[it’s where you could find me when you couldn’t find me anywhere else]

Everything in Between (Chapter 2)

BETWEEN HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO

But the end is not just a period. It is more of a thousand exclamation points in your heart and a million question marks in your mind, plus a bunch of other signs and symbols you cannot comprehend. You try to decipher what they mean and you get obsessed with finding answers. “What happens next?” you ask yourself over and over. But, most of the time, you only find the answers when you stop asking questions.

Until then, you are stuck. You are stalling. And the end keeps pulling you back. Because when you are at the edge of a cliff, you always have to think twice about taking another step forward.

I knew I was not making a lot of progress. Every time I thought about starting another love story, memories would come flooding in, drowning me in a sea of regret and longing. I nourished the what-ifs and could-have-beens. It was like every time I took a step forward, I would take two steps back. I was still secretly holding on to my past relationship, oblivious to the fact that when I fully let go of it, I would fall in the right place.

One of the hardest things in life is forcing yourself to forget things that made you happy just because it is over. The more I forced myself to forget, the more I remembered. I got frustrated when I burned all our pictures together and realized that his face was forever engraved in my memory, that I already memorized his every expression, that I could see his smile even in my sleep.

Most of the time, people cannot let go of all the hurt because they are reminders of a good love story in the past. They hold on to those shattered pieces of their relationship. It is like watering a piece of firewood, the stupidity and pointlessness of it all, and hoping it will still grow, bear fruits and flowers, and live on. Only when they let go of everything that is weighing them down and holding them back will they finally have closure and move on.

But the end is like a magnet pulling you back, making it harder for you to move forward. You see the whole world going on at its usual pace and you are the only one who’s left behind, and you break down at the unfairness of it all.

Here is to teenage romances and not knowing why they hurt like hell. Here is to falling in and out of love and running in circles. To those nights I wish I was older, better, and wiser in judging people. To songs that make me cry. To those moments I get lost in reminiscing. Moments I cannot take back.

After a while, I got tired of crying and moping around. I stumbled upon the realization that people are always going to hurt me and I will encounter more endings than this, but this is not how I want to experience the end. As much as it gave me pain, it also gave me a lesson.

Life goes on. So do I.

I gave myself another chance. This time, I told myself, I should have totally moved on before I met the new one. I was afraid that I might mistake companionship for love. I was scared that after going through a whirlwind of pain and loneliness, I might fall for the first person who would show me that I was not alone. I did not want to make the same mistake and walk along that wrong path again. This time, I told myself, I will rescue myself before someone else does.

And so, between holding on and letting go, I didn’t have to choose. I simply had no choice.

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