Letter TO a Stoic (that I used to know)

Hello (he who shall remain nameless),

Hope you’ve been well.

Not really sure what the intention of this letter is nor what will come out of it. If I am being honest, the probable consequences don’t bother me anymore than if I kept this all in, as I have been painfully doing for weeks. So there goes my intention: release.

Many things have happened since the last time we talked. But truth is, the only person I’ve ever wanted to have deep and meaningful talks about life with, the only person who I thought would never judge, is the very person I cannot reach out to right now. So here is my attempt at voicing out and reaching out.

Oftentimes in the past, I wish you could have told me about what you wrote about without your worrying if I would grasp it or not. Even if I didn’t, I sure as hell would have tried to. Because I was genuinely interested. And I still am. You made me marvel at your ideas about time, space and the profoundness of rationality and philosophy in our lives. Maybe writing you isn’t so logical. But I digress.

I was truly catching on. But it was then you made me realise that you would actually rationalise everything. At least all aspects of a relationship with me. And that’s okay. Though through my lens, your idea of connecting with me was full of protective walls, negative scenarios, what-ifs and whatnot. For a time, it felt like my heart was held hostage, expected to free-fall; and I let the other person playfully dangle just one foot off the edge while he intellectualised the pros and cons of catching me. In the end, clearly, I shattered. I was a fool to think that I actually had a net to catch me.

It often baffles me how someone can say all the right things, make all the right moves, touch you the right way, and point you in the right direction but is still double minds about meeting you there. He awakens the vulnerability within you but then gives you signs that make you doubt if he even has the intention of reciprocating that vulnerability. I really struggled to connect with you emotionally because it felt, in my view, that you did not let me. Was this out of fear? Fun? Manipulation? Which one was it? You stripped before me but your soul stayed clothed. Well-guarded from “what I could become.” Maybe someday, someone will finally meet me there. I still have a lot optimism left in me.

Yes, you did not want to feel predatory. Yes, you were rational in protecting yourself, too. Yes, you were sceptical of my medication* (which I haven’t been on for a while). Of what they were doing to me. Of what you thought I would be like once I am off of them. Well, here I am, feeling the same about you as I did back when I was taking them. Feeling the same as I did even before I took them back to when we first met. And yes, it still hurts when a thought of you sitting at a park crosses my mind because even now, that feeling has never left me. I understand some people are more cautious than others. I also understand that you are entitled to your own thoughts, emotions and actions. You are your own person after all. Fiercely so as you so passionately put it before, immensely evident in your outlook on life and how you turned out to be.

Yes, I said take it slowly. Yes, I would wait. We would wait. Yes, I am not pretending I did not say all that. But I also won’t deny that despite all that, yes, I still fell for you. That is a fact. But how could it have been possible for us to connect at all if I was already so far down below and broken while you were still contemplating whether you wanted to leap with me or not? What was wrong with this picture? Could it have been change? Could it have been timing? It could have been choice. I shouldn’t have to convince someone to jump with me. You made the choice not to. And the choice was hinged on a lot of what-ifs. Or maybe, I was simply the wrong person for you. I wish you could have just been straightforward with me whatever the reason.

Recently, I have arrived at the scary realisation that I still know your address and phone number off by heart, perhaps even recite them correctly while I am asleep, but I don’t even remember what your voice sounds like anymore… Funny, and at the same time sad, how memory works in mysterious ways.

Your face, however, I’ve been seeing on every single page of philosophy books that I read. It’s been a beautiful torment to say the least. The philosophical element helps me in rationally perceiving things, in trying to keep sane. But what led me to philosophy in the first place, that painful reminder, I find, only clouds my judgment further.

My heart and mind are often at war with each other. My heart has been trying very hard to wander off as far away as possible. But my mind always casts me back here. This place. You. Home. To my mind, you are still home. Perhaps it’s still reeling from the novelty of your philosophical influence on me. Whether that novelty wanes into nothingness sooner or later, I don’t know and never will.

Do you understand now why my mind keeps running back to you? Maybe back then, my mind was what fell for you and not my heart. Could it be possible that my heart is the wiser one this time and not my mind? Or maybe my mind fell first and my heart was going to follow eventually, but didn’t quite make it due to what you thought were circumstantial restrictions? Could it be the other way around? Does it really matter whether the mind or the heart falls first? How can we ascertain if one falls before the other, or they both do at the same time? Why can’t we just fall for and love someone without relying on chronology? Without conditions? Not being hindered by conceptualized events that haven’t even happened and most probably never will? Love them as they are in their entirety, right there and then? Admire their magic and accept their flaws? How can you not think of someone who, for the most part, makes your cells dance, your face smile, your mind grow, your heart warm, your every waking day full of promise as a whole person to love? If you take certain aspects, good or bad, out of this person then there will be no more purpose in connection. No more virtue. You are no longer falling for the essence of a human partner, but a fictional character out of a Disney movie.

You may think I ask for too much. Though I know I ask too many questions. I always have all my life. Feel free to snigger at me. Call me silly and naïve. Maybe that’s just who I am. Or maybe those are the very aspects I need to work on. I am always exploring parts of my self that I need to accept, improve or get rid of altogether.

Yes, in this instance I am still stuck in the past. Maybe I don’t have to be anymore. But maybe, just maybe, because the past allows me to thank your soul for stopping by, then I could and would happily visit that place merely for the deep gratitude that lives there.

People say time heals. Maybe that is not the case. Maybe I can change that narrative, at least on a personal level. Maybe I just evolve. Maybe I just grow. Maybe I just need to claim that power back from the grip of time – which takes so long anyway and life is very short – by commanding this situation myself instead of leaving my fate in time’s hands. Maybe I close the door myself instead of passively waiting for something or someone to close it for me.

You’re a good man. I sincerely wish nothing but the best for you. And I truly hope you find your equal.

Before I forget, I read your article on the online magazine you told me about recently. Well written, I’m proud of you like always. Truthfully though, it took many attempts for the philosophically untrained mind like mine to understand. But I think I got there in the end.

I got inspired by your notion of something being the way it is because of its filters and co-constituents, and not despite them. And that there could be something else beyond what we can perceive of an idea or an object.

I would like to apply that in human terms. Perhaps I will never really know your true intentions and feelings towards me because no one will ever know how it will be to think like, to feel like and be you. No one else is you. Just you, beautifully, uniquely, in yourself. And perhaps now, I am the way you perceive me because of you and not despite you. You were, after all, a part of me albeit only for a short time.

Take care.

*The author was afflicted by depression, ladies and gentlemen, but has now conquered the insidious illness.


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