"Go away. Write about it. Figure out how you're really feeling. Then come back to me. Then we can talk. "
This was the moment when I knew that you loved me. I'd known that I loved you for a while, but this was the moment that changed everything. This was also the moment that I left with no intention of returning to you. You called me a writer, while I called myself everything but. You encouraged me, you were on my team. You saw me for who I am… terrified of being seen.
And now I'm ready to tell you what happened. To tell you why I ran. To tell you that I loved you too.
But first, you should know that I listened. I did go and write about it. I poured my heart onto those pages, and all of a sudden everything made sense. I learned that I was scared. I learned that this felt new and unfamiliar, but that I kind of enjoyed that. I was so enamored with you. You made me feel like I mattered. You made me feel beautiful. And I began to chase that feeling.
Instead of being an unexpected surprise, your affection became something that I craved. But not in the ways that others do. I wasn’t going to fight for it. I was going to sit and wait for you to give it to me, because it didn’t count if I had to ask for it.
And suddenly I felt like I was always competing for your attention. But I was somehow competing at a game that I wasn’t really playing. On principle at first, then out of spite. There is no way in the world that it's lost on you how many people want to be seen by you. To be KNOWN by you. You're smarter than you let them know. But I knew. I still know. The hopeless romantic in me found it appealing at first. To know how many people wanted you, and to realize that you were mine. Even if they didn’t know it. I knew. And it felt nice. It felt like I won. But then I stopped winning.
You broke me. Again. And again. And again. Until I was shattered.
And here's a thing about me that's really goddamned important. I don't believe that love ever ends. If you EVER love someone, you FOREVER love someone. If it ends, it wasn't love. Love is not the relationship. Love is not a feeling. Love is something that you choose to live into every single day. Giving you the ability to shatter me is something that I chose... Every. Single. Day.
And when I realized that I just couldn't hand myself to you anymore, I had to go. But that didn’t mean that it was over. It meant that I was more concerned with your happiness and well being than my own, and I accepted that. It meant that things were imbalanced and I let them be that way. It meant that things were no where near as real as they used to be, they were imperfect and I told myself I was okay with that.
The problem was that I loved you when I shouldn’t have, and that meant that I couldn’t when I should have. You broke me. And then I broke us. Again. And again. Until we were no more.
But here's where I've landed. I was convinced that your purpose in my life was to destroy me. And for once, I'll admit that I was wrong. The ways that you built me were unforseen. You loving me, even though I didn't know it at the time, taught me to love myself. The ways that you changed me, though deeply uncomfortable, were perfect in every way. So here I stand. I relent. My pride and protection weren't worth it.
I'm showing up. I'm choosing to love deeply and fully. I'm choosing to jump in quickly. I'm choosing to allow myself to be seen.
I'm choosing to show up.
And I'll keep showing up. Again. And again. And again. Until I'm whole.