I’m going away today & I’m packing no bag.
& when you come seeking, all you’ll find is this letter: a cluttered ransom note of all the things I won’t ever come back for. Signed by a Retired Perfect Girl.
The Sadness. The Defeat. The Insecurities, they’re buried. Resting in some sort of peace. Ambition be their grave digger & Joy has signed on freelance to write their obituaries; she’s come with great promise of a seasoned Times’ writer.
All you are clutching is this strange note now, Signed & Sealed by a Somebody that you used to know. Just the clumsy, clumped cursive of a Someone who used to think she had to please you.
& others. & everyone. & even strangers who I had never met beyond the shaking of a hand but my hand was already shaking, sweating through the palms, because I could feel them Sizing me already. Assuming already. Writing me off, already.
I’ve left behind a Someone who wanted you to like her. To pick her for your kickball team. To pat your hand down on the seat beside you and invite her to join the lunch table. & sit in the sandbox beside her until the sun went down.
& I’ve held conversations that I never wanted. & drinks I have never liked. & politics that have only bored me. & secrets that only shamed me.
I held that all for you &, all the while, tried to be more laughable. More Worldly. More Exotic. More Intelligent. More & More of a Someone who had begun to wonder, Will I Ever Find the Strength to Walk Away from Fake… & Half of a Wholeness I Still Have Faith Exists… & Unhappiness.
& truths told, I have compromised. My true self. My beliefs. My real hopes. My values.
To fit your fables. To make you think that I was worthy. That I was someone who could make you laugh & would never cause you trouble.
But I’m a trouble maker… one who has never fit into your Little Box and All Your Ex. Pec. Ta. Tions.
And here lies my Sorry, rooted in the ground within a Graveyard of Regret.
Sorry because I should have told you I was stronger. Than this.
Better. Than this.
Wiser. Than this.
Should have told you there are days when I feel lovely just like this. & I would have walked away from you on a Friday but I just found the strength on a Sunday. & that even if it is hard to feel it on a Monday, I am a child of God on the Every Day.
& because of that, you cannot wedge me.
You can only Watch Me:
Walk away. Turn new leaves. Build a stronger faith. Seize something that I have wanted. Empty out the oldness & find the cocoons of this chaotic, crazy life. & Still know that it’s ok to harbor a fierce wanting to be a butterfly. I have always had a fierce wanting to be a butterfly.
I’m imperfect & it’s lovely. Clumsy & it’s rhythmic. Indecisive & it fits me. I’m a dreamer & it is a “born this way” kind of thing.
And I used to be a living Sorry–for taking up space, for never living up to what you wanted me to be, for trying so damn hard to just be the kind of Perfect you could stand to have around– but not anymore. After today, not anymore.
& I wish you the best. & I hope you work it out. & I’ll send you all the light & love your little arms can handle. But I’m not staying here. No, I’m not staying here.
So take my signature below but don’t come looking. Don’t hang the wanted signs. I won’t come crawling back with cash rewards.
You won’t find me no more.
Not here. Not here.
A Retired Perfect Girl
Sign your name below…