The other day I deleted the last of the last of the last traces of you I had in my life.
All I have left is a singular photograph to remind myself of the last time I felt complete.
It is strange to think that someone who once was nothing more than a fleeting smile on a crowded train could become one of the most significant parts of my life.
How can you go from shy glances and nervous handholds to secrets laid out so bare, neither one of us could handle the weight of them?
I cannot help but wonder what you are doing for the holidays.
Last Christmas, I didn’t realize that one of my biggest gifts that year would be you.
I never thought that a few words sent with no anticipation of receiving a response back would have led to all of this.
Maybe you are spending your days with someone else.
Or maybe you are spending them wishing you were somewhere else.
Sometimes it really hurts to know that I will never learn the answers to those questions.
I think there are some things we are better off not knowing.
You are certainly not one of those things.
I don’t think I can go to Millennium Park and admire the beauty of a cold Chicago night without the memory of you haunting me.
I don’t think I can look at all of the people ice skating and not feel a twinge of pain because this time and every time from this moment forward, you won’t be here.
Maybe you are all of those miles away thinking the exact same things, and maybe we are closer to each other than either of us realizes.
Or maybe we are not.
Maybe you left this place and left your memories here, too.
Maybe you can leave a place without looking back.
And maybe I am the only one who can’t move on.
Some days, I convince myself there has to be a reason I am so hung up on what we had.
And other days, I remind myself that what we had was never really anything.
How can you miss someone you never really had?
Or maybe our definition of relationships needs to change because what else would you call it between two people who just felt so damn much every time they were together?
How can a city keep two people apart for three years, only to bring them together for just a millisecond in this big adventure and then tear them back apart so abruptly?
I just want you to miss me, too.
Over the past few years, Brianna Wiest has gained renown for her deeply moving, philosophical writing. This new compilation of her published work features pieces on why you should pursue purpose over passion, embrace negative thinking, see the wisdom in daily routine, and become aware of the cognitive biases that are creating the way you see your life. Some of these pieces have never been seen; others have been read by millions of people around the world. Regardless, each will leave you thinking: this idea changed my life.