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The Difficult Story

The Best Thing I Never Wanted | creative nonfiction | the difficult story novel project

“You are going to be OK. You are strong and you are going to be happy again. Do you hear me? There is something good about this place. Do you feel it?” I gave myself a little side-eyed glance in the mirror as I recapped the toothpaste. Lots of people give themselves pep talks in the bathroom, right? Totally normal.


We expect a lot from the one’s we love, which is why I had to make the decision to leave. I had to stop begging for her attention, and I had to stop making assumptions. Assumptions are false narratives that cause one-sided arguments to sneak into my mind – and then my feelings get hurt. Yes, it’s time to let go of the past. Stop being so soft-hearted and crying so fast. I may feel humbled, shaken, changed, but I’ve gotten a glimpse of the future and the way I want it to be, and there’s a good chance I can bring it about. I just have to get to work.

I’ve always wanted my daughter to fly toward her own life with an easy heart, and she has. Still, these periodic estrangements extend way beyond the two of us. I feel like this is the end. The end of our lives together, and therefore the end of feeling loved by her.

Below you'll find snippets of an on again/off again estrangement, morsels of how I'm expanding my future, and perhaps pieces of a love letter to my estranged daughter.