Love letters: This is (not) a love letter

Camila Ribeiro
4 min readNov 11, 2023

So I’ve been thinking lately about many things — sometimes about things that make sense and, at other times, things that might not even make sense to myself, like this text. I started this “letter” to talk about how I can now see how much I have grown, all the things I have, my people, my community, my attempt to have a career… but every time I decided to organize my thoughts to put them here, I was creating an even bigger mess. I have this problem where I don’t know how to start things.

It’s always a bit messy, a bit weird, a bit too much. Most of the time, I don’t know how to start a story because I don’t know where or when that story began. What I am trying to explain is hard; maybe I will have to learn how to draw. That would be easier.

Ok, let’s try a different approach.

Yeah… still, I don’t know how to start.

Let’s say I’ve always had big dreams, and I always thought I was alone, just me and Pantufa against the world. I traveled a lot, had incredible new experiences, and saw things I never imagined I would be able to… but the point is, I always act like I’m a rock and can solve everything for anyone — never for me.

Now I feel like it’s different. I’m not trying to do things for others or to please everyone, and I am scared because I don’t know how to choose myself.

It’s much easier to choose my dear friends or even a love interest — we do know that this isn’t my forte; it never lasts, it’s never real. It’s easier to move away and spend an entire year running away. At first, I thought I was running away from memories, from places that would bring me even deeper sadness to the situation, running away from people who would ask me if I am fine or “When are you going to get rid of these pictures?”.

Only now have I realized that I wasn’t running away to protect myself from getting hurt, but I was trying to ignore myself, making me believe that I was fine and that life can be great.

Only now have I realized that I had burned so many bridges — hi Italy, my love — when I ran away and tried to hide myself in this new town, new country, new coffee shop… and I have so many bad and sad memories in places that I dreamed about my entire life.

Look, this is the best pizza place in Rome, I can prove it! Well, when I went there, I remember they gave me a small table in the corner… and when I start to describe the scene, I realize how depressing that memory was, how dark that little table in the corner felt.

What I know now is that I don’t want to stop by some place and the first thing that comes to my mind is, “Oh, me and _______ used to come here,” or the street next to my house where we had a terrible fight because you were too paranoid to actually believe that we were real and I loved you.

Well, sometimes I also do this, you know? I am writing, and in the middle, it starts to sound like I am talking to you.

Ohhhhh, did I discover why I wanted to write this letter? I think this is a goodbye letter — and this is very symbolic since I just got back home from Jill’s goodbye party. Yes, this is a goodbye one.

For long enough, I tortured myself thinking about how many wrong things I did during our time, for long enough, I made excuses for your attitude with me or for always throwing me away and collecting me when it was convenient for you.

I wanted so badly to be your friend, to know about you, your family… all that I wanted was to keep good people in my life, even though the circumstances were different.

You lied so many times, and you tortured me in so many ways, you never even responded to my letter, and you had promised that you would.

It’s fine, I was also used to that part too; you never ever kept your promises to me… even the tiny tiny ones.

But it’s fine, it was my fault, and I truly believe that. I was already broken when we met; actually, I don’t even know what it is to be one shiny entire piece… I have been broken for a very long time.

So maybe that’s it.

Goodbye to all of you, to all the pain that you brought with you. Goodbye to the ones I dearly loved, to the ones that hurt me and made me believe that “that” was love.

Goodbye to the bad and good memories. Was there any good memory, or was that what I was trying to believe?

Goodbye to all of you that looked at me as if I was a rag doll, or to the ones that were just wasting my time while you were bored with your insignificant lives.

The list is long, and, as I said, we are not here to talk about me… so I won’t be writing this narrative anymore. I will not write as if I was talking to you anymore.

There’s no more you. I won’t write love letters to you anymore.

Goodbye.

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Camila Ribeiro

UX/UI Designer | I am a mess, and here is where I share some of my mental confusion.