This is how I chose to live again.
I threw away empty bottles of cologne that were stuck in my apartment drawer since I moved in. I didn’t realize I’ve emptied several already, and one of them has a little bit remaining in it, so I squeezed it on the palm of my hand, rubbed them together just to smell it for one last time.
Still good. Still smells good. And still brings back a few good memories.
But yesterday at the grocery store, I spent ten minutes in the perfumery aisle asking myself what to buy. Part of me wants to pick the blue one again, just like what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks. Smelling it reminds me of good times. Of good someone.
But then I chose to pick up the green one. Jellybean, as it says on the bottle. This was my childhood cologne and I even wore this up until when I was in college. I opened the bottle and sniffed it, and smiled.
This is my scent. This has always been my scent. My own.
And this is how I chose to live again — to finally choose what reminds me of myself again over what reminds me of yours.
This is how I chose to finally tell myself to stop so I can breathe. This is how I chose to not hate you.
Because I hated hating. Hate is such a strong word and it makes me cringe every time I hear it from someone close to me. I hate feeling hatred, and I do my best not to hate anyone. Yes, I get mad. Yes, I freak out. But as much as possible, I don’t want to hate anyone. Or anything.
But the past few weeks were torture to my emotional stability. Living in this city didn’t help. Although I would like to admit that I was falling in love with you, while I was falling in love, my heart was falling into pieces as well.
It’s not the kind of falling-in-love that anyone wants to feel, believe me. No one ever likes to wake up realizing you’re in love, and instead of waking up with a smile, you’re waking up in tears, because the love that you have is just going to waste.
But I chose to cope, for a while. And this is how I coped: I wrote a letter.
Carefully crafted in several sleepless nights, I chose to put it in an envelope but decided not to seal it yet. Just in case, I thought to myself. Just in case I can wake up one morning, with all of your traces in my mind and heart gone. That way, I can just choose not to send the letter anymore.
Of course, it didn’t happen. The worst part is that every morning got worse. Each day I realized that I was falling in love but falling apart at the same time, I grow to hate myself. Why did I ever let this happen to me?
And with that, I grow to hate you as well. This is why I chose deactivate instead of block, and unfollow over unfriend. This is why I also chose to finally seal the letter that was made a few weeks back, and went out from work early just to make it on time for it to be shipped to your address.
This is why I chose to send the letter – to let you go. This is a race between letting you go and completely hating you. It’s never a win-win, if anyone will look at it, but I’ll always choose anything else over completely hating you.
This is why I chose not to put my own address as the return address — ’cause I don’t want the letter back. Just like the blue cologne bottles, I don’t need it in my life anymore. If the letter doesn’t reach you, I wouldn’t know. As long as my heart is at rest — not loving you and not hating you either. As long as my heart is at peace.
And one of these days, you will receive the letter and you’ll be able to answer all the questions you have in your mind while reading this.
In the end, I chose to write my love and let these feelings go. I chose to say I give up instead of fighting for it, because it won’t make sense for me anymore to fight for it.
I chose to live. I chose to wake up happy. I chose myself over you. ‘Cause I just realized, it’s always my choice. This time, I chose myself.
And this is how I did it: by letting you go.