It Takes a Split Second to Forgive

Dec 31, 2014 by

“It takes a split second to forgive, but it can take a lifetime to get ready for it.”

– Christal Chow


          My little sister makes me laugh. Hilarious things come out of her mouth, and it’s just plain obvious that she gets her humour from me. (Yup, I’m pulling the like-older-sister-like-younger-sister card.) For example, to quote my favourite 16-year-old, “Do you know what I’ve honestly been thinking? That I want to be a vampire, so I can turn off my humanity.” If you aren’t familiar with Vampire Diaries, according to the show (which, for the record, I haven’t watched since university), vampires can turn off their ability to feel. I can’t discuss the context behind my sister’s words (#sistercode), but what I can tell you is that they were said earlier this year during a conversation about unwanted feelings that I had for a guy. Unwanted because they were unreciprocated. Well, I guessed they were unreciprocated. I was confused. The object of my feelings kept coming and going.

          Even so, I was used to it. It would shake me up for a bit, and then I’d be relatively fine, and then he’d be back. The last time got to me, though. The last time hit me hard; because, before the last time became the last time, I thought it might be the first time he had come without intent to go. He approached me differently; so, although I was usually prepared for his disappearance, the last time, I wasn’t ready. The last time, I was hopeful; and because I was hopeful, the last time, I posed a question. The last time, I asked him what he wanted.

          And with that, he was gone.

          He was gone without a word.

          And after the last time, he didn’t come back.

          I was disappointed and hurt and pissed – not because he didn’t feel the same way, but because he wouldn’t tell me that, which left me to assume. I was frustrated because he was the one who reached out to me; he started the communication that he stopped. As more time passed without me rebounding, I became angry for more than that. I was mad at him because, without a solid “no, I’m not interested,” I was still hopeful that he was coming. I was still waiting. I was still single. Yes, that’s right; it was his fault that I couldn’t see boyfriend potential in anyone else, and I didn’t care that it was irrational to think so. If he had just answered me, I could have known his disinterest with certainty and moved on, instead of wondered what-if while standing still. I was becoming increasingly bitter, and I was tired of it.

          So, on Monday, I decided I wanted to stop being mad at him. Yes, he ignored me, but the aftermath was my doing. Every aspect of how I responded was my choice. As for what he actually did do, as for his lack of response, I forgive him for it. I don’t want to be angry anymore, especially not for something that no longer matters. Enough time has passed to make whatever his answer would have been then irrelevant now. As for the reason he didn’t answer me, something else I’ve contemplated over and over, that has also lost importance. I’m simply settling with my best guess: he didn’t know what to say. I don’t think that’s a valid reason to say nothing at all, but I can understand it and I can forgive the silent byproduct of it on the grounds that people fuck up. We fuck up. Sometimes we fuck up the same way more than once.

          The point is that he’s gone. If I proceed in anger, he’s gone. If I forgive him, he’s gone. So if either way he’s gone, why wouldn’t I choose the happiest option for me? The way I see it is this could go one of two ways: either I’ll see him again someday or I won’t. If I do, I want to start fresh with him. If I don’t, I want to start fresh for myself. Therefore, I want to stop resenting him. I want to give up the right I wrongfully thought I had to blame him for my single status. I want to free myself from bitterness. I don’t want to look back on him in anger. I want to remember him happily, because I don’t want to forget the person I fell for. I don’t want to shut down my feelings with cynicism by dwelling on what he did to upset me. I want to focus on everything he did to make me feel stunning instead. That’s the guy I wanted. That’s the guy I’m going to remember.

Happiness Tip: Forgive.

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