Dear Tough Exterior,
I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise to you.
It’s not me. It’s you.
I’m breaking up with you. Actually, I’m breaking up with you and your cousins, Ms. “Independent,” Mrs. “I can do it Myself, ” and the “I don’t need anyone” Lady.
Don’t get me wrong. You served me well in the past. You expertly camouflaged my emotions anytime I began to feel at risk. You and I built a wall of protection around my heart that no one could enter. That, in and of itself, is a feat. Your soft whispers when I was alone, only reinforced this co-dependent relationship, where I depended on you and found value from who you formed me to be. At the time, I thought I needed you. I thought taking on a hard shell would bring me closer to the community I craved without sacrificing myself. How foolish of me. But I’ve learned and as I’ve grown, we’ve grown apart.
Now, looking back, I’ve realized you never really served me at all. You pledged to keep out any figurative arrows shot by surrounding enemies, however that promise still remains unfulfilled. I believed you. And you played me for a fool.
Tough exterior, I’m leaving you for someone else. I’ve found strength in community. I’ve seen and experienced what friends like Vulnerability and Transparency have to offer and like them better. They see my wounds and know my battle scars. They care for my injuries, contrary to what you told me. Brick by brick, with steady patience, they dismantle the wall you and I so desperately built. You would think, that with these two as close companions, I would be a walking hot mess. Ironically, its the exact opposite.
I am better without you.
I no longer fear closeness. I have nothing to hide. Yes, from afar, they do seem to be quite risky company. But I have found safety in them.
So this is my goodbye. This is where I give back your unrelateable shell of a person and trade it for freedom. Lets make this a clean cut. I’ve moved on. I’ve let down my guard. And I’ve learned a city without walls will forever experience each wave that kiss its shore.