What I remember most is your smile. Dazzling with joy, almost blinding, you were impossible to ignore. Taking a leap of faith, splaying my heart out on my sleeve, I asked, "I'm on my way out, feel like some exploring -- would you care to join me?" From that moment on we were inseparable. Two peas in a pod, as cliché as that may be. You become my confidant, my partner in crime, my love, my sweetpea. You knew you were my first, my most precious. Until you, I had never showed up so authentically, never felt so vulnerable, so brave, so encouraged to be unequivocally me. Your acceptance was my most cherished drug. As long as I had your approval, nothing else mattered, I wanted no other love. Never had I felt so truly heard, so genuinely seen in one of my first ever connections (outside of my family) where I felt truly “me”. There's nothing I would not have done for you, no lengths I would not have gone to, no obstacle too daunting, now these memories primarily haunt me. You will forever be an open ended chapter of my life, and although forever now out of sight, out of mind can never wholly be an option.

When you spend a lifetime (albeit 24 years) feeling unseen, unheard, unchosen you start to believe you’re undeserving. There must be a reason. I don’t deserve it. In loving me you helped me believe in what I had thought was out of reach. I took a leap, splayed my heart out on my sleeve. And after years of rewriting the stories of my conditioning, the unlearning, the yearning, I finally found love for myself from within. I had started to fall in love with myself. And that’s when you came in.

When I accepted your offer to visit you in Bulgaria, I could never have imagined it would be our last time together. From the moment our eyes met, reunited after the pandemic tried to keep us apart, I could sense deep down in my heart that something was different. We were different. Desperately trying to assuage my deepest fears, I refused to stop asking. "Is everything ok? Are WE ok?" Your shrug should have warned me, my gut surly never stopped urging me to fix it. I had to fix it. Holding on to what we once had, I gripped hold of you tighter and tighter until my knuckles turned white. Jonesing for just one more hit of the love we once shared, I refused to relinquish the notion that you still cared. If only I could help you to feel lighter, to look into your emerald eyes and see the unconditional love you once claimed was mine. But all I ever saw was resignation as you continued to try to hide the fact that you had already made up your mind.

I was never given the chance to fight for you. For us.

In a two paragraph message dripping with misjudgement and finality, you decided it was over. We were over. After three years of my most adored connection, you ended things completely devoid of affection.

You pressed send and then blocked me. That was it, you no longer wanted me.

Instead of wallowing and slipping deeper into despair, I decided to do what I felt was fair.

I wrote you a letter.

Dear Ida,

You sent me a message,

But with no way to respond.

Rather selfish of you

To take the last word

Without leaving me even one.

I felt a closeness with you

I’d never experienced before.

Being authentically me

For the first time, free.

There were no curtains, no plays.

No pretense, no fear.

I was myself, to a "t", unequivocally.

To feel so seen, so loved, and accepted

Our bond was important beyond compare

And I cherished what I thought had been there.

You said you weren’t going anywhere.

I believed you.

What a fool you made of us both.

Now you put up a wall, say I’m too much for you.

An old trope to be sure,

But this time, I’m through.

I’m through being worried about these feelings of doubt, old insecurities bubbling up, urges to scream and to shout.

I love myself.

Finally, that much is true.

So, perhaps this is best

And there’s no room for you.

I could sense when you felt I was

too intense, too needy, too jealous, too clingy

Too greedy with your love and your attention.

The more you pushed

The harder I pulled.

An abundance of love,

A yearning to be close,

All I wanted was your touch.

Someone to call home,

You felt like a drug.

I was in a bubble that was bursting,

And I promise I will try not to hold a grudge.

Maybe you are a piece of my puzzle

I was trying to shove

Into a place it didn’t belong,

And now I’m forced to move on.

Thank you for your honesty - finally.

How satisfying to validate my intuition,

My deepest fear came to fruition,

But no longer claiming paranoia,

With the gas lights turned off

I can finally let us go

Knowing I had indeed sensed a distance.

… I just wish that made more of a difference.


I know it hurts

I know you want to run away & hide

But Anna, stick it out


Let yourself cry

There is strength in letting go

What you are clinging to is unattainable control

You cannot change what others feel

You must look inside to help yourself heal

Only then can you be free

Of this desire to please

… now, remember to breathe

Don’t try to numb

You only hinder the potential of you who can become.


Thank you, Ida.

Thank you for showing me your true colors,

So I can make room to find my compliments.

Thank you for finally being honest with me, so I can leave this limbo and start letting you go.

Thank you for the bond we shared and for the lessons, the laughter, and the love.

This is a heARTbreak that ignites creative expression.

So thank you for the sorrow and the longing and the hurt.

Better to feel and know that what we had was real.

They don’t call it "growing pains" for nothing.

And my trajectory is that of a giant.

"Anna, my sweet angel" you once called me

It wasn’t all in my head,

But what we had is now dead.

A fallen angel, I flew too close to the sun

that was your love.

An unrequited promise,

But if I'm being completely honest,

A part of me is relieved to finally break free.

My sense of self is shaking

Bending even

But never breaking.

I will mourn what we had in the very beginning.

Honest intimacy is so precious, so genuine

And forgetably, oftentimes so fleeting.

But give it some time,

Have faith, I will be fine.

A few deep breaths, Anna your heart is still beating.

Look in the mirror

See who you’ve become

How powerful that person is

How self-assured

Abundantly cherished