I knew it would be difficult to write this, but I didn’t really understand how hard it would be until now. Even though I entered this relationship knowing it would never last, the abrupt ending has caught me off guard. When I made this commitment in 2004, four years seemed so long— receiving a diploma as I walked across a stage was a distant dream, so was the fact that I would actually have to repay $7,000 in student loans one day.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it isn’t you, it’s me. I’ve been living in this fantasy world for long enough, and now it’s time to move on.
Don’t get me wrong—I will always look back with fondness on the times we shared: the 3:30 a.m. roadtrips with my roommate to get milkshakes, the days I stayed in bed until 1 p.m. because I had nothing better to do, the BBQs at the pool on a Tuesday afternoon, the midnight volleyball games, the tailgates before football games. Remember that one time a group study session turned into a mid-day happy hour at Chili’s that lasted until 2 in the morning? Those are great memories that will keep me going when I’m working 60 hours a week to afford my rent payment. And my health insurance. And my phone bill. And groceries. And…
They say that no relationship is bad because you come out of it with more experience, more wisdom. Well, I learned more from you than I hoped, whether it was from a professor in the classroom or life lessons that come with getting older and growing more independent. There was that time when I was a freshman who had no concept of budgeting money, and I accumulated $250 in overdraft fees. Or that time in Spain when locals tried discussing simple current events with me that I knew nothing about, so I started following international news more closely. Then there were the transfer students leaving behind homes destroyed in Hurricane Katrina who taught me to never take anything for granted, and the single mom working two jobs to pay her way through college that made me appreciate my own mother’s struggles.
All these memories make me wonder if I’m doing the right thing by ending this, but somehow, deep down, I know that I’m ready to take the next step. Even though it’s difficult, it feels right to trade in the keys to my dorm room for an apartment far away from any loud fraternity houses. I’ll exchange beer pong tournaments for dinner and drinks with co-workers. I’m ready to leave behind the 15-page term papers so that I can work on project briefings and campaign proposals.
It might sound a little crazy, but I’m excited for the challenges that the real world will bring. My relationship with you has prepared me well for the journey, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.
Until we meet again (I’ll be back for Homecoming next year…),