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I Want You to Grow, But Will You Leave Me Behind?

·481 words·3 mins

“If you love something, let it go,” they say. And I used to think that was the silliest saying I’d ever heard. Because I thought of it as referring to abandonment and walking away.

But it was never about that, was it? Instead, it was about loosening my grip on things I was clinging too tightly to. Trusting my loved ones to choose to be with me even if I weren’t on high alert. Trusting the universe to not take away the things I loved the moment I let down my guard.

That made a whole lot more sense. But it wasn’t always easy either, was it? Because I did lose certain things when I stopped trying to force them to work when they weren’t meant to. And that hurt, like all losses.

But a curious thing happened: Once my life wasn’t full of things and relationships I was forcing to work — but really wouldn’t work without a high degree of hypervigilance — there was more room for people and things that were actually compatible with me, my values, and how I wanted to live my life. (Not how other people told me that life should be lived).

And you were one of those new things that I had room for. Someone who resonated with me on a deep level — one I didn’t realize was possible before we met. Prior to meeting you, I was told by others that I wanted too much, that what I wanted out of a relationship wasn’t realistic. Didn’t exist.

And then you unexpectedly showed up — and you were everything I wanted — and a few other wonderful things that I wouldn’t have dared to ask for.

Look, you’re wonderful. Even if you don’t see it, which you usually don’t. Because you’re like me that way. You’re much too hard on yourself. (Makes it hard for me to credibly lecture you about it.)

You don’t see yourself as wonderful. I don’t think you ever will. And because of that, you’re always striving for more. Trying to improve yourself. To change for the better. It’s something I love about you, that you’re always trying for more.

But if I’m being honest, I have to say that this quality of yours is scary, too. Because even though I know that losing people not meant for you is for the best (having lived through it myself), I’m scared that when you grow, you’ll realize it’s me you have to leave behind.

It’s not like I’m not trying to grow, too. I am. But I can’t guarantee that we’ll both grow in a way that’s compatible.

Anyway, I try not to fixate on it too hard, try not to torture myself with the possibility, but on certain mornings I can’t help myself. I’ll find myself thinking I want you to grow, but will you leave me behind?


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