Behind the blog: The truth about why I stopped blogging & took a break from social media

It feels so weird to sit down and write this because I haven’t written a post in what feels like months. It’s terribly sad, because I love this blog. Heck, I pay almost R500 a year keeping this blog going, but I never really made use of it and I felt that I should explain myself…

When people stop blogging, others assume that they stopped for the following reasons:

  1. It was just a phase, that person didn’t really have the intention of actually becoming a blogger.
  2. It was for the freebies and all those nice perks that come with having a blog
  3. The blogger was just downright lazy and doesn’t actually have what it takes to be a real blogger.

Okay, maybe number 3 is partially true but not enough reason to keep my blog going, so why is it still up? Why am I still here and why on earth am I even writing this?

You see, in 2015, when blogging was still relatively new, I walked into university and I was honestly so unhappy with my classes, I felt that I needed an outlet. I loved writing, from a very young age I always had my nose in a book and every month I would ask my mom to buy countless magazines just so I could read articles and get beauty freebies. So I turned my love for beauty, fashion and lifestyle into a blog. I knew absolutely nothing, but I liked that I had my own little place on the internet where my voice actually mattered. People were leaving lovely comments, following me on social media, asking to know more about me. And so began Sincerely Deeanne.

However, with all of this came its challenges. As my blog and following grew, so did the blogging world and people who also wanted to jump on the bandwagon. My passion that burned so wildly for blogging was slowly but surely being put out and here’s why:

Blogging became a numbers game

Once I had hit about 3000 followers on my old account (which has since been deactivated since my account had been compromised), there was suddenly a large demand for even more numbers. I was so confused. I didn’t understand why I needed a reach larger than what I had already, but companies didn’t care, they needed tens of thousands of followers if not more in order to be reached out to and to work with you. Now don’t get me wrong, if a brand doesn’t want to work with me, I don’t take it to heart. I take it as a challenge. But then it became a regular occurrence. I wasn’t big enough, I wasn’t busy enough and eventually I felt like my blog was not good enough. My favourite occurrence that grates my TITS is when you put your life and soul into a post thinking it’s so good and a brand responds with a heart emoji. Wow, okay. Next time instead of that heart emoji, you might as well send me the middle finger because you basically told me to get lost and take my content with me, because you couldn’t care less. This is what contributed to the lack of posts, as I couldn’t afford to review every brand out there on a student budget. Not to mention the hype around people with fake followers. Even though I read an article that actually supported people buying fake followers, it was just something that I couldn’t see myself doing. Firstly because I felt like it was an easy way out instead of actually taking the time to get to know your followers and secondly because even if for some crazy reason I actually wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to afford it (girl, when I say I’m hella cheap I mean I AM DEAD. ASS. CHEAP.). What hit me the most was that I had learned that people with huge followings were making money off of creating content, even though they weren’t actually content creators. I never went into blogging for money, so I was disheartened to learn that people with fake followers would make money off of something that I genuinely enjoyed doing.

Click, Click, Snap

The average blogger posts almost twice daily. Instagram algorithm, blah blah. So I decided to do it too. What I didn’t realize was that it was becoming so exhausting. I constantly had to have images ready, make sure my feed was in order, manage accounts, tag brands, make sure the picture is good enough to be featured. This lead to me becoming unhealthily obsessed with the way I looked. I would fuss over every picture of myself and would delete almost 30 posts at one point just because I didn’t like how I looked in photos. If friends tagged me in photos that I thought I couldn’t associate with my brand, I’d have that tag removed faster than you can say “selfie”. I became more focused on products and featuring that rather than beauty and lifestyle posts associated with myself. I became a victim of the gram sham. Where my life looked pretty darn dandy on camera but was falling apart in real life. This lead me to take a break from social media to focus on myself.

PR Lists & all the glitz

Who doesn’t love PR? I remember my first PR package. It was a gift from Cosmetix and even though it was probably the smallest gift ever, I was finally being recognized and sent all these nice things. Don’t get me wrong, I love the thrill of being asked for my delivery address and waking up to the delivery man dropping off something nice. That was until I stopped receiving them on a whole. No, I didn’t go into blogging for PR — please don’t come for me. When I would see other people getting PR, I would over analyze and I would think that maybe I was doing something wrong. What if I wasn’t good enough? What can I do to be better? This is what lead to all the unhealthy comparisons and endless nights I would spend crying because I finally felt like my blog had maybe reached its expiry date.

Compensation station

Here’s one of the real kickers. I’m not necessarily angry about this situation but I felt like it did contribute to me asking myself “why the actual heck am I still doing this?”. I was once e-mailed by a brand asking to be featured on my blog every week as promotion for their clothing line. I love clothes so I thought, wow. A brand actually wants me to regularly curate content for them. Then, they continued to say that as compensation, they would offer me a 10% discount code that I could provide to my readers. Yup, you got it ladies and gentlemen. A whole ass 10%. I feel like I need to add that their clothes weren’t exactly cheap. This is another problem that I feel has become an issue in the blogging world. So many companies and brands expect bloggers to work for them for free. Yes, it’s work. We don’t just sit around and take pretty photos and go to events like people think. We take time out of our day to create posts and spend hours shooting products, even though we’ll end up with 50 images and only be happy with one. Not to mention the effort it takes to share our content because it’s not just going to sit on the blog and market itself. The cherry on the cake: I was only offered that discount because I was considered a “small blogger”. As if all the hard work I had done was great but not good enough. I felt like someone had given me a pat on the back and said “yup, that’s nice and all but we don’t really care because your numbers aren’t big enough”.

Life happens.

2018 was not the best of years for me. My grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is currently in a weak state as he is deteriorating, I quit my job as a promoter and no longer had an income to buy products to review, I have no job security for next year and my final year of varsity kicked me so hard in the butt that I didn’t even know if I was coming or going. Yes, there are people in more terrible situations than myself and I count my blessings each and every day but my mental health had taken such a toll at this point that I decided to leave my keyboard for good and focus on my studies. It happens. Yet here we are, 1257 words later and we’re still going.

Call me lazy, silly or even weird for thinking that these reasons justify my absence in the blogging world, but truth be told, it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the damn truth. I love this blog with all my heart and soul and I am grateful for every opportunity that it had afforded me. It’s still my little place on the internet where I matter and that will never change. My passion for creating content still burns wildly inside me and will never die, it’s just that it has to be fueled again. It will, when the blogging world least expects it.

 

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22.

This is the part of my life where I silently remove myself from anyone who hurts me more than they love me, drains me more than they replenish me, brings me more stress than they do peace, and tries to stunt my growth rather than clap for it.

As I sit in the library on this Monday morning, after running around to hand in an assignment that I had written down an incorrect due date for (ah, the beauty of age), I can’t help but reflect. I realize that sometimes bad things happen, and that’s okay. I’ve also come to realize that as much as I love being with my friends and going to parties, I no longer enjoy the atmosphere that comes with it. I can be in a room full of people and be there physically but that no longer satisfies my desire for intellectual and stimulating conversation, being in the comfort of my own home and more importantly, preparing for the big bad world out there when I leave UWC. Growing older has taught me that we cannot be there for everyone and that’s okay. It’s opened my eyes to the fact that people can be in your circle, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re your friend. I’ve also come to understand that my mental health is way more important than maintaining toxic friendships because I’m too kind to cut people off.

On the other hand, I’ve learned that being mature is better than making irrational and petty decisions. It’s okay to congratulate your ex for graduating if you were part of the journey with them or wish them for their birthday, even if you’re no longer together. It’s okay to greet people you may have drifted apart from, even if you don’t talk as much as you used to. I’ve come to understand how important it is to remind your family and that you love them and fights are so unnecessary. Maturity is being able to walk away from situations that costs me my peace, because peace is expensive.

In terms of relationships, I’ve learned that love really is worth waiting for, but it’s not worth missing out on life. The best love stories are ones that happened unexpectedly. With that being said, I will wait for the man who respects me and supports me for who and what I truly am and everything I am yet to become. One day, someone is going to look at me like I am the best thing in the world and when that happens, I’ll be reminded that it was definitely worth the wait. I would rather spend my life living in the moment and be surprised by what happens than expect it every minute of the day, and that’s okay too.

Most importantly, I’ve come to understand the value of being happy for other people’s successes, no matter how small. Before, I would always get despondent when people were doing better than me or moving at a faster pace, but I’ve learned that God has his own timing, and I need to trust that, because “blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her” (Luke 1:45). I want to celebrate the success of others knowing that one day they might want to celebrate with me, I want to be there for people that may not have made it as far as I have but encourage them to keep going. And no matter what happens, I will always treat the cleaner the same way I would treat the CEO, because character is how you treat people who can do nothing for you. I don’t know what God has in store for me, but I trust him and that is all that matters.

Being 22 means that I now have more blessings to count, more challenges to face and a whole world out there waiting to be seen. I cannot wait to make memories all over the world and I already love the people I have not yet met. I promise to let go of things that no longer serve purpose, celebrate the little things and moments, move on from things I have no control over and to find happiness in everything, because nobody is allowed to take my happiness away from me without my permission.

Jen Sincero once said:

“You are loved. Massively. Ferociously. Unconditionally. The Universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are. It’s got you wrapped in a warm gorilla hug of adoration. It wants to give you everything you desire. It wants you to be happy.  It wants you to see what it sees in you”

So, here’s to the nights that will turn into mornings, friends who become family, my future husband and the amazing family we’re going to have, the places I have yet to explore and make memories in and to everlasting happiness and great success. Also, I couldn’t help myself but to include a late women’s day message which is appropriate for National Women’s day, the day after my birthday.

Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them – Stacey Bendet

Happy Birthday, Deeanne.

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I tried OKCupid (worldwide) for a month and here’s what happened…

The world of online dating has become somewhat humorous to me. After downloading and deeply regretting having Tinder for a while, I deleted it thinking that I was not going to put myself through that ever again. Until I saw an ad for OKCupid. Now, keep in mind that I knew it was a dating app. What I didn’t know is that you can actually use it to meet like-minded people and make new friends from across the world. Having absolutely nothing to lose and add in the fact that I’m on winter break, you have me over here writing my thoughts on my experiences using the app.

HOW IT WORKS:

Unlike Tinder, OKCupid is not the same as diving right in after posting your best selfies. In actual fact, before you can use the app, you have to answer a series of questions so that the app can set you up with people who you have a number of things in common with. Questions can range from what you’re looking for on OKCupid all the way to what you’d like to change about the world, and then some. At first, answering these questions were really cool because it’s almost as if people want to get to know you, but after a while it became very tedious. Once you’re done answering a few questions, you add your best photos of yourself (with a few great compliments every time you successfully upload a picture, I really liked this feature) and there you go, you’re all set.

This is what your profile looks like once you’ve added your photos:

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Once you’ve added your basic information, this is what others will see:

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MEETING NEW PEOPLE:

On OKCupid, you do swipe left and right like Tinder with the added bonus of getting to know new people by reading their bios (Ok, I’ll admit it’s exactly like Tinder but people actually have their act together). Next to their names, there’s actually a percentage match designed by OKCupid to tell you how much you have in common with that person, which could tell you whether or not you’d make a good match. This is great but I don’t think you can accurately match people by percentages when you take into consideration that men are actually really lazy and hate doing these types of things. I can’t tell you how many times my guy friends have told me that they’re willing to lie in their bios simply because they want to impress ladies or that they don’t even bother reading bios in the first place. That I can believe, because when I used to be on Tinder, a lot of guys would send the most disgusting messages despite my bio explicitly stating that I’m not into hook-up culture.

You’re allowed to message anyone on OKCupid, but they won’t know you’ve received it until you choose to answer or they have A-List, which is similar to Tinder Gold, a paid service which allows you to access certain features like boosting your profile to increase your matches or a higher success rate of matching with someone you like. This is the only thing I don’t like about the app. You see, the app will notify you that someone has liked you (so far, I’ve been liked by over 1000 people) but they won’t tell you who it is unless they’ve messaged you, so you basically have to guess. Due to this, you have to sift through all the profiles or you have to state in your bio that you can’t see likes (so the person can message you, you can see messages).

You’d think that because I have over 1000 matches that I’d have found the perfect man by now, right? Haha, wrong. You see, I’ve matched with a few people from all over the world who can’t even string together a decent conversation or people who message me with “hey, how are you?”. Come on guys, you can do better than that. I have however made a few great friends who are nothing short of excellent when it comes to banter. Knowing that long distance isn’t really going to work for me at this stage (I am contemplating teaching English in the Far East/Dubai), knowing that others are on the same page and are in it for the giggles like me is always a plus. I’ve left my favourite messages I’ve received here for you guys to laugh at, or if you’re curious:

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It’s 2018, ok. More power to the females

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Not going to lie, this one kind of freaked me out a bit.

OKCUPID VS. TINDER

I find these apps relatively similar. Basically it’s photos and a bio, except Tinder is very popular when it comes to hook-ups, which is the main reason I deleted my account. I like OKCupid because it allows you to connect with people all over the world and your profile is tailored to what you’re looking for in terms of friendship, meeting new people, short-term dating, long-term dating or hookup. The only gripe I have is that I can’t see who’s liked me and you’re only allowed to match with a certain amount of people before OKCupid sends you a message to tell you that you have to set up a date with your matches once your number of matches has reached max (because I’m totally going to order chinese with someone in the U.S, living in South Africa). I find Tinder to be faster in terms of matches, but I’d say OKCupid is definitely a step ahead in terms of exploring your options all over the world. If you’re actually looking to find something solid, I’d recommend this app rather than Tinder.

THE VERDICT

Did I find the love of my life on OKCupid?

No.

Did I make new friends across the world (and gain a few Instagram followers in the process? shameless self-promo, ya know?)

Yes.

Keep the app?

No. I find it to be quite boring and although it is a better option than Tinder, I still feel like it’s a way to make money off of people. Realistically, I don’t think I would be able to “fall in love” with someone on the internet without meeting them first. 1 because I am terribly afraid of being catfished (although I know exactly what to look for, some people are repugnant when it comes to playing games with people) and two, I’m a very good judge of character in person. We could have fireworks going off in our conversation and meet up in person and well, crickets. I like the idea of meeting new people, but that’s about it. Love is definitely not on the map (see what I did there?) for me with regards to OKCupid.

RATING

6.5/10.

Have you ever tried dating apps? If so, let me know which ones are your favourite. I personally would just like to meet new people for now, pen pals welcome!

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Snapchat: just_deeanne

signing out of my dating profile!

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Return (feelings) to sender.

Ghosted? Don’t worry, me too.

PSA: If my future husband is reading this, appreciate all the things your girl had to go through before she found you.

Ghosted: when someone cuts off all communication with you, after you’ve expressed interest or you’ve been on a date. Usually done without prior notice and with a strong possibility that you will never see that person again.

Ah, my love life. Otherwise known as a series of unfortunate events. I can’t particularly pinpoint when this “ghosting” saga started to happen so I can’t really assume that there’s a reason for all these pathetic instances. I thought it would be fun to put together a few of my favourite ghosters, so you can see that you’re not alone, or you could just have a laugh at my expense!

HE THOUGHT HE WAS TOO COOL FOR A COLOURED

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Tinder. The one place on Earth that allows me to question the male species. However, occasionally you’ll actually find a decent guy or two. Well, I think. You see, I once met this guy that liked me so much that HE started making wedding plans. So, assuming I was wifey material, I decided to see where this would go. Keep in mind that this guy is a plumber, and I didn’t think twice about it (haha, Deeanne, you idiot). Everything goes well and we make plans to meet up and see if we hit it off in person. Until one day, when he went away with his friends for a weekend.

I hate being a mom, so naturally I give him his space and wait for him to come back. I waited, and I waited… Until I got a text saying “hey” to which I responded that I hope he’s having a great time. He says “Yeah, I told my friends about you. they were not expecting me to date a coloured girl. I thought you were white!”. Slap in the face? yup. Assuming that this douche just has foot in mouth disease, I put that behind me and continue the conversation which I watched slowly die, until eventually he just stopped replying.

So not only do I attract idiots, but I attract racist plumbers too.

HE FELL ASLEEP ON ME

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I think one thing I love about my friends is that they’re willing to go above and beyond to make sure I put myself out there. So one day, my friend gives this guy my number. He didn’t message me until a few days later but I thought he was pretty cool, my mistake. He would constantly tell me that he’s super shy and not used to putting himself out there (which was becoming quite a bore, like get it together please). One thing I noticed was that whenever I tried to make plans and move on to more serious topics of conversations, he would “fall asleep” on me and only reply the next morning. Usually when he’d reply I’d be so busy with campus that I’d forget. And one day, as I plucked up the courage to make plans, he fell asleep, and never woke up. Kidding! Although that was probably the last time we spoke.

To this day, I still see him around campus wishing that the ground would swallow me up because clearly, he’s not asleep anymore.

THE GHOSTER WITH THE GIRLFRIEND

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Guys, when someone ghosts you, understand that sometimes it’s for a good reason. One thing I hate about myself is that I always seem to give people the benefit of the doubt. It’s in my nature and definitely a downfall for me because I tend to be blind when it comes to people’s faults. Take this guy I knew from high school for instance. We used to be good friends even though he was older than me. One day he slides into my Facebook DM’s and hits me with this:

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This guy was smooth. I’d like to think that I myself am quite the flirt. So I decide that one more can’t do any harm, right? EH, WRONG. This guy spends the whole weekend making plans, sending a ton of voice notes and even asking to pick me up. Monday rolls around and this guy goes missing off the face of the earth. I don’t really like to read too much into these things because I myself have a life and whatever, but this guy goes missing for about a month. One day, he posts a status update and I decide to ask him where he went. He spins me a story about how he’s been busy with work and I, like the idiot I am, give him the benefit of the doubt. One night, he asks if he can take me out for a Sunday drive and dinner DATE with a sunset view. I tend to get a bit uneasy when someone asks to pick me up so I agree to meet him there the next day. Before I go to bed, he sends me a message saying “I hope my girlfriend is cool with us hanging out”.

This time, I ghosted him.

Please tell me I’m not the only idiot who attracts the worst guys ever? If so, could someone please remove the sign on my back that says “It’s okay to ghost this one”? Although I must admit, it’s pretty damn funny when I look back on it.

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Gotta Ghost!

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2017 – Year In Review.

I wanted to do a video on this, but to be honest, writing has always been my true passion.

2017, wow. Where do I begin? Everything I have achieved, lost and learned has added so much value to my life. I also wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported my blog, YouTube channel or even a simple follow on social media. Your kind words mean more than you will ever know.

Let me start by saying that my 2017 started off really well. I walked into the year with good health, passing my 2nd year of university, with distinction, (pops collar). I was not expecting 2017 to change my life so dramatically that it in turn changed the way I felt about myself and how I looked at life. I was invited to 2 The Body Shop events, which opened many doors for me and my blogging career. I am so grateful for every company who has reached out to me and I look forward to the events that lie ahead.

Although my year started off well, in April 2017 I came out of a 4 year relationship. This not only made me lose my best friend, but my only friend at the time. I spiraled into a deep, dark place for a while. I refused to go to campus, I would lock myself in my room and I would sulk all day and feel sorry for myself — BORING.

I took this as a learning curve and out of fear and desperation, I plastered signs all over campus looking for a lift club. Little did I know that this would in fact lead me to finding 3 of the best friends I have now. Nicole, Tamzen and Zahraa, you are truly my highlights of 2017.

Then, embarking on something a little bit out of my comfort zone. Tinder. I don’t know how I managed to find this gem of a guy, but I happened to match with a British stud muffin who I still remain friends with to this day. Unfortunately, love was not on the cards for me this year – which I am not mad about. It just means that I had more time to focus on my own goals and most importantly, myself.

Stamp passport – check. For the first time, I spread my wings and traveled to Thailand with my family, which is a memory I will cherish forever. I fell in love with the people, the culture and the food (food poisoning aside, I really hate my stomach sometimes). I got to experience a beach I have never been to, went on a walk in the middle of the night to get souvenirs (which is something you cannot do in Cape Town, because the crime rate is ridiculous) and even went snorkeling with thousands of tropical coloured fish in 3m deep water (I’m 1’54 so you can imagine how terrifying this was for me!). I crossed Krabi, The Phi Phi Islands and another island I really can’t remember the name of off my list and I really cannot wait to go back.

To end off my year, I decided to have my own giveaway in order to grow my channel and really gain a little bit of exposure for my new Instagram which I plan on posting regularly (once I get out of my slump. Ahh January) and plan to use only for reviews. If you like white feeds, my handle is sincerelydeeannetheblog. I ended off my year with 165 followers and 645 subscribers to my channel. I am so grateful for all the support, no matter how small.

I have no idea what this year holds for me, and to be honest it has not started off that well. I am just going to go with the flow and whatever happens, happens. All in God’s timing x

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Snapchat: just_deeanne

 

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VLOG: Life in the Fast Lane (Literally) – Audi TT Rides, Tamzen’s 21st and Wine Tasting.

If you told me last year that I would have an amazing group of friends and would be going out more often, I would’ve probably laughed at you and told you to tell someone else a joke. My life has changed so much since I came out of a 4 year relationship in April and I can honestly say I’ve never been this happy. I really enjoy going out with my friends and most importantly, I look forward to going to campus every day because I have them to look forward to. In this vlog you can come with me to go wine tasting, take a glimpse at what Tamzen’s 21st looked like and even take a spin in her new Audi TT.

 

–CLICK PLAY TO WATCH. PLEASE LIKE & SUBSCRIBE–

 

Here are a few photographs with the memories made for this vlog, what I like to call
“my life in pictures”:

–WINE TASTING @ DURBANVILLE HILLS–

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–TAMZEN’S 21ST–

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One of my favourite quotes from Harry Potter is:

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”

Everyone creates their own happiness, if you choose to do so. For 2 weeks I refused to go to campus because I was in such a dark space and feared running into my ex at campus. Then I asked myself, why is he going around as happy as can be when I’m stuck at home feeling miserable? It was at that point when I reached rock bottom, that I knew the only place I could go was up. I really have to thank my friends for being my pillars of strength in such a dark time, but most importantly for showing me that I was happy before and I can be even happier now. I am genuinely enjoying this stage of my life and constantly meeting new people. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

 

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This Is Goodbye.

“Please don’t get me wrong, I’ll always love the person you were. I just can’t love who you are now and what you’re becoming”

Before I start, I feel like you need to hear this.

–PRESS PLAY TO WATCH/LISTEN–

 

I can’t do this anymore. I can’t begin a new chapter of my life without closing an old one.

6 months ago, I was broken, unhappy and unmotivated. I questioned if life was worth it and I thought that the end of a relationship with someone who was your “best friend” was the end of the world. The girl I was 6 months ago hardly ever posted blog posts, felt too scared to upload YouTube videos because I didn’t have help and didn’t have any friends because I felt it was better to keep to myself.

It’s so funny to me because I would wish he’d come back and say he was wrong, apologizing for what he did, not even wishing me for my 21st birthday. When the time came and I saw this person again, there was no apology. No remorse. No care about how I was doing but merely, “what more can I get from you, knowing that you’re vulnerable?”.

Some things never change.

In my loneliness and longing, I found comfort, until I realized I wasn’t comfortable anymore.

I can honestly say that 6 months later, I feel happier. In fact, I can honestly say that I don’t even remember being this happy. I go out more, I sing in the car for the fun of it and most of all, I’m not alone anymore. I have friends, people who genuinely carry my best interest at heart.

 

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Please know this…

With the people I have in my life now, I have slowly started to erase you. In all honesty, I have you to thank for this. If I had never left, I wouldn’t have found what happiness truly feels like.

My heart doesn’t go into race mode when I see your car, my heart doesn’t drop when I see you or your friends.  I no longer walk into your work place praying you won’t be there.

I will always cherish what we had, but I don’t know who you are anymore and I don’t like what you’ve become.

I am happy, that is all you need to know. You don’t have to come back, you don’t need to text me to ask if I’m okay. Thank you for everything, but know that nothing more will come of this. Not a friendship, a conversation or a visit.

“It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.”

After four years, this is goodbye. Not for now, but forever.

 

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