November 28, 2023

I’m Just Quitting You.

I’m not quitting life, I’m just quitting you.

I won’t stop working in my garden or running or folding laundry. I won’t stop my life. I’m just stopping you.

There are new poems inside me, just waiting to form. I feel the words simmering beneath the surface. I will not stop writing and thinking, and jotting down my ideas.

I won’t stop being the best version of myself I can be. I won’t stop striving to live my best life. I will simply stop being the version of myself I don’t recognize, the one I’ve created, the one I’ve cultivated, because I think it will keep you around. It’s the version I pulled out of a magic hat each morning. The one used to survive.

I won’t quit my self-care. I won’t quit trying to feel good in my skin. My night job is over, but I’m not quitting my day job. That’s the one that keeps me sane and pays the bills.

Darling, charming, manipulating man. I’m just quitting you.

I want to look myself in the eye again. It’ll be the look of confidence. It’ll be the look I have when I’m in the front row clapping for myself, bright, and merry, and beaming. It’ll be the standing ovation look.

I’m not quitting hope. I won’t let go of my spark, my light. I won’t say goodbye to my inner flame.

Sweet talking, good looking, lying man. I’m just saying goodbye to you.

To the weight of you. To the puzzlement, the clouds, the constantly wondering where I stand. I’m saying goodbye to the silence, the silent treatment, the passive aggressive arc that so often made its case. The push, the pull, the power transfers. Our dependency. I’m saying goodbye to my need to be your fixer.

A while ago, you warned me. You told me not to get involved. You said, “There’s nothing for you here.” I thought I could change that. I thought I could yank the illness from you, I thought my love could mend it, all that broken stuff, all the debris, all the pieces of you scattered across fields of hurt. Your fragments so painfully un-arranged. I thought I could beautifully rearrange them, I thought I could be the one to put you back together, back to whole. I thought I could shellac you into place, hold you up and make it stick. But, I quit.

Holding on is for cowards. Letting go requires strength.

I’m not quitting the things I love. Or the people. I’m reconnecting with all that once helped me find my happy. It has become a series of joyous reunions these days. Drinks out and coffee and walking. Cooking for one, on my own time. I’m painting again. I’m serene in my stillness, but I am not alone. You told me you were the only person who understood me, but that just isn’t true. So many do. These days, I am floating. So light are my shoulders I almost leave the ground.

I’m quitting the waiting for you to respond. The wondering if you’re okay. The battle that churned every time I thought maybe it was me who did something wrong. I am not perfect, oh no. But it was you, mostly. Not me. So, I quit. I will not continue to fill a cup that goes empty when it’s my turn to take a sip.

Self-centered, boasting, insecure man, I quit.

How wonderful it will be to bob and weave inside a quiet nothing. How amazing it will be to lose the baggage I did not pack, and don’t want back. How lovely it will be to sever the tether that keeps me rooted and stuck.

You tried to shape and shame me, but I am not quitting the way I do things or what I like. For example, I am not quitting my love of nitrate-laden hot dogs with sauerkraut and mustard or bean-less chili and cheese. You always thought it wasn’t the classiest choice and I used to care what you thought, but I like empty calorie nitrates once in a while. I’m not quitting myself.

I’m not quitting the sun, the moon, or the stars. I’m not quitting the earth, the sea, or the sky. I’m just quitting you.

And I will not quit love. I will not quit looking. Because when a heart is pure and true, that same type heart is out there looking too.



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