I am sorry that we never put that sushi kit to use.
I am sorry that we didn’t get to eat the last of the tamales your parents brought from New York (sorry rather, that I didn’t get to eat the last of the tamales… I’m assuming you’ve finished them on your own by now and if not, go and eat them before they go bad).
I am sorry that we’ll never dance to our song again. I’m sorry that I’ll probably never find a dance partner as good as you.
I am sorry that we had such different ideas of the perfect home, the perfect lives.
I am sorry that we won’t be filling out the rest of our “Barbie and Ken Dreamhouse” real estate evaluation sheets.
I am sorry that I won’t get to see your kids grow up. Or watch them graduate from high school. Or send them care packages once they’re off at college. I’m also sorry that I always insisted on getting them Christmas and birthday presents that they never really liked (and that I probably would have done the same damn thing if we’d reached the point of college care packages.)
I am sorry that we won’t be seeing Machu Picchu together now. I am sorry I wasn’t more insistent about the airline tickets. Of course, knowing what we now know it’s just as well, but I really hope you make it there someday.
I am sorry that we don’t talk any more. I’m sorry that making this a clean break—as clean as one can hope for—has required cutting off all communication. We’re doing well and I’m actually quite proud of the both of us for having so much respect (for ourselves and for one another), but it still sucks.
I am sorry, above all, that we didn’t work out. I so wanted us to.
I am sorry that I wasn’t kinder to you.
I am sorry for letting my problems eclipse yours when you needed me for moral support.
I am sorry for not being more patient and more compassionate during those moments… well you know the ones I mean: the ones in which I’d leave the table to get orange juice for myself.
I am sorry for being so dismissive of your ways of doing things. I am sorry for always trying to change you. I am sorry for letting my well-intended advice spill over into criticism.
I am sorry for letting my notion of independence get in the way of loving you, for letting my hypersensitivity about gender roles come between us and turn me sour at times. I am sorry for not realizing sooner that the sort of love you were offering me should have rendered those concerns superfluous.
And to myself…
I am sorry that we never went camping. Two and half a years and nary a night in the woods. WTF?
I am sorry that we didn’t go out more. For two people who “love” to dance, we rarely acted accordingly.
I am sorry that I ended up in another long distance relationship. Enough already.
I am sorry that I cried so much—not after (crying after is perfectly fine) but during. I should not have realized sooner that we weren’t the great match we thought we were. (I told myself it was just PMS but it wasn’t, was it?)
I am sorry for convincing myself that I was at fault for things that weren’t actually my doing. I am sorry for accepting explanations that I should have questioned or downright rejected.
I am sorry for talking of marriage so soon and for allowing the thoughts of settling down to cloud my judgment.
I am sorry for neglecting my other friendships. I am sorry for putting all of my eggs in one basket. I am sorry for not maintaining my own safety net, for not cultivating my own social life outside of our relationship. I am sorry for making someone else responsible for my happiness, for blaming another individual when I had nothing to do and no one to go out with on a Friday night.
I am sorry for mistaking our lack of arguments for perfection. I am sorry for letting my own discomfort with confrontation make me complacent. I am sorry we didn’t argue more. I am sorry for letting us go round and round in circles, civilly discussing the same things over and over and again without ever coming to any sort of resolution.
It turns out there are multiple forms of “I’m sorry.” The first is the halfhearted, regretful kind (not going to Peru, not making sushi) and I have plenty of these. But there’s nothing to be done about them now; they’re just general, crystallized bits of nostalgia, little clumps of sadness that creep up once in a while but don’t really amount to anything in the grand scheme of things.
Then there’s the difficult kind. The “I’m sorry and I want you to forgive me and I’m going to change” kind. I hate this kind of I’m sorry. It’s scary; it’s uncomfortable; it’s gut-wrenching. But its necessary.
I realized my relationship with TWD was beyond repair when I realized I didn’t actually want to change, that I didn’t actually feel the need or the desire to change any more than I already had. To make some adjustments, sure—to be kinder, to be less sarcastic and more punctual, more compassionate and less critical— but to really change? I tried. I tried so hard. But there is, I now know, a big difference between changing and growing. Growing is fine. Growing is good, even. But changing? Changing into something you’re not just to make a relationship work? That’s too much change.
I could say that I’m sorry for not being sorry enough and I will: I’m sorry that I wasn’t sorry enough to change. But this is an “I’m sorry we never got to make sushi” sort of regret, not a true apology.
The true apology is one I owe to both of us—to you, but more importantly to myself. I am sorry for making so many mistakes. And for these things I ask no one but myself for forgiveness. These things I will change.