I will not fall for you all at once. No, I will fall for you gradually—falling for the little things. Like the way, you laugh mid-kiss sometimes and look at me like you can’t believe what is happening. Or the way you reach over in your still sleep-fogged state and pull me close to you as if you cannot keep me close enough. Or simply the way you look at me when we laugh; laughing with you is my favorite. It’s like looking directly into your core and seeing how truly vulnerable you can be; laughing with me yet hoping I won’t break your heart. But what you don’t know is that I could never break your heart, because it is the most beautiful thing about you.
I remember the day you asked me my top pet peeves before listing yours. You said these were your only deal breakers. They were off the wall and nothing close to what I expected, but they were yours—they were part of you—they made you who you are. Opening up to reveal your vulnerabilities says a lot about you. I always saw the fierce uniqueness burning brightly in you, but your list illuminated that even more. I was hooked.
What I so badly wanted you to see is that I am the girl who will be there for you when you need reminding how amazing you are, because life has you convinced otherwise. The girl who will cherish any time spent with you, simply because it is a chance to be near you. I’m the girl who will make you homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch when you’re not feeling well. I’m the girl who will believe you when you say you want to “take things slow” to give us the chance at having something real. But I’m also the girl who will stand up for herself instead of being walked on.
I guess no answer answers enough. I’m not important enough to warrant a simple, quick text saying you’re not up for hanging out? I’m not important enough to stick around and wonder where this is going, because the answer is clearly a resounding “nowhere.” It echoes off the walls built by the silence you have placed between us so many weeks ago now. I’m done waiting for a response, convincing myself that somewhere—even in the far back of your mind—is a thought of me that will ring through as if someone tapped a fingernail on a crystal glass. A clear sound to ripple to the front of your consciousness and remind you I’m standing by… but I’ll stand by no more.
I deserve to be happy… but so do you. Waiting around for something to never happen only promotes the stagnation of life, progression—it halts the future and what it has in store. What so many others our age forget to remember is this: love isn’t simply choosing to spend your life with someone. It is waking up every day and making the daily choice to spend the rest of your life with them. Love isn’t passive, it’s an action—a daily choice. It’s perpetual.
But the most important kind of love is the kind we most often neglect: self-love. I gave that up in my desperate search for love from you, and I lost sight of who I am and what makes me happy. So instead of sitting around waiting for a text from you that will probably never come, I’m choosing myself every day. To wake up and remind myself that I am strong and worthy of being loved the way I wanted to love you. Someday, I will get that kind of love from another person, someone capable of allowing me to love them.
And so since I know you will never read this letter, I hope someone—somewhere is able to learn from my misgivings and at the very least, love themselves again. I hope it as much for a stranger as I wish it for you. But I also hope that you remember being forgotten, like me, by so many potential lovers before me. Please love yourself again.
Dear reader: you’re beautiful, amazing, and worthy of so much love. Please don’t ever forget that… but if you do, I hope you also remember to love yourself first. Because nothing will make you happier than doing what is best for yourself. Be happy. Be free. Be loved.
Credit: Elaine Bradford