"You know, it's a hard lesson to learn, but sometimes you just have to accept that some people leave your life forever. You just have to let them go."
Rachel and I sat on the grass in Dolores Park, eating burritos from El Buen Sabor at 18th and Valencia as I took in her eloquent explanation of this sad truth. For the past several years I've been attempting to establish contact with someone who was in my life when I was young, and even though he's been kind enough in his brief email responses to me, I get the feeling that he would be just as happy never to hear from me again. There was no huge fight, no one single issue--we just made each other kind of miserable when we were teenagers and then as we became young adults it didn't seem to improve. I've had several longer-lasting and more serious relationships since this one, but now, nearly a decade later, I continue to be deeply affected by what I imagine he thinks of me. At this point, it hardly seems I have any better option than to let it go.
I think that what I really want is the opportunity to have a do-over. Not the relationship itself but rather the conversations surrounding it. I was such an impulsive, angry adolescent when we knew each other, while he was articulate and calm. It kills me that that is how I am etched in his memory considering that, just like him, I've grown up.
But then I have to ask myself whether, if I ever had the opportunity, showcasing my developed maturity and gracefulness to him would actually change anything for me. In truth, I doubt it would. The only truly graceful thing left to do is to take a deep breath and let it go.
I'm still working on that part.