The sacred art of learning how to leave.

We’re really just a bunch of habits.

Photo by Farrel Nobel on Unsplash

I couldn’t figure it out.

Another man down. Pulled out of the relationship before I’d had a second to get comfortable. Before we could go on a cute little trip to a coffee shop and hold hands. Before we could go to the lake I loved and chat for a bit.

Ugh, I fucking love chatting.

Childhood sexual repression, I think, led to desperation in my early adulthood. Which led to men. Which led to heartbreak. So I parted ways with him that mildly chilly fall day and got emotional.

But I don’t think all of the tears were sad. I’m not sure if any of them were, actually. I think they were frustration tears. And as they trickled down my cheek I got really clear for a moment. Between towers of beer and imploding hormones, clarity was something rare in those days.

I realized I’d been left, but I never learned how to leave.


Many of us are on a merry go round.

We tell ourselves we’re done with this person. So over being their friend. So past all of the drama. Ya-di-da until we’re back in the same situation. The same habits. The same destructive patterns.

I think it’s genetic…maybe? I don’t know the science behind it and I don’t really give a fuck either, I’m just calling it as I see it. There’s something that keeps us holding on even when everything in our minds are telling us to just. let. go.

Leaving takes practice. It takes force. An abandonment of our gut instincts. A betrayal of the heart. That craving for just one more touch or giving things one more go only to realize, in the end, that it was all a game.

Whether you know it or not, you’re probably playing some game with yourself now. You’ve convinced yourself that if only she wasn’t such a bitch — if only he didn’t leave the god damn lights on — if only you didn’t have such high expectations, things would be alright.

I’ve been this person and will continue to be this person. So when I’m telling you this I’m also telling myself too.

The truth is that it’s not true. It’s a story. It’s a game. Leaving takes work. It’s painful when you get left, but it’s even more painful to leave. Because not only are you breaking their heart or abandoning them, you’re also leaving a piece of yourself behind.

Addictions. Habits. The smell of their nasty-cologne still wafting on the bed. It completely throws you until it starts to feel like freedom.

And eventually — fucking hopefully — you soar.