I once carried a suitcase of stories and dreams. I lugged them halfway across the world to your city, saving every piece to share with you. But when I arrived you had already cut me out of your life.
That was three years ago.
Heartbreaks are strange things: Hearts don't make noise when they are about to break. They don't warn you of an impending tragedy. Instead, a heartbreak is more like a slow, suffocating leak, draining your insides of the little things you used to enjoy, while your mind helplessly plays on repeat all the conversations we've had.
For a long time, I wrote to you in my diary. Day after day of Dear Michael's . At first, I wrote because I missed you, then I found myself missing the idea of you more. When had I long forgot the sound of your voice, you listened patiently to my mine in between the pages. I could tell you everything. You became this perfect idea of love and human connection.
No one else measured up to you. How could they? A flawed human compared a perfect being that lived inside my head.
Still, new lovers attracted me like bright colours to an artist's palette. I experimented vivaciously, but no one painted my world as vividly as you did. Frustrated, I wiped the canvas clean before trying on another colour, letting people in before throwing them out. I hurt me as much as I hurt them. Until finally, I threw away the canvas and got to work on myself.
Healing is a strange thing: There is no hermit-like ritual where you come out from meditation with solutions to all your problems. Healing is more like a long, drawn-out journey of waking up feeling a little more alive than yesterday, and inviting the occasional epiphany that pushes you along the path to growth.
I'm writing one last letter to you because I'm your city for a short while. Beneath my airplane window, the pulsing night traffic reminds me of your art - those colours really do suit you. On some days, I still miss you. Only now I realize that in these moments of longing, it isn't you that I need, but my own love. After all, I had been writing to myself this whole time ...Dear Michael was me giving myself permission to speak the truth of my heart.
The truth, it was far from beautiful. I needed maturity to face up to a flawed reality when I longed for a perfect escape. I needed the patience to understand people for their differences when I selfishly compared them to a distorted ideal. So Michael, thank you for the opportunity to build me up. I hope you are happy wherever you are, because I am.
Today I am dashing across Shanghai's airport with a luggage full of stories and dreams. They are coloured all so vividly from my recent stay in Chiang Mai. And I'm crying not of heartbreak, but because my heart is so full, it's overflowing. I can't wait to share every piece with everyone.