Glad Tidings

Dear X,

You’re probably surprised that I’m sending you this break-up letter considering that you probably don’t even know my name. So, don’t you worry, this letter has really nothing to do with you. Truly: it isn’t you, it’s me.

Ever since we were in seventh grade I’ve been completely and desperately in love with you. You: the most popular student in the whole high school, handsome and so much less awkward than is the norm for those teenage years. The joke is that I never got to know you at all. We weren’t in the same class and our circles of friends didn’t have any overlap. You can see simply from that how out of league you were for me. But I didn’t have to know you to love you. The stories about you were enough: how the band in which you played guitar had won a local contest. How you had travelled to Mexico all on your own to visit your long-lost dad. How you played a minor role in a professional musical. I don’t even know whether those rumours were all true. I never got around to ask you.

Isn’t it funny, how all the Hollywood romcoms start out this way (someone desperately loving another from afar) and then, by some miraculous coincidence, the admirer and the object of admiration meet up and fall in love? Well, it never happened for me. I never met you and I never had the courage to actually reach out for you. Still, I didn’t feel that I could be with anybody else than you. Whenever I met a real-life person who’d actually have been romantically interested in me, I pushed them away, thinking that in some way I wasn’t available. I spent my teenage years being ardently in love with a shadow.

Strangely enough, the thought that this would ever alter didn’t come to my mind at all. It’s probably the one conviction that most teenagers share that they can’t believe their current state of mind would ever change. And, I have to admit, it took surprisingly long for me to let you go. During my first term in college I was still obsessed with the hope that I could coincidentally meet you when I visited home over Christmas. Don’t get me wrong; I had a good time at college. I won a lot of new friends, grew very passionate about my studies and learnt a great deal about myself. And now that I’ve returned over Christmas I learnt one more thing: my hometown is so fucking insignificant. All those buildings that once seemed so huge and important to me have suddenly become small and provincial. And you have become small and provincial as well. No offense.

The joyful tidings of this year’s Christmas are that I’ve finally fallen out of love with you. And I swear to you: in the upcoming year I will find someone new, someone whom I actually know and who actually knows me. That would be a good start.

I sincerely wish you all the best and a happy New Year.

Yours sincerely,


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