This has been a long past due as I have been thinking about this for the last few days, and have attempted to write a letter a few times, but always not feeling the feel, and when the feel was there I was usually busy running around for things that is far less important but more imminent. I think the actuality is that I don't know what to say about it — on the day I submitted the paperworks, stepping outside the course house building, nice warm sunny peaceful almost cheering urban scene with pedestrians walking by and a few hovering around as if they had all the time in this world, I sat down on the metal garden bench, felt, I don't know, relieved? not really. ease that something on to-do list is finally done? yes, some. sad? yes, some, too.
But yes, I felt sad. I felt I was letting people down, without knowing what's laying ahead, and knowing I have broken a vow that I casted sincerely, whole-heartedly, believed, wanted, proud of, but now have failed her, and myself, and the principle I have been preaching to Noah, that don't make a promise that you can't keep, and I always thought that is one thing I have held, and will hold true to myself, to others who have come across and will come across my path, that I can and will keep a promise I made & make.
Yet, here I am, sitting here, and have broken THE promise I have made to a person I loved, cared more than myself, at really not much of her own, have turned into someone I now can not look straight into eyes when we talk. So sad. Really. How could any vow be trustworthy anymore? how could any promise be held to its end anymore? How could I have peace with myself after I have betrayed the one thing I dear, and the one person I deared, anymore?
This is a letter I have been wanting to write, for the last few days at least, but don't know where to start or how to send. But let me try.
I want to say, I am really really sorry, that it has finally come to this. I feel sorry I have let you down, have let Noah down, and is the one breaking up a family we have. I am really sorry. On one hand I felt it's been long past due, that it should have ended a long time ago so the agonies we have experienced in the past few years would not have been necessary; on the other hand it never feels a right moment to do this. It is like watching your own child or pet sick in bed but all you could do is watching it slowly fade, weaken, and die.
I don't know. I have this resentment inside me against you, which made my both unpleasant, rude, and unhealthy, not only to you, but to anyone around me. I used to resent you not trying to save or to change our situation. But I also question myself whether I have tried, and what I have tried. I tried to go away, try to make my absence a painful reminder to you of what we had, met two in my life who, inevitably, left a mark on our breakdown, one smartly chose another man better than what I could give her, and one spoiled me with her love and beauty to put me back on my feet.
I am the lucky one. I always had wonderful women in my life, from the first girl I met, to you, to siqi. I couldn't help now facing the harsh reality that it must have been me who have disappointed you all, by not being wise when I need to, not being sensitive when I need to, not being respectful, or forceful, or independent, or mature, or any of the adjectives that woman wishes in a man, when it should have been there.
Sometimes I thought of those blant riches who claim not to marry until he has enough money to give his woman comfort and style. I still can't bring myself to approve this view. But I see its merit now — it is better, more responsible I think, to provide your loved one such things, than expecting her to be on your side thick or thin unconditionally — it's an idealistic version of love life, but not life itself.
I want to thank you for the years when I was jobless, wondering around with a bloated ego but a pathetic understanding of you. I really enjoyed the years in MBA, and the days when I felt at the brink of fortune and fame. But more and more with each day passes, I hate the version of me in those days because I was ego-centric, self-importance, self-centered, short-tempered, aggressive, and greed of success to prove myself. Looking back, it is also a double-edged sword, that having you and this family made me proud, gave me confidence, resulting in an enlarged ego, which in turn led me astray — in the process of building a better life for the ones I cared, I lost the ones along the way.
How pity was I! If you have seen through all these back then, I would have to say that you are indeed wiser than I realized, and which makes me even more in debt that you have still agreed to be with me. Ten-year is not the longest of a personal relationship I have experienced, but is most intimate one of that length, and certainly a fruitful one because of Noah. I sometime think of him whether he is a bond or a bond-breaker. What would be us without him? would less stress from raising a child have made things easier? better? or worse?
I don't know. On his good days I had no doubt he is the best decision having made; then on the others I wonder what I have done. He is fine. He will grow, regardless how we raise him or what we give him, or not give him. My resentment used to be caused by imagining an ideal life for him that he now is going to miss. But truth is, he will be fine. He will adopt a life of his own, and however we think we have shaped that, it will not be. There will be residual memories of how we have conducted things that he will recall, will take in, and will apply. But the majority of him will be picked up randomly from him school, his friends, his hours and days when none of us is around. There is the influence of genes; then there is the influence of the world.
Whiling reading those disturbing books, sometimes I even wonder whether bringing him to this world is a good or a bad thing. Life is hard. I have yet to come across anyone whose life isn't — there is always a seemingly glory on surface, with torrents of trouble underneath. Five years ago it scared me to think of separation, logistic headaches, and the gloomy prospect of future life. Now, I think it's just there, whether separation or not, different set of problems, but equally challenging, agonizing, and scary.
I think it's better this way, at least no suspense. One day I was driving and was thinking over financial statement analysis, a book I am reading, a line suddenly occurred to me, if I were a comedian standing on a stage, is that "If you are a disorganized person or company, how should you manage you finance!? Just take on a shit load of debt, so now the banks and lenders will put together the best statement and analysis of you yourself don't even know how to, and will also watch your progress in such a keen spirit that no change will escape. So now just for free, you have an army of experienced accountant, analyst, finance expert, to work for you, for free! ha, ha, ha" Because, by doing so, there is no analysis needed anymore, no suspense, no prediction of how well you will be doing if I lend you money — you are in debt, done. I think this principle applies in life.
Instead of keeping a suspense, I am dropping the other shoe, so it is now done, and we can all react to it with fact, not guessing.
With Noah between us, there will always be a tie uncut. So I don't think this will be the LAST letter to you. But if I do end up dead tomorrow or the next moment, at least I wrote down everything I want to say at this moment, and made it available to you. Since I have failed to keep a promise I held dear, I should be extra truthful and honest, so that I would, by the time of my death bed, claim myself an honest person. I used to think high of myself with many good traits. Now, I only wish I could win this last defense.
I meant to say sorry when I handed you the notification, but I didn't. I was afraid of tears, emotion, and waver of this decision. I retreat to this mean I know of, by writing and email. I think it's better to write, as it gives me a chance to reflect, to organize my thoughts, to re-read and re-check, so I know I am speaking with understanding of what I am saying, and what it may bring.
I am really really sorry. I let you down. But now you are free, and I can not hold on anymore. What I owed, I don't know how to repay, and can not repay with any satisfactory conclusion; what I may help, I will be there. I may drift now in life and in space, so I don't know where I will be eventually. But I will make myself available if you ask.
— by Feng Xia