Xeno Hemlock


#ThinkAboutIt - The One That Got Away

I'm sorry.

You're upset. You have a hard time breathing. You're very anxious. You can't sleep. You can't eat. You don't want to listen to happy songs, watch funny TV shows, or even indulge in spending time with funny and cute cats, on YouTube, because it hurts. No matter how much you try to smile or try to distract yourself, the pain doesn't seem to just go away. You realise that the heavy weight you carry inside you, the one others will proclaim to understand but can never relieve you with, is only yours to bear. You feel very alone. 

I'm sorry that your heart is broken. 

You didn't ask for it. Nobody does. Who in their right mind asks for heartbreak, their hearts ripped out from their chest, thrown to the muddy ground, and stepped on? Because of your frustration, you pick up the telephone and call the radio DJ. He asks you to share your story, live on air, for everybody to hear either for amusement or concern. He is thinking whether to make fun of you or offer some words of warmth before he plays that sad love song that will surely make you cry, the exact thing you hope you don't have to do. You can't help it. Tears stream down your cheeks as you air out your tragedy to a stranger on the phone and to strangers across the air waves. 

I'm sorry you have to embarrass yourself like that. When very emotional, we do things we later wish we did not that do. I know because I did.

Facebook status updates I would later delete. Shots of alcohol that compromised my health. Uncontrollable tears while having lunch in a restaurant on my own. Rebound dates that didn't interest me in the first place. Embarrassing things I wished I could erase. Alas, I couldn't. You couldn't. On top of the stack of humiliation, tthey'd add up. Terrible. 

I'm sorry you feel terrible, at your worst right now.

You check yourself in the mirror at home before going out to mingle with the world. Am I beautiful? Do I look good? Am I charming? Do I exude intrigue? Is my haircut fantastic? Is my beard long enough? Do I smell good? Can they tell it's cheap perfume? Do I look fat? Do I look skinny? Are my eye bags crazy? When did I get this acne? Does my shirt fit me? Do my shoes look expensive?

I'm sorry that your insecurities are surfacing. I'm sorry that you blame yourself. I blamed myself too.

Was it something I said? Or something I didn't? Did I not show I cared? Was my money not enough? Was my love not obvious? Was I not worth an explanation? Am I not good enough? Am I not worthy? Am I stupid? Am I not deserving of love? Maybe I read it wrong. Maybe there'll be a second chance. What's if there's no second chance? What if it's truly gone?

You think of the love letters, the first kiss, the songs dedicated for each other, the unforgettable dates, the first day you met, the way he made you feel, the way she made you laugh, the times he bought you flowers, or the goofy faces she made. He was understanding. She was sincere. He was thoughtful. She was beautiful. He was perfect. She was everything.

I'm sorry that you have to keep even just a little bit of hope alive. I'm sorry that you're still holding on to that short piece of rope surrounded with thorns. Are you already numb to the pain on your hands? Can't you see the blood trickling? Has it crossed your mind that if you let go, the pain will stop? It's time you throw away those rose-colored glasses you see the world through. It's time you stop living in heartbreak land, falsely believing you're moving on. You're moving, yes, but you're moving in the wrong direction. Your heart and your mind keep chasing the one that got away, in the direction they went to. Healing, the one you should be chasing instead, is the other way around. I know because I had been in the wrong direction too.

Once upon a time I lived in Cloud 9, collecting happy love songs, reading love poems, daydreaming the future with the beloved, and prayed to all the gods and deities my gratitude for having been so blessed with the beloved. Then one day Cloud 9 disappeared, evaporated without any hint or warning. I looked for a hand to hold on to but the beloved, like the cloud, wasn't there anymore. From the azure sky I fell miles down to the cold and pewter-coloured floor, limbs and bones broken, head groggy and confused, and heart and soul beaten. I turned to sad love songs and other sad stories, replayed haunting memories, and sought the seers and mind readers for some validation. Then, like what you're doing now, I spent the following days chasing after the one that got away, hoping for an answer, some comfort, or even a reprieve.

If there's one important lesson I learned in my fall from Cloud 9, it's this - @@when people leave us cold, they have no intention of coming back.@@ 

I kept the empty space previously occupied by the beloved open, in case they return. Until their return, I tried to temporarily fill it with other faces, objects, and thoughts. "It's only a matter of time before they came back", I would assuage myself. But that didn't happen. The pain only lasted longer.

If there's another important lesson I learned, from keeping that empty space wrongfully reserved, it's this - the one that got away needed waking.

I chased and waited for who I thought was the one that got away to come back and I was wrong. Why did I have to carry on a futile chase? Why did I have to put on a pedestal the one who hurt me? Why did I have to keep on hurting? Why did I have to deny myself the truth? I got it wrong, very wrong. I stopped waiting, hoping, and crying. I finally realised the truth. I was the one that got away.

You are the one that got away.

Rise above the hurt and the pain. Fill that empty space they left behind with something so big, so grand, and so important that they will never get the chance to occupy that place again. Ever. 

Fill your face with a smile that will make them wonder why. Why do you look so happy after what they did? Why are you not sad and affected by them leaving you out to dry?

@@Squeeze all that sorrow inside of you and use it to water that seed on the ground@@, the seed of your potential and success, that will make you turn things around in your favour.

Get busy with living your life to its full potential. Go after your dreams. Surround yourself with the right people. Expand your horizons. Make something great out of your time here on Earth. The next time they see you or hear about you, they will not think of that embarrassing phone call you made to the radio. @@Instead, they'll realise they made a huge mistake. They let slip the one that got away.@@

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