I could thank him for all the concert tickets, the shoes, and clothes, the expensive jewelry, the flowers, but that wasn't our relationship at all. That's what people saw and it was superficial, those things don't mean a single thing now.
I never realized how much truth was behind the saying, "you don't know what you have until it's gone."
After saying goodbye to a three and a half year relationship, I look back and reflect on the beautiful moments him and I shared.
We sure as hell weren't perfect, but there are so many things I wish I said to him before it was too late. I'll admit it right here, I took the damn kid for granted and I'll always live with that regret.
What I failed to acknowledge is how valuable the small parts of a relationship are.
He wrote me love letters on every occasion. I wish that in the ones I wrote back I poured my heart out to him in the way I want to now. I always thought there would be more time.
For some reason, we loved to run errands together. We'd stop by the mall or Target or the supermarket for some item with no relevance today, but together we made the monotony fun. I wish I told him that.
Every morning and every night he would be sure to call me so I started and ended my day with a smile on my face. I wish I never rushed him off the phone.
After he worked long hours at his mind-numbingly boring job, he would pick me up and we'd get Wendy's. He would park and end up talking until all hours of the night. I wish I spent a few more hours in that parking lot thanking for him for all he does.
When I had a bad day or was feeling down, he always knew what to say to cheer me up. I wish he was still my go-to person.
I called him the one that got away because that's truly who he was.
The flowers die and the jewelry tarnishes and when the material items fade and the person standing before you is still everything good the world has to offer wrapped up into one single human, you know he has to be the one. In a desperate time of need, he was always there and it's sad to think how I could share some of the biggest parts of my life with a single person and now we have to walk past each other as though nothing happened.
I would not be who I am today if it weren't for his love and dedication.
This realization did not come easy.
The beauty in this pain is that I get to find myself in a new setting, with new people and I get to take this internalized pain and let it drive my ambitions. So in short, thank you, ex-boyfriend, for some of the best years of my life.