An Open Letter to Those Who Have Left Me Behind

Subject: An Open Letter to Those Who Have Left Me Behind
From: CR
Date: 8 Dec 2020

To those who have left me behind, that is fine. It simply means that you have grown, and you have outgrown me. I am happy for you. But I wish I had had the courtesy of a warning, or even a reason. So often is it that I think of you when I am the furthest thing from your mind. How could it be that one day I knew you, and the next day you acted as if you never knew me? The things we had been through, writing the various pages in in the stories of our lives together…did you tear those pages from your book?
It seems I have written you as more significant characters in my book than you wrote me in yours. Even now, I would still write you in the best light. I would have continued writing.
Years have gone by and I am grateful that you were a character I could write about. Some of you filled several chapters; others only pages. Although I am saddened that you will no longer be in future chapters, I will look back fondly on the lessons and the memories buried between each sentence. Though I mourn past characters in my book, I look forward with excitement with new interesting characters to add. I seek to learn from each, and have a plethora of pages filled with vibrant souls. I will seek to write characters who will not just fill pages or chapters, but whom will be on every page until the end of my story when I have breathed my last breath.
I am not the kind to easily show weakness or pain. I wear my scars proudly, like badges of honor. But beneath those scars are pools of pus and infection, festering throughout my body. Occasionally a rivulet will reach my heart and cause several days worth of intense pain. Some have said that I am the strongest, most resilient person they know. I act like I don’t give a single f*k, but the very sight of you or your name hits me like an invisible train each time. It would be a lie if I said it didn’t hurt when I noticed you celebrating milestones, or having gatherings without me. Perhaps even doing things that we once did. There were many times when I had reached a milestone myself and wanted you there, only for me to celebrate alone in silence. Sometimes our paths have crossed now and again. You are no longer a character I write about, but have now turned into part of the scenery. A familiar looking patron at a restaurant perhaps, a name floating through the air, or a body in a crowd.

I suppose what hurts the most is that I would do anything for you and all of those I care about, when I would not even simply cross your mind. Of course, this is a natural occurrence. Everyone has left someone behind, and everyone will be left behind at some point or other. I have left people behind I am sure. And I am sorry. We all go through it. I have no ill feelings toward any of you. It is inevitable. There is no past in the future, and no future in the past. To think such idle thoughts in any way other than to learn from past mistakes will cause nothing but pain. I know this.
And yet I let such trivial things like social media bother me. When you’d rather follow complete strangers than someone you know. I follow you all but hardly any of you follow me. To see the degree that I have been demoted… even lower to you than a total stranger…it does a bit more than sting to say the least. To have abandoned me like a dog on the side of the road, waiting for you to return, and ignoring those who pull over to help me.

I have let you go in various ways. When I had stopped following you, put away pictures or videos. Put away things you gave me or that reminded me of you. When I stopped listening to some songs. When I stopped checking up on you.
I admit I relapse occasionally. Social media and material possessions are the worst catalyst for this. It is time I stopped clinging to what no longer serves me. To those who have so easily left me behind. To stop trying to force the past into a future in which it does not belong. By doing this I have intentionally kept myself in a state of pain. Not because it was comfortable…but because it was familiar.
The present and the future are so unpredictable…so new. Although I am someone who craves adventure and change, the changing of faces and names is something I never cared for. But it is necessity. A component vital for happiness is acceptance to change. Growth. Without adaptation or growth, life is stagnant.

I have kept myself in a state of suffering for far too long. I have to let you go now. Im not really ready. I don’t think I’ll ever be. But letting you go will be the only thing that will set me free. The memories of you cause more pain than happiness. And that is an issue. I will take the lessons I have learned and leave the rest behind. It is time for me to leave you behind, as you have done for me.

Just know that you are written in my book, and that is something that is forever in stone. I am composed of a book with a thousand pages. I am bits and pieces of everyone i have ever met. My belongings, my random bits of knowledge, words, behaviors, recipes. What is written cannot be unwritten, and perhaps that is what will make me smile most.