I didn’t have a chance to write you a letter on your birthday, but it wasn’t because I didn’t have time. It was just too hard to go near the subject of you and us on that day, because before you broke up with me, I was really excited to help you celebrate your 30th birthday in grand style, and I wanted to do something really special to surprise you. It makes me sad that I never had the chance to do that, and instead I had to settle for a really lame text message that you probably didn’t even read.
I keep going through waves, where sometimes the pain of losing you starts to recede into the background of my awareness, only to be jolted back into my daily, primary consciousness by something like your birthday coming around, or a new profile picture on your Facebook page. For example, I saw that you have a new profile picture of you with Teryl flashing the sign for turning 30, and you look really happy in the picture. I am annoyed that you can be so happy while I am so miserable, but more than anything, I am hurt that you don’t seem to miss me at all. I know that your dating profile wasn’t written to me, and that makes the answers even more hurtful, because they make it look like you just got out of a relationship that made you completely miserable and that we weren’t compatible in any way, and it also makes it look like the only thing you miss about our relationship is all of the movies that we used to see together.
I am glad that you are happy, but it fills me with self-doubt to see how much happier you are now than you were with me. You don’t even seem to have had that much pain or sadness that you needed to process that was related to the end of a five year relationship. I’m also very angry at you for reasons completely unrelated to my legal situation and your callousness in that regard. I’m also angry at you because you still have so much power over my feelings, and because you can still make me hurt for the loss of you and miss you with an stinging, burning intensity that, when I feel it, has barely diminished in over four months. It’s true that I feel it less frequently, but when it strikes me, it does so with the same force as it did immediately after we first parted ways. In fact, sometimes it is even more painful, because I can see that it isn’t diminishing or improving at all.
I saw you that you were on Okcupid on your birthday in the late afternoon or early evening, and I wondered if you were saddened by your age and your current situation, and I was hopeful that at least a part of you missed me and what we had together. I really doubt that that is the case, but at the time I felt nothing but empathy and kindness towards you for not being where you wanted to be at age 30. At the same time, most, if not all, of the blame for that lies with you, because you are the one who decided to leave me. I don’t know if you’ve gone on any dates yet or not, but I think that once you start dating, you will see how awkward and painful it can be. When you come to this realization, I hope that at least part of you can recognize the things about me that were unique and special, and that you miss those things, as well as the way that those qualities (and your special qualities as well) contributed to a relationship that was actually pretty special. I also wish that you could show me just some of the kindness and empathy that I felt towards you on your birthday, and that I tried to show to you in the only way I was able (a text message). I risked jail by doing so, but to me it was worth so that you could know that I was thinking of you on that special day.
I don’t know why it is so easy for us humans to destroy things. We are creatures that are capable of amazing feats of innovation and creativity, and we routinely bring beauty into the world in ways that bring one to tears, and on a scale that takes my breath away. Yet for all of these amazing achievements, we are even more fluent in the language of destruction, and for every one act of creation there is at least the equivalent destructive act, if not more. Beyond the obvious and grandiose examples of destruction there are the human relationships and the spirits of those involved who we destroy on a daily basis. We think nothing of shattering someone’s fragile sense of self-worth, or of breaking their heart, so long as we ourselves move towards our own vision of happiness. In doing this, we fail to see that we are sabotaging our own happiness in the process, because, through our selfish cruelty, we are draining the world of the pool of happiness from which we all must draw. Instead of finding our own nirvana through our individual “quest”, we are punishing ourselves at the same time that we are punishing those around us, because we tarnishing the love that we all must share, and tainting it both for ourselves and others.
I doubt you will ever read this, or that you will ever come to the same conclusions about love and happiness that I have arrived at, but I hope that you can discover at least an inkling of this truth that I believe helps us to explain the world. I also hope you had a happy 30th birthday, and that your upcoming decade is better for you than the last one was.