Dearest One,

     I do believe you know why I am writing. I do believe you do know, deep down, what I am about to say. You yourself have been noticing the things wrong.

     So now I say that there is a reason why I haven't been sticking with my decisions, why I have not stood up for myself, and why I have not been there. It's because I definitely need practice with all the above and I need confidence. I want to be the best possible person I can be when I get into a relationship, especially one so serious. I am not my best possible self, as obvious by the issues above. I need to become who I want to be, before I can make any big decisions about my future. 

     You are not the problem here. I am. This is me, the person who you say has gotten less shy and grown up a lot since you first met her. And I think I have. However, I do not believe we get to a point where we stop growing - this is a lifelong journey. I wish to start out on mine. There are certain things I want to learn, and certain skills I need, but other than that, I plan on going where the wind takes me. I have grown up a lot. I know what it is I need. I need to go, I need to leave. I love Vermont, and I will come back, but there's a big wide world out there and I need to see it. You've lived in different places on your own, you've gone on trips on your own, but I have not, not on my own. 

     I think, deep down, you understand it. You used to think this way, maybe, or maybe you once felt this way. Maybe you are trying to protect me from what happened to you, because you think that that is what will happen to me. 

     But I don't need protection. I want to be able to protect myself. And if what happened to you happens to me . . . so be it. But that is a chance I have to take. What is the point of living if we're too scared to live? Trust me, I am scared too, there are things I know I don't want to happen to me. But the thing is . . . those things can or will happen no matter where you are. Murder, rape, identity theft, theft in general, your car or house being broken into, fire, everything bad . . . all that can happen, no matter where you are in physical space. 

     This is a personal journey, a spiritual journey, something I want to do, something I need to do. And this is the time to grow and become all that I can be. You should too, but I can't make you do so. Even if I could, I wouldn't, because that is a choice you have to make. You yourself have to make that decision to change. It can't be because of me. It has to be a choice you make for your self. Why do you think you don't deserve to be happy? Everyone makes mistakes, everyone does things they are not proud of . . . we are all just trying to be happy, and everyone's happiness is different. Doesn't mean that you are a horrible person and don't deserve happiness, just because you've done bad things in the past. Everyone has those thoughts we are ashamed of, everyone has thoughts we have but never would act on. Everyone has had those thoughts we have acted on, and we regret them. But we must move on past them and learn how to accept that we made mistakes, we didn't act in the way we would have liked, and try not to do the same thing in the future. 

     I don't want to become my parents, and I know that just one month outside the country might not teach me all that I need to know. This is where it is not fair to you. I can't promise that all those issues we've been having are going to change, until I change. And I don't know when that change is going to happen. It could be tomorrow, it could be five years from now. That part is not fair to you. You should be with someone who knows what they are about, what they want to do, and they want kids sooner than eight years from now. Someone who I am not, right now. And you shouldn't compromise on something that you've wanted for so long - I know you have wanted it, even if for a while it was because you knew you couldn't. It doesn't matter why, it matters that this is something that matters to you. You can't sacrifice like this . . . it might make you happy to do so, but it also leads to frustration when you always feel like you are giving and the other person is not. You said this. This is why I can't continue like this. I can't promise that that feeling will go away. And I don't want to make someone I care about feel like that.

     It's not that we are incompatible. We are compatible in many ways. But right now, we are connecting because we both let people walk over us, we both lack confidence in certain areas of life (mostly concerning people), and we are in a transitional period in our lives. We also connect because we try to give so much of ourselves. However, this does not a marriage make. We should complement each other on these things or equal each other, not both need help in these. 

     I am sorry. This is going to make you miserable. I realize this. But it's better than the alternative, where I make you miserable by staying, by not showing up, by not being someone who you can rely on. 



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