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To All of the Times We Almost Didn’t Make It

To All Of The Times We Almost Didn’t Make It,

You know them. Those times when your relationship hit not just a snag, but a pretty severe crack in the earth. A deep crack, where everything echoes, especially the things you don’t want to hear.

I dreaded you. Those long days and nights when my phone remained purposefully silent. You had decided that you had nothing to say or that it took too much energy to say it, I don’t know. Maybe both.

Those times when my mind won’t release you but won’t open enough to do what it takes to keep you feeling loved.

It would be easy to say: “This is too hard” or “Maybe this is a sign” or “It should be easier.”

It would be difficult to say: “I’m sorry” or “I love you” or “You are right.”

This crack in our world reveals blisters too sensitive to even lightly blown on.

In these times, we have options:

Call it quits. Pack up, move out. Shift gears. Pivot turn to another place, time, or human. Tell our individual stories of how “it just didn’t work out” or “we wanted different things.”

Or we could try again. Convince ourselves that “maybe they’ll change.”

Or we could commit to having this conversation forever until it has run out of power over us. The steam will lose its thrust. The blisters will scab and heal.

It would be easy to say: “This is too hard.” It would be difficult to say: “I’m sorry.”

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To All Of Those Times We Almost Didn’t Make It,

I appreciate you because you broke me open. You revealed all of my sharp edges, my triggers standing guard with swords ready to stab any vulnerability it sees. You showed me the ugly side of myself and of my partner.

You placed on a platter, surrounded by arranged flowers and a dab of wasabi, how we deal with our stress individually. Your presentation, while annoying and heart-wrenching, stuck. It reached further than its anticipated grasp, lingering with me far after the party was over.

It’s like removing high heels after a long day and night; the throbbing still remains.

It’s like groaning in pain from a migraine that is relentless; every bright light is overwhelming.

But these cracks, these times we almost didn’t make it, you grew me. You laid before me my grownup options alongside my childish habits. You demanded my attention, emotional maturity, physical rest, and decision-making skills.

You framed for me how precisely, tirelessly, and unforgivingly human we all are.

The pettiness, the selfishness, the triggers, the unpleasantness that we all have woven into our beauty.

But you also showed me how resilient we are. How, not just love, but a continued effort and commitment to remembering who we each are can fill any size crack or crevice. You showed me how big of a role respect must play.

You showed me my capabilities for forgiveness, trust, honor, and friendship.

You shook me up.

But then you set me down.

To decide. To grow. To learn. To accept.

To all of those times we almost didn’t make it: thank you.

Thank you for making it and for helping to make me.

To all of those times we almost didn’t make it: thank you.

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Sheena is a classically-trained ballerina, millennial, idea creator, and community-focused collaborator who believes in taking cookies out of the oven 2 minutes early. She’s a sailboat-living yogi with attitude who enjoys poetry, popcorn, and randomly planting vegetables for strangers to discover later. 

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