I have been told, on several different occasions, that I am incredibly bad at keeping in touch with people. On several different occasions, I have bailed on friends’ birthdays, chosen to not go to events, and opted to not meet new people unless deemed completely necessary. I wrote this not because I wanted to provide you with some lame excuse as to why you thought we had something special. I wrote this because I thought it had to be said, and maybe you (a parenthetical statement to explain that I am using the general you; I am not directing this to any specific person) will understand my thought process. Here is my apology letter and explanation as to why:
For those who know me, they know I am incredibly extroverted (I also have a ginormous ego apparently). Put me in the center of party, in front of a large crowd, outreaching to shy individuals, and I thrive. I’m great at keeping a conversation flowing and stopping a conversation when necessary. I am great at having people open up and even greater at making you feel important (because you are - the connections I made with you are important), but this has become taxing. Because for every connection I make adds to the pile of connections that I already made.
My extroversion and ability to make these connections often have people look at me as a mentor (i.e. why I became a teacher). There are people who are frustrated at me because while I saw myself as their mentor, they saw themselves as a close friend. Now these are two different things. As your mentor, I was helping you achieve a goal. I was helping you accomplish something that we sought out to do together. The idea of a mentor (a good one) is that when we are done with teaching you the necessary skills, you will no longer need us. It is our proudest moment when we have realized you don’t need us anymore; you don’t need our guidance anymore. So with this relationship, it’s time to let go. I am sorry that I can no longer be there for you as much as you wish I could be, but for me to keep on doing what I love, I have to open my heart to the next set of pupils, the next set of students, the next set of people who want to view me as a mentor.
Now, there might days, months, or years that come between us. Perhaps the next time you see me, I’ll have lost (probably gained) weight; I’ll have new philosophies; I’ll have regret writing this letter; I’ll have changed my mind about this whole thing, but as of right now, I want you to understand that perhaps the relationship we had existed for a reason, with an ending, with a goodbye, but it mattered. It mattered to me, and it mattered to you, and that should be all that matters.
Perhaps one day, you’ll be in San Diego, and I’ll just happen to be in the neighborhood. We’ll go out to lunch, and you can catch me up on your past and present endeavors, and it’ll be nice. It won’t feel strained. Afterwards, I’ll tell you that our relationship mattered. I won’t feel the need to apologize that we’ve lost touched because we both came to an understanding that life will take you on the utmost tumultuous paths - having each and every person chasing their own sunrises and sunsets, exploring exciting and new horizons. Maybe you’ll be in Delaware, Australia, or New York; we’ll laugh about how different we are and how much the same we stayed. And finally, I’ll thank you for stopping by.
Wow, I’m super pretentious when I write. I am totally not sorry about that though.