they really are. And for one person in particular, I’ve let this fantasy version consume my reality for far too long.
When I was in high school, I met someone who I wanted to be the one so badly that I tried to manifest it. For the last ten years, I’ve wanted this person to be the version in my head so badly that the reality just disappointed me over and over again. It’s been ten years of this fantasy version seeming so great that it’s hard to imagine letting it go. Impossible even. But… Deep down somewhere, past the movie expectations, past what I hoped it would be, I know that it’s something I need to let go... but the small what if lingers in the background. It’s that feeling of maybe someday that has kept me holding on for dear life. But also, it’s the feeling of comfort and ease that took ten years to achieve that I don’t want to imagine losing or having to recreate with someone new. It’s a tough internal battle that I’m still fighting. And to be honest, not sure will ever become easier. At least not in the foreseeable future.
I still remember every detail of the day we met. They’re so vivid in my memory that I can’t fathom brushing it off like it never happened. I remember the blue button down and khakis he was wearing, the cologne he smelled like, and every word that we spoke that day. I remember adding him on Facebook and the first message he sent to me. I remember the whole day and I was 17… Now, I’m turning 27 and I still feel like that 17 year old girl on a ski trip all over again. And it breaks my heart.
There are dozens of sayings that mothers and best friends have told heartbroken girls to lessen the pain and make it seem like it’s all part of a bigger reason. I know because I’ve told them all to myself over the years. But for whatever reason, this time the words aren’t helping because I’m facing something that hurts my heart more than any "break up" I've known. I know that I need to chalk up the loss and walk away but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. And it doesn’t mean I want to. Wrapping it up puts a finite end to it, and I'm not quite ready to do that.. but I need to. I am quickly realizing that if nothing has come out of the last ten years that it might be time to hang up the hat (and for real this time). And I’ve tried before. I’ve gone through phases of “for real this time” that I end up going back to. Again and again. It’s a pattern that really needs to come to an end because the fantasy I’ve created is just that… a beautiful fake version that I’ve wanted to happen for so long but in reality is just a series of “wish you were here” texts and actually seeing each other once every three years.
The truth of it is that I want to be wanted; I want to be so loved by someone that they can’t picture their reality without me in it. I want to not have to have a fantasy version because reality is just. that. good.
I deserve that.
We all deserve that.
What is the craziest of all to me is that the thought of not having this person to send a text to or send a snapchat to when I feel like talking to someone outside of the four walls of my house already hurts my heart more than any breakup I’ve ever been through. It’s been ten years of this that my heart shatters at the thought of actually calling it quits.. Perhaps it’s because of this fantasy version I’ve created that this hurts so bad, or maybe it’s a phase, but either way it has consumed me. In the back of my head, I think I knew that it wouldn’t be the two of us at the end of it all. I have my life and he has his, and other than a text message and occasional phone call, we don’t exist in each other’s. That’s the harsh reality of it. I don’t expect anyone to get it or to understand. I barely do myself... All I do get is that I can’t continue to sit here and gamble on the what if. The realist in me needs to embrace and enjoy what memories I do have from these years, but also pack them up in my diary and maybe revisit them when I’m 80.
And so for now, I will continue to love love. Just maybe not this love. I need the new version of this fantasy to help me put the old to rest once and for all. And in the meantime, I need you to know that I have loved the fantasy version of you… but it’s time I let reality take control and say goodbye to the you I wanted you to be and understand the you you actually are. Even through the tears I have fought back writing these words, I know it is the best move for me. And so I hope your next version of me remembers every detail of the day she meets you and that you never take that for granted.
Author - mallory
I've always lived a wild life, so here I am to document it for the world... be ready for some fun adventures, xoxo.