You loved me when it wasn’t pretty and dressed up. You loved me with snot and tears dripping off my nose, forehead red and blotchy from scrunching my face trying to hold it all in. You loved me when I was a little girl, when I was a moody teenager, and a young woman. You loved me as a I had a quarter life crisis and made awful choices and hurt people and lashed out. You loved me when I started to question all of it. You loved me when I jumped without a parachute, trusting that I would build it before I hit the ground; I did, I always do. You loved me when I bought another five tubes of lipstick to be added to the drawer already holding a hundred. You loved my bravery, my sense of humour, my curiosity, and my genuine love for other people.
You loved versions of me that I will never experience, because they are your experiences of me. We each see things differently.
You miss the person I was, and I hope you understand why I couldn’t stay. You miss the girl in skater skirts with long, dark hair, pinned at the sides with a bow. You miss an outdated version of me, an old operating system of 0’s and 1’s. Sometimes I wish I could reprogram parts of myself and stay the way I was for you. But it would be for you, not for me.