Lead Paint

 

“Best not to mix the past with the present. The present paints the past with gold. The past paints the present with lead.” ~Henry Rollins 

 

My dear friend, haven’t you learned by now that lead paint is deadly?

 

While it looks pretty and shiny and even new on the outside, it is toxic. Lead gets inside and slowly poisons your entire body. 

The same can be said about toxic people.

I can boldly say these words to you because I’ve experienced a full overhaul remodel of my life. I cut out the emotional baggage and toxic people who kept holding me back, like a lead weight, from becoming the woman who stands so confidently before you now. 

This was not easy, and for good reason, because nothing right and good and permanent is ever easy. However, as you know, none of this is anything I haven’t already shared with you.

But there are a few things that bear repeating…

Sure, everything looks great and wonderful and glorious when you’re constantly playing the highlights reel – but where are the cuts? 

Were they set on fire by your desire to look back and only remember the best… or are they locked away in a secret trunk, waiting for the day you’re finally able to open it and splice them back into the golden memories? 

Are you afraid to let go of your past because you feel that it defines you; that you’ve used it as a crutch for so long and you don’t know how to function without it?

When will you take off the proverbial rose-colored glasses and remember why you chose to walk away in the first place?

I’d be remiss if I said I didn’t understand why you are feeling this way and doing these things – I’ve been there so many times in my life I’ve lost count. I respect that this is your journey, your choices, and your life.

I am just a spectator on the sidelines, hoping you will make the right moves to win this battle within you. 

I will not try to steer you in my direction or try to change your mind, however, I will not push you away either.

Perhaps this is a good time to mention this since it is something I recently realized about myself… I’ve never experienced true love, in the romantic sense that is. My first experience with true and completely selfless love was when I gave up my daughter for adoption.

Romantic love, in my experience, always had attachment, idolization, chaos, and control associated with it because of my fucked up formative years. I completely understand attachment – love, not so much. So suffice to say, you’re somewhat right in that I don’t know what it’s like to have a lingering feeling of true love. This whole romantic love thing is something completely new to me.

When I met you almost four years ago, I felt a spark of connection with your soul. It was such a foreign concept to me, but it felt good, so I reluctantly let those feelings stay.

Perhaps it was some form of love mixed with maturity and hard-earned wisdom in matters of the heart when much to my dismay, you chose another over me three years ago. I let go of the attachment I felt to you, so you could seek your happiness elsewhere. I’ve never done that before, I’ve always taken the selfish and needy route and fought for my place in people’s lives and for validation of my feelings.

It hurt incredibly to let go, but seeing you happy made it easier. From what I’ve read and been told, that’s what real love feels like and how one behaves when they understand the concept of love.

But let me say, I am glad it played out that way because I still had changes to make and mountains to move. The timing was off.

However, somehow the fates thought our story wasn’t finished yet and here we are again, almost three years to the date; I am ready to let you go once again to seek your happiness away from me.

Yes, it still fucking hurts – I’m tearing up just writing these words.

But if your ghost of love makes you happy, who am I to stand in your way? I want more than anything for you to be happy and to create a life just the way you want.

It’s taken me a long time, with a lot of hard learned lessons and tons of battle scars, to get to this point; to confidently say I will step aside so you can go recapture some ghostly memory of what once was. I, and other friends of yours, and even you, know it’s a mistake – but it’s your decision and I respect that.

Go on, my dear, and chase your dragon.

I pray that you are able to capture and slay your dragon and silence once and for all your inner demons that are the source of all this chaos within your mind.

There is a world of difference between chasing the dragons of the past and finally confronting and conquering them. There is also a world of satisfaction to be had when you arise victoriously. And I know you will, because you are a warrior.

I respect and appreciate that you chose to remain distant from me because you understand the concept of “hurt people hurt people”. It is things like this that grow my trust in you – and for me that is huge after the pain of betrayal I’ve experienced so many times in my past. Know that when I say I trust you, it means far more than love in my book.  

And while I want nothing more than for you to finally take a chance on me, on us, and take my hand, I know the timing is still off.

Just because I am ready for you and this journey doesn’t mean you are, or that you ever will be.

Because my dear, if and when you finally choose me, I want there to be no lingering doubts in your head that this is where you want to be. I know the dangerous pull of “what if”. I know it can slowly erode even a good and solid foundation.

I don’t want to be waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop because I know from many past experiences that is no way to live. I don’t want to constantly look through the rear view mirror while we are together because the road to the future lies ahead of, not behind us. 

Just like before, I’m not going to go out and attempt to replace you because you are irreplaceable. Obviously I have things I still need to change and work on – as with all remodels, there is upkeep.

However, I will not allow myself to sit on a shelf and collect dust.

Should another man come along and rock me to the core as you have, then none of this was meant to be after all.  

I won’t stand stubbornly in your way trying to sway or convince you, mess with your head, or make demands of you, like the past version of me would’ve done.

Nor will I compete with the ghosts of your past or give recognition to the naysayers in the present.

This is by no means goodbye because I believe that we will be thrown back together by the universe until we get whatever it is we are supposed to do or learn from each other right.

I hope you are able to have the wonderful life you have envisioned in your mind, even if you are settling for less than you truly deserve, to achieve this fairy tale of love; if not that, then I hope you find the much-needed closure your soul needs to be free again.

And with all this being said, just like three years ago, I will say once again:

If it doesn’t work out, you know how to find me. 

And I have no doubts you will.