Don’t think for a second that it didn’t hurt me to leave you,” she urges. “Because it was the most painful thing that I’ve ever had to do. It was so, so difficult. It took every bit of strength that I had not to turn around and apologize.”
She takes a deep breath.
“So don’t tell yourself that I wanted to. I didn’t, not at all. But leaving you was the only way I could save myself.
It doesn’t hurt that you chose her. She’s prettier than me, smarter than me, not broken like me. Her smile is bright like the sun, her eyes are as blue as the sea, and her laugh is like the melody of the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. She’s your favorite book, and I’m just a page of it. She’s really the obvious choice. I’m happy for the two of you, honestly. Sometimes I see you holding her, and it looks as if you’re scared to let go. I see her smile up at you, and I can just tell that she’s lost in your eyes. I’m glad that you found love. It doesn’t hurt that you chose her, but you wanna know what does? The fact that I almost had you. You almost loved me. You held me like that, and I smiled at you the same way she does now. But something happened, and suddenly you’re all I can think about, when to you I’m just a distant memory.
I need you to understand that it is okay to have a soul that is both tender and tired. I need you to understand that it is okay to be gentle with yourself, that is okay to feel what you are feeling. I need you to know that it is okay to not be okay, that it is okay to feel sad even if you do not fully understand it. I need you to know that you are the product of what is both hopeful and haunted within you, and it is okay to exist in this world as someone who is simply figuring out how to balance that.
Because this is what they don’t tell you — being a human is a confusing and messy thing. Life will amaze you in the most stunning ways, and it will also break your heart. Life will gift you the kinds of lessons that grow you and build you and help for you to bloom into the person you have always hoped to be, but it will also carry within it the kinds of losses that stay with you, that change you and mould you in uncomfortable ways. Life will demand for you to heal even when it hurts. For you to be brave, for you to fight for yourself. Because at the end of the day, bravery isn’t a battlefield. It isn’t fast cars, or stunted risk. Bravery is the quietest thing you will ever know. Bravery is getting up in the morning when your bones are heavy and your heart does not want the light to ***** within it. Bravery is being gentle with yourself, especially when it isn’t convenient or easy, especially when you are not a shining example of the person you strive to be.
But most of all, bravery is the way you stretch towards the light. It is the way you bloom in the direction of goodness, even when you may not know what you are reaching for. Bravery is allowing yourself to believe that you are growing, even when it does not feel like it. Bravery is knowing that there is more for you, that you will save yourself like you always have before; that you will survive.