We pulled the trigger. Or, pushed the button. Whatever. We did something different. We committed.
I know man. It feels fucking weird, right?
Almost 24 years of doing things the same way and hating every second of it. It’s gone now. A fuck-ton of negativity stripped from our shoulders. We are free to do anything we want. We should be celebrating. Flying.
But we’re not. Why?
What did our friend say? You’ve ended a long relationship. Yep, she nailed it. We ended a relationship that was longer than we were married. Longer than all the years we went to school. Longer than almost any other relationship we’ve ever had except for a handful of friends and family.
Whether we liked it or not, it’s absence has left a big hole that we don’t know how to fill.
We’ve dealt with a lot of loss in the past five years, dude. God, it hurt. Even though quitting that job was one of the best things that has happened to us, it’s still a loss. Another loss.
It’s like when that hulk of a man knocked out our teeth. OUR TEETH — body parts that don’t grow back. Remember the sheer panic? Remember how we threw up our forearms in front of our face like a boxer because we knew if we didn’t, we’d lose them all?
I wish we were done. But we’re not. There’s something else we’ve got to lose. It’s something so deeply entrenched, so entwined with who we are, I don’t know where to start. Our losses have come so fast and furious, we desperately cling to it just to have something to hold on to.
That’s why I’m writing this letter. I need your help to move forward but I don’t know how to talk to you. Our relationship is ugly awful. All we know is hate and war. Sabotage and suffering are our daily exchange and it has laid waste to our heart. I don’t know how to reach through all the walls and battlements. Our insides are fortified so completely it’s become a prison.
We’re trapped. When I sit down to write, everything locks up. Everything amazing and beautiful within us can’t get out.
It took me ten minutes just to come up with a list of three things we are good at and five things we are thankful for before I started writing you this letter. I came up with the opposite, the bad stuff, in seconds. The list wrote itself. I’m pretty sure I could pound out another 500 words easily as long as I’m being critical of us. I won’t do that.
We’ve got to figure out how to stop, buddy. We have to abandon the toxic relationship we have because we just jumped off a cliff without a parachute. We can’t just fall while beating the shit out of ourself, we gotta start moving those arms. Up down up down. Gravity isn’t going to stop being, you know, gravity.
We’ve committed to an adventure, not a tragedy, right? Opportunity lies in every direction. We aren’t stuck anymore unless we keep hating ourself.
I know there’s something great locked in the middle of all that fuck inside us. Let’s unfuck it.
And if I’ve built this fortress around your heart
Encircled you in trenches and barbed wire
Then let me build a bridge
For I cannot fill the chasm
And let me set the battlements on fire
— Sting, Fortress Around Your Heart