Chapter Seven: The Break-Up

I left you, and I’m not sorry.

But I miss our friends, our jokes, those countless dog videos.

I ghosted you without warning and perhaps now that the dust has settled it’s time to offer an explanation.

It was never anything personal, never anything you did specifically. In fact I’m glad you’re doing well. But in our latter years I couldn’t help but feel your success left me behind. I couldn’t keep up with your “Carpe Diem” routine, the pressure of perfection, to be ‘beach body ready’ in all aspects of life, the rush to get the new job/car/house/baby, and the competition of celebrations. The constant bombardment of successes as if it all just popped up at the click of a button.

I couldn’t compete with all that. I could never be enough.

As diet culture is to bodies, you are to souls. Toxic.

It took me leaving you to really see that.

Remember when we used to talk about what we had for lunch? Or how crap the weather was. Or simply, what was on our mind?

Instead it became so much about pleasing you, about fitting in, about impressing. You wanted the best for me, which was great. But then you wanted the best of me, and little else. The filtered, fabricated, highlight reel of me.

And I was left to pick up the remains and piece together the bits that weren’t worthy.

Rebuilt as a trash-heap sculpture of secrets, rendered silent in the shadows.

I’m not sure you even realised I left, to be honest.

But then, it was never really about you.

The break gave me space to breathe and find myself again; this rickety, ramshackle version of me that was left. It gave me space to deal with the stuff I couldn’t tell you, no longer brushing over blemishes, but embracing them.

And I learnt something.

I am worthy of the space I take up in the world. Even without your validation.

My less-than-perfect-hasn’t-all-gone-to-plan life can still be celebrated, and shared, and shouted about.

Just as all bodies are worthy of frolicking in the ocean spray.

And I don’t need your likes, or comments, or shares to feel the sand between my toes.

I’m signing out.


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