Perroooo, how are you? It’s been so long… I miss you. You will always have a special spot in my heart as my first puppy, my innocent Golden Retriever, and my furry best friend. Perro, I miss you so much. I hope you are still hyper as ever up there, playing with Mickey, Sakura, and Momo! Have you met Nun and Charro too?
Perro, I just want to tell you I am so sorry we didn’t treat you better. I am so sorry for the times we got mad at you for jumping on the sofa when it was thundering. You were just scared, huh? I’m sorry that we got that stupid leash for you. I’m sorry for the times we fed you late. I’m sorry I can’t tell you one more time how much you mean to me. With all our faults, Perro, I know you loved us and I know you knew we loved you too.
I remember all the fun times we had together: all those walks we took together and the giant poops you’d drop, all those times I sat on the floor with you after I came home from school because we missed each other, all those times I tried to calm your fearful shivers during a thunderstorm. Perro, you were such a good boy. I wish I could pet, hug you, run around with you again. Do you remember running around and hitting your leg on a mailbox so hard you started limping? You were so silly.
You cross my mind every so often. Any time I pick out my rings, I think of you. It’s interesting because I can’t remember the features of your face but I can remember how widely I smiled when you talked to me.
Sometimes I wonder if it was just the rings you liked. Sometimes I wonder if you knew, in some way, what wearing those rings meant to me. When I was sitting at the bus stop where I wasn’t even waiting for a bus, sometimes I wonder if your faith brought us together for a fleetingly meaningful exchange.
It’s hard to write to you in mind because I don’t ever want our paths to cross again. I don’t ever want you to think of me, I don’t ever want to hear from you, and I definitely don’t want to think about you, talk to you, or even remember you.
But I’ve finally come to the point where I need to do some mental housekeeping. I moved on from you quite soon after we broke up. I’m not trying to take a cheap shot at you by saying that. In fact nothing I say is intended to hurt you; I’m just being honest. But I realize now, three years after our relationship ended, that I still have one step left to take in truly moving on.
Our relationship never should’ve started. If anything, it should’ve ended when I tried to break up with you but we decided to go on a break instead. To be completely honest, I already knew you weren’t the one I wanted to be with when you asked me out. I knew I didn’t want to say yes when you got down on one knee. I knew and I realized time and time again that I wanted things to end between us, that I wanted to leave, that we deserved better than what we had in each other. But I was too scared, too brainwashed, too naïve. I didn’t love myself enough.
It’s been a little over a year and a half since I left Sydney permanently. It’s hard to believe it’s only been that much because so much of my life has changed. It feels like a lifetime ago but on April 18th, 2020 when I got a certain calendar notification on my phone, it felt exactly like it had been a year: “Say bye to wok master”
I was dumbfounded by that bizarre notification for a second. And then I was hit with a wave of memories of my favourite Chinese place. I had created that calendar event so I wouldn’t miss my chance to say bye to you. When I told you I was leaving Sydney permanently, we talked about my future. You told me you’d miss me but gave me strength, and words of encouragement to not to fear change but to embrace it. And then you told me you were actually leaving to Melbourne with your wife to visit your son a week before I left Sydney. It meant I had to say bye to you earlier than I wanted. I was a little bummed because I had already planned that one of my last dinners would be from Wok Master and definitely wanted to see you. So I had set that reminder to make sure I didn’t miss my chance to say goodbye in person. What a hilarious reminder to receive one year later. It’s definitely one nobody else would get.
Honestly, I kind of forgot I wrote these to myself ever year because this year, I’ve been putting off intentional reflections. All my reflections happened either forcefully, or naturally without me realizing; that’s how busy, eventful, and stressful this year has been. I was spread thin.
This year I faced so many unexpected challenges that were the ‘norm’ for a pandemic, but still monumentally regardless. I lost my job working with/for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after the postponement due to the coronavirus. My mom had to stay with my grandpa and me for 9 months because she couldn’t go back. I’ve been working from home since March. I lost my great uncle suddenly and we couldn’t go to his funeral. And of course, though unrelated to the pandemic, my grandpa had to get stitches after cutting his lip shaving literally a year (to the date) after he fractured his back. Seeing that insane amount of blood was like the last kick 2020 wanted to give us…