I have often heard it is hardest to write the beginning of a novel than it is to write the end. Well writing this letter is no different. How do I begin what are likely to be the last words I write to the only woman I have ever loved. How do I tell her the very things I need to without the fear of knowing that I very likely will never speak to her again. So this is my attempt to explain my feelings an actions so that one day she may know truly how I felt.
I never expected to fall in love, I never wanted to nor felt that it would make my life happier. Years of laughing at the stupidity of romantic movies and novels I was not ready for when it hit me. Like a freight train. I still remember the moment I first saw her across the vast expansive room, waiting at the same crossroads that I was. Hoping that she was going my way. While it was not love at first sight it was perhaps the next best (or worst) thing and over the next few weeks it blossomed into something I wasn't ready for. But I will spare you the details of my complete ineptitude and a bit of bad luck. The end result was unreciprocated love and a series of blunders that forced me to make a decision that would forever define my life.
Society tells us to be bold and strong, confident and persistent when achieving our goals. Starting a new business, striving for excellence in sport, solving the impossible problem these are all things we are told to never give up on. Never give up on your dreams. For to surrender is to admit defeat and be branded a failure. Yet when it comes to love society takes on a different tone. You walk the line between sweet and committed and obsessed and stalkerish. How are you then supposed to be logical when by its very nature love is irrational and all consuming. This is partly why I decided to write this letter.
Our heroes are men and women who fought and continue to fight against impossible odds to achieve their goals. Heroes are forged in battles where they fight against all hope and never give in. Etched into our memories as people who stand upright in the face of adversity for the good of humanity. What all heroes tend to have in common is that they are persistent, enduring, unwavering and brave. The exact same traits that may be seen as irritating when applied to the pursuit of someone you love who doesn't love you in return.
Logic would have put an end to this story quite early and I would now be quite a different person. However love isn't logical it is confusing, exhilarating, painful, joyous and many more abstract feelings but certainly not logical. Love would have me fight a battle that I had little to no hope of winning. Yet I still fought against all odds, my only allies were hope and love all other feelings and emotions having abandoned me long ago. Facing overwhelming numbers, insurmountable odds and extreme pressure I still fought, I soldiered on hoping against hope that there was some truth to my delusions, some way to victory. Against all sense and logic, pressure by my friends and societies inconsistent rules I never gave up. Until now. I was never to be her hero.
I talk of heroism as if I was fighting a war to win for selfish reasons, to conquer, to plunder to claim my rewards. But I am not. This war was never about me. Many of you will think that she was my prize for victory in this war, the trophy at the end, the ultimate goal that I was striving for. Then you should know that you are wrong, victory was never her, her happiness was the ultimate prize, her smile would inspire more joy than any hollow victory could muster in me. I was never fighting for her, I was fighting myself for her happiness.
It was this realisation that convinced me it was time to give up. That I had been an incessant annoyance for too long in her life. I believed that she didn't need nor want me in her life anymore. That even my best intentions were paving the road to my own personal hell. In this moment of discovery I understood that she was better off without me no matter how much I cared about her. I was depressed at first but in actuality it was my chance for happiness, my last hope for victory. I would give up and lay down my arms, I would no longer fight for her happiness but I would surrender for it. This was my way to give her some small amount of joy. She deserved better.
In this week when we are called to focus on those who are mentally fragile in our society I think back to my own mentality. How she tore down the walls I had put up to protect myself and in doing so exposed the instabilities I had kept secret even from myself. Forced to admit my feelings I had to confront my own insecurities to determine whether I was worthy of her. But at the time when I was at my lowest points I was still the happiest I had ever been. She gave me that. She never knew that she was both the reason for my downfall and the reason I survived it. I still struggle, life is never easy and the fact that I no longer speak to her hurts every day. But I live in the knowledge that she knows what she wants and is happy in her life.
The last words she spoke to me before I said my last goodbye, showed she was going through some issues. I had promised myself that I wouldn't speak to her again, but I couldn't help but hope that she was doing OK and that she was happy. The flaw in my surrender was that I could never and would never know this. That was to be my punishment for my mistakes. So this letter is to be my redemption. I will never know how she truly felt about me but I can let her know that I am thinking about her and I hope that she finds happiness. That is all I ever wanted for her.
How will history remember me. Will I be remembered as the courageous hero who never gave in even though little hope remained or will I be seen as the obsessed nutcase who never knew when to give up. My story is unfinished, the final scene unwritten and there is no happy ending in sight but I will continue on my path with hope. One day the winds of fate may blow her back into my life. If that day comes I can only hope that she has found happiness and a purpose in life. And that I am a better person.
In the end I guess this is not just a letter to her it is to everyone who has been in or will be in love with someone who does not reciprocate their feelings. We all have to decide at some point whether it is worth it. I hope that one day she will read this letter and she will know that I always cared for her and still do. That should she ever need me I will be there for her.
I am sorry for everything.
Sometimes the victory is only achieved when you surrender.