I’m here in front of you, looking at your hardened, gray face, trying to remember what it was I saw in you in the first place. I once thought you were the most confident person I had ever known. I once believed that you couldn’t be broken by any person, thing, or situation. But you’ve given up – at least, most days it feels like you have; on me, on yourself, and even at times on those kids. I don’t know what I’m supposed to think anymore, or what I’m supposed to say to you. But I do know that we can’t keep travelling the road we’re on; it’s narrowing and heading into the woods, and as the time goes by, it’s growing dark.
I used to like you. There was a time when I felt that I had found everything I ever needed in you, and a time when I believed that unhappiness was a word only used in made-for-T.V.-movies and dollar-store greeting cards. I loved how your hair felt on the pillow at night, and how your laughter was genuine and your smiles plentiful. I remember catching glimpses of you from time to time and being overwhelmed by a sense of pride from all that you had become, and all that you were to so many, including me. But I can’t even touch you now. I can’t hold your head in my hands while you cry because it does nothing but make me resent you. I can’t run my fingers over your chest because I know that it’s where your changed heart lives. And I can’t touch you with my eyes because they see you as differently as they ever will, and the person they see is not the same as they once were. My eyes can’t touch you anymore, because there is no you anymore, there is just a shell of who you used to be wearing the clothing I once bought for you, and even that doesn’t look the same.
One can only believe in so much in their lives. One can only hold on to something as long as it wants to be held, and it feels as if the hourglass that once contained the grains of joy, sacrifice, determination and respect has not only run out, but has fallen to the hard tile floor, shattering pieces of you in places that I can’t reach or can’t see. I can’t fix you. No matter how many sad songs I listen to, or brainy quotes I read, I can’t fix you. You’re broken, and you’re shattered, and I’m afraid that one day a piece of you is going to cut me when I least expect it and I’m tired as fuck of bleeding over you. The hour has passed and time is no longer a privilege.
So you have a choice. You can choose to travel the wooded, darkened road you’re on; your feet cut from shards of glass and covered in the sand that once was the foundation of your beauty and your soul, or you can turn around and walk in my direction. If you go forward know that you are going there alone. If you turn back, know that I will be waiting for you with shoes. Forward means solitude. Back means support. Forward, a figurative death awaits. Back, an actual life awaits. But I can’t make this call for you... this one thing, you have to do on your own.
I used to like you, Me. I used to like the things you did, and things you said, and who you were. But I don’t like you anymore; in fact, I hate who you’ve become. So, change. For us both. All one of us. We need you to.
Counting Down to the Middle-Aged "F" word