I never really make New Year's Resolutions. This year, I decided to change that. I have a list.
The first thing I decided to resolve was something I'd been putting off for a very long time. A letter I needed to write.
Sometimes it's so hard to let go of who you were, that person who let others down so much it was expected. The person who makes promises to themselves knowing that hurting others is just a part of who they are.
1. Letting go. In specific, my dad. I wrote him a letter. It wasn't more than a page, but it was the hardest letter I've ever written. I put it out to be mailed, then ended up yanking it twice before I could finally let it be mailed.
I had to send it general delivery, but he lives in a town of less than 200, so odds are pretty good it will find him. Plus, like me, he has a pretty distinctive name. No John Smiths in our family.
The letter? It wasn't lashing out or should'ves, it wasn't placing blame, because I know what shame is. And I know all about regret. The basic tone of it was "I forgive you."
The one part that is absolutely burned into my heart, in my soul, is where I wrote: I just wish you knew that buying a car, your apartment, what jeans you wear, what food you eat; these are all choices. Who you choose to love isn't. I forgive you.
Forgiving you is like the day you taught me to ride that bike, Dad. I don't know if you remember it. The scraped knees, the way I kept falling, how I wanted to give up because I couldn't get there. Then, I looked over to tell you, and I was riding, all by myself. You were so far behind me, but I could see your smile, fuck it, the big ass grin on your face. It took me forever to get there, but I did. How scary and exhilarating, that feeling of letting go. Just like this.
I forgive you.