On Letting Go……..

A watercolor painting I made of the sunset in Maun, Botswana.  © Susan Detera Paintings

A watercolor painting I made of the sunset in Maun, Botswana. © Susan Detera Paintings

Travel Quote of the Week:  People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.  When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.  (Author unknown)

This quote was an excerpt from the poem ‘The Reason, A Season, and A Lifetime’ a personal favorite of mine.

When someone walks away and leaves us behind (either a friend, an acquaintance or a loved one) we always end up asking the question Why especially if there is no fight, no argument, no other reason we can think of as to why they left without saying goodbye.  Moving on is often not easy as we are always left with the thought of the ‘WHYs’ and the ‘IFs’ eventually leading to self blame and or self destruction.

When I came across this poem, somehow, it helped me understand the ‘WHYs’….it somehow made me stop thinking of the ‘IFs’.

This poem helps us understand why people, friends and loved ones included, come and go and that why you have to let go and move on.

But what if, this time, you are the one who has to leave someone behind?   Do you still wonder why?

Today, I am sharing something very personal.  It is still very fresh so bear with me for I am going through a different ‘gasm’ journey, another diversion to the long winding road ahead of me.

Tonight, I finally said goodbye to a dear friend….A friend I have secretly loved for almost a decade.  Despite the distance separating us (we lived in separate continents!) we have shared so many things.  I told him that he was the male bestfriend ive never had during my younger years. Although from the start, he made it clear that he only wanted friendship and nothing more, I have at some point fallen in love with him. But Ive never told him for I know he does not feel the same way.

We shared so many things….we laughed and we cried.  We both saw the best and the worst in each other which  complements us both since we often tell one another the things that we wanted to say to ourselves.

He was the reason why I aspired to travel.  He was the one who introduced to me the beauty of Tasmania, a little island in Australia (he was working there then).  I was so fascinated with it that I would always look for Tasmania at the world map telling myself that one day, I am going there.

Another painting I did when I used to secretly love my bestfriend and this is how I fantasized it to be.

Another painting I did when I used to secretly love my bestfriend and this is how I fantasized it to be… in Tasmania.    © Susan Detera Paintings

Finally, my first international work came and it was in one of the Pacific island countries near Australia.  I took the opportunity and went to Tasmania to surprise my friend (secretly hoping that somehow, a spark will fire up between us).  Unfortunately, I met him in Sydney and way too late, he was just in a blossoming relationship with another woman at that time.

For sometime, our friendship became an ‘online’ ‘offline’ relationship until finally we lost communication.  Years passed, both of us had our shares of failed relationships and heartbreaks.

Finally, early this year, we have re-connected again.  He has just had a traumatic break up while I have been at the edge of a rocky relationship with another guy.  As we shared our heartaches and gave support to each other, the ‘what ifs’ emerged again.  Although at some point, I thought there was something already (subtle flirting and attraction) but I guess it was just a spur of the moment thing brought by my confused emotional state and his painful break up.

I knew deep inside that he was not into me as much as I was into him.  And I have accepted that.  Our friendship were strengthened by the fact that we both needed someone to talk to at that time.  He was always there making his presence known.  We would talk for hours until morning.  It came to a point that it was too addictive already. It was difficult to get over with. And by the time I left again for my last humanitarian mission, our connection was inseparable.

Another painting, this time I did for a friend who has waited for a long time for the 'One'.  Now, she is in happily engaged.  © Susan Detera Paintings

Another painting, this time I did for a friend who waited for a long time for the ‘One’.  Now, she is  happily engaged. © Susan Detera Paintings

Then things changed….I could feel the distance grows, not just geographically. He would unconsciously (to some extent intentionally) push me away with the cryptic message of ‘I want to be part of your life but not your whole life’ to which I often responded ‘I know and you do not need to keep on telling me that over and over again!’  Our understanding and expectation of what friendship is differs.  I want to be there for him whether he needs me or not and vice versa.  But for him, I and our friendship will always only be a part of his life…on the side when it is not most needed and at the center of his life when he most needed it.

Until finally I had to let go because the growing distance is becoming more unbearable… it was too painful to even have a normal chat.  I was missing my old dear friend.  I miss our long chats.  I miss listening to his contagious laughter. I miss him reading his new poems to me.  I miss his frequent buzzes on skype or on facebook.  I miss crying my hearts out to him.  I just miss what we used to have. Period!

A painting I did at Iririki Island, Port Vila, Vanuatu © Susan Detera Paintings

A painting I did at Iririki Island, Port Vila, Vanuatu © Susan Detera Paintings

For awhile I thought it was me or something that I did that shun him away.   I confronted him this with the intention of bidding him farewell.  But he refuted my statement saying that it was not me….nothing wrong with me, I have not done anything wrong to him….it was just him, being stupid…feeling he does not deserve anyone.  He begged me to stay and asked me to be part of his life but not the whole of it.  He just wanted to be alone not just from me but from everyone else. I guess I was being stupid too because I believed him and accepted him back.  I even helped him boost his self esteem, making him feel that he is not alone, that I am there for him.  For a few days, I got back my old friend…we went back to the way we used to be……

Then things changed again, this time it got even worse. There was no fight, no reason, we both just stopped. I tried to move on.  But then again it left me wondering with the ‘WHY’s’.  This time, I had to act up and do something.  I texted him that I am missing my old friend.  He replied that he has just fallen in love and is way too slack to correspond to me.  Then he sent me an email that he is sorry for not being in touch because he recently met a woman who he fell madly in love with and was way too busy bonding with her.   We often talk about this moment when we will meet the right person for us and how it will affect our friendship but I dont know why for some reason, the pain is way too much to bear.  To some extent, I was upset and angry for not being informed about his unexpected falling in love twist of fate. I gave him some space to sort himself up always thinking that he is in hibernation and isolating himself from people including me.  I was wrong.  He was not alone anymore.  Indeed, it was not my fault that kept him away from me…..it was another woman, a new found special friend who offered more than just a shoulder to lean on.

It should have stopped there, isn’t it?  No…it didn’t.. questions and more questions of ‘WHY’s’ entered my mind again and again even if deep down, I already know the answers. And I wondered, was this why things changed between us?  Why did our friendship ebb away? Why am I losing the best male friend Ive ever had?  Why did we have to re-connect (more closer this time) only to end up walking in separate ways again? Why do we have to part ways in the end?  Why do people have to change?

Then I remembered  my favorite poem.  I always go back to it everytime I am in a similar situation.  After reading it again, I finally figured out what exactly i needed to do…..accept, walk away and move on…..

I feel that having him find his love of his life is tantamount to losing my bestfriend, my (secretly) love of my life (and the glimmer of hope and the fantasies that goes with it!).  But then again, people come, people go, life is forever changing…..and we sometimes need to let go of the person we love hoping that one day they will come back again…. for good.  And just like that, my friendship with him(or should I say my service…) is no longer needed.  He found a replacement and puts her at the center shoving me on the side…..

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY DEAR FRIEND (some excerpts from my email to him)

I guess for you, I came for a reason, to meet your needs, to assist you through your difficulty (when you were so alone and heartbroken I was there at the right time for you)…I was there for that reason.

For me, you came into my life not just once but a number of times…to make me laugh and to teach me something ………they were real moments but only for a season.

Although I must admit that the last time we re-connected, I did hope you come for a lifetime — not just as a friend but maybe something more.  But as time progresses, I knew this was not the case.  And even if it hurts a bit (with my broken ego!) I still accepted it…………

What can I say now….im happy for you and I will surely miss you? Too cliché, I guess.  I think that we both have done our purpose (and enjoyed our moments).

My work is done here now xxxx.  It is time now for me to move on.  I am walking away from you my dear friend with  happy thoughts knowing that you are happy with someone already.   You have been a big part of my life……..

I guess for the longest time, I have secretly love you more than as a friend but I know that the feeling was never and will never be reciprocated.  And I have accepted that (and kept reminding myself!) even if it hurts a lot especially when you often unconsciously (and intentionally sometimes) pushes me away……

This time xxxxxx, I am letting you go.  I am letting us go for good.

And lastly, …..  it f@#G hurts to lose you and not be able to hear your voice again but this has to happen  …….because finally the SEASON has now ended…….and has changed…….for the right REASON.

Goodbye, xxxx.


A watercolor painting for a friend.  © Susan Detera Paintings

A watercolor painting for a friend. © Susan Detera Paintings

Tears were flowing down my cheeks as I was writing this.  I have never cried this much for a friend….

Tonight I feel shattered….but then tomorrow is yet another day, another new beginning.

I may have lost a friend…and what we used to be will never be the same again, but I am certain that our friendship has taught me a lot of lifetime lessons…..something that I will be forever be grateful of as I carry on my journey.


Categories: Watercolor Painting, Weekly Travel Quotes | Tags: | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “On Letting Go……..

  1. Hang in there Susan! You are such a marvelous talent and kind heart! This season of your life may be passing from your grasp, but another will move in and joy will find your heart. Blessings, Robyn

  2. Such a sad post, I do hope you can move on soon. Xx

  3. Vangie

    Hi Sanzu, this particular moment could be one of the most chilly and cloudy seasons of your life but hang on in there, the dawn is coming and wait till the sun shines brightly and then you will realize that when the night is in its darkest that’s when the morning is drawing nigh. God bless you!

    • Wow, Vangie you got the talent of inspirational writing. Love it! Thanks for being there with me last night. Im out of my dark cocoon now and woke up early…you are right, I feel a lot better!

  4. Thank you for sharing your story and the beautiful poem. I wish you much joy on your journey as you move forward.

    • Thank you for your encouraging words…..I wish I can fast forward the moving on process but I guess there is no short cut to this kind of journey 🙂

  5. During this season, it can be so hard…but life goes on and you will too.

    • Thank you. I guess the thing that makes it difficult to move on is letting go of the good memories – missing all the things you used to do both and the idea of things ‘will never be the same again’. I know that only time can tell but at the moment I feel an emptiness inside — its like I not only lose a person but a good friendship too. But life goes on as you say….it will pass…thanks for your kind words.

  6. Pingback: A Christmas Message of Thanks | Gasm Travels

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