Walking away from someone who has been significant to one’s life is something that I’ve been teaching myself to do ever since I was a kid. I’ve walked away from tons of people who’ve made my life enriching; people who’ve made me truly happy. Still, I had to walk away because only the persons who can make me happy are the ones who can anger me beyond control.
I’ve always said that I’m not a wrathful person. That was a lie. I am the most wrathful person I know. And that’s why I avoid conflict—conflict brings out the side of me I do not dare want to see ever again. To be wrathful is a terrible thing to be. It causes nothing but pain—to the self, and to whoever you hate. And it’s not even the beautiful kind of pain—it’s the vicious and the unhelpful kind. You learn nothing from being angry with anyone. You get no good out of it.
So whenever I feel that way about anyone, I walk away, losing tons of people in the process. There’s a select few whom I’ve learned to forgive, and we have remained friends, but I’ve lost more than the people whom I was able to keep.
What does the process of walking away entail?
Walking away means cutting yourself off from another person’s life forever. And you have to live with the fact that you’re never going to be there for him or her again, ever. You’re never going to laugh with him or her again. You’ll never hear his or her voice again. You’ll never know again how it feels like to be the one who he or she turns to again.
The unbearable thing about it is that you can walk away from whomever, but you can’t walk away from the memories you have with him or her. And you’ll never know how it feels like to experience anything close to what you’ve experienced in memory, ever again. Just like what Milan Kundera says, “And therein lies the whole of man’s plight. Human time does not turn in a circle; it runs ahead in a straight line. That is why man cannot be happy: happiness is the longing for repetition.”
So don’t walk away. Walk away and you’ll never get a shot remotely close to repetition.
Because the person you walk away from, the person you leave behind, will always find another direction—the one without you. And he or she will not suffer the guilt of losing you, because he or she was the one who was left behind.
You’re the only one who has to live with walking away.
And I’ve lived with that way too many times. But I don’t want to live with this. I don’t want to live with losing you. I told my friend yesterday, “At one point, I was ready to die trying to save this, than to live with the pain of realizing that I had ruined everything.”