journal entries

learning to love the rituals of letting go

Yesterday, October 29th, was the birthday of the first girl I loved. I haven’t actually spoken to her in years, not since long before I left Seattle. I’ve sent her a few emails, called her when I came through town, but we haven’t actually talked.

I almost emailed her yesterday. Nothing heavy, just hi, how are you, hope all is well, happy birthday. I’ve done this on every birthday of hers, I think, since we met seven years ago.

I didn’t send it, though.

I am still sad that she and I are not friends, and do not keep in touch. If she made an effort to contact me, I would meet her energy. But clearly, if she wanted me in her life, she would put some sort of bid for connection out to me, and she hasn’t, she doesn’t.

Funny that it corresponded with the last post about The Ex-Girlfriend and how I need to let her go. This ex, too, I need to let go.

It’s a challenge – I would really love to be friends with my exes, and I’m not actually friends with any of them. We’re on speaking terms (all except Callie). It seems strange to me that we fall in love, we value someone so deeply, want to spend all our time with them, consider them to be one of the most important people in our lives, but then we don’t – or can’t, or aren’t capable of – keeping them in our lives, maintaining a friendship and relationship. And I’m talking about the short-term people I dated, really, but the real deals: the significant ones, the ones I deeply loved and who I thought deeply loved me. Isn’t that enough to maintain some sort of connection, some sort of friendship?

This struggle for me is not new, really; since my first major breakup with the boy I’d been with for nearly five years, I’ve wanted my exes to be in my life. I understand now, better than I used to, that there needs to be some time apart, some separation to re-discover ourselves individually and to re-calibrate ourselves.

I wish we could at least stay in holiday-card touch, communicating a couple times a year with the significant updates.

But meanwhile: I am attempting to let go of expectations of someone else behaving in a particular way. We aren’t in touch anymore. It’s sad. I am letting go of that last bit of hope I’ve been holding on to, tossing it off a bridge, letting it take flight.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

One thought on “learning to love the rituals of letting go”

  1. Dylan says:

    I've thought many of these same things in regard to my own exes. I don't think after someone fills your heart in the way our intimate relationships do that you'll ever truly let go, move on, forget. Every now and then I think something stirs in all of us that makes us want to reach out and connect again, but like you, most of us don't act on that impulse… because it's better for our hearts and our heads to just allow for that fleeting moment to pass.You are so right though, how can those who are so important to us for so long suddenly be as distant and disconnected from our lives as a complete stranger.

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