This Time, I Choose Myself


One day you’re going to look back and realize that I was the one that got away.

“I never thought I could have that kind of connection from the moment you meet someone,” he said to me.

It was instant. It was beautiful, wonderful, intoxicating, and surprising all wrapped up into one night. All I knew when I shook your hand for the first time was that I wanted to get to know who you were. I wanted to know not only your top seven favorite movies, but I wanted to know why they were your favorite. I wanted to know the inner workings of your mind. Your hunger for information, research, and recipes was refreshing and enticing. You made me excited about learning and always wanting more. I wanted to learn more about the world, and I wanted to experience it all with you.

We fell in sync immediately. As we sat across from each other in a packed restaurant in Chinatown and I couldn’t keep myself from smiling. Conversation had never been so easy, so effortless, and so comfortable. From then on, there was never a quiet moment between us. I cherished every conversation we’ve had. Whether it was about politics, volunteer work, or trying new foods, we debated fairly and always with a hint of teasing.

We were comfortable in group settings, floating around the room and always finding our way back to each other. I felt confident in our relationship; we were two complete individuals engaging in something quite beautiful. Your love for life and your exuberant joy were the exact kind of Kool-Aid I was thirsty for. You were someone I had been searching for all my life. You were someone I wanted to spend all my days with.

Except you didn’t want the same things that I did. And while I respect everything you want in life and I respect all of your decisions, I was hopeful that wanting me was something you wanted too.

I wanted to call you my boyfriend. I wanted to introduce you to my family. I wanted to introduce you to my friends. I wanted you to want me for today, tomorrow, next month, and next year.

I was faced with staying in a casual fling with someone who did not want a relationship or walking away from it all. The truth is, you cannot convince someone to want to be with you. A true lesson I have been confronted with time and time again. I once heard that life lessons will continue to present themselves in our lives until we confront them head on. This was me finally tackling this life lesson: walking away from something that does not align with what I want.

I walked away. I walked away from someone who made my heart feel things I didn’t know it could feel. I walked away from someone I did not want to leave. I walked away from something I no longer wanted. I walked away for myself.

I miss you terribly. I miss talking to you. I miss feeling safe in your presence. I miss cooking meals in your kitchen, trying all of the mysterious foods in your pantry. I miss all of our conversations and our laughs and the early mornings wrapped up in your sheets. I miss hearing you say “good morning” each time you picked up the phone, even if it was late at night.

No two relationships are the same. No two relationships have the same feelings, or spark, or love. I don’t know if I will ever experience the same instant once-in-a-lifetime connection, but I am confident that I will meet someone who will want the same things I want. I am confident I will meet someone who will want me and all of me.

What we had was beautiful, which makes the goodbye all the more difficult. But sometimes what we want is not what we need.

For now, I will continue to choose myself and follow my heart. And I hope you choose to do the same.