It's time that we went our separate ways. It is clear to me now that I should have left you in Portland where you belong. You're just too close to me. Every day you've been growing on me, becoming an integral part of my life and my very identity, but you just don't fit in here, and I need to breathe. I need to feel fresh air on my face.
It's not that I don't like you any more. I will miss being with you -- and I already do. It's the little silly things mostly, like how you inevitably tried to take up more space while I slept. Or how irritated I would get when someone rubbed you the wrong way. Or how you would bristle when I got busy and neglected you. And how when we would have soup, you'd always save a little bit for later.
It's hard when I sometimes look at strangers and see you, but I can handle it and so can you. You're naturally resilient. I tried to condition you to be soft, but I know you'll come back strong. I can't say when, but I know I will be with you again. It may be sooner than I think, but it may be longer too. There's just no way I can know the future. We've had our off-and-on times before, and some close shaves -- particularly when I was in the marines! -- but I know that I, at least, heal faster from the experience.
Now I've been without you for a day, and I already feel a little exposed, but I will do my best to keep a stiff upper lip and face the world clean. People have already said that I look several years younger, though they're not all certain why. In your absence, I can look in the mirror and see my tabula rasa. Thank you for this past year, our longest time and best together, and I hope that when we meet again you will still have your old luster and volume.