To The Man Who Taught Me How To Love Myself

Dear you,

I’m probably writing this to assuage any urge I’ve recently had to call you and listen to your voice, or even send you a Facebook message, to be honest. And I think that’s okay.

Last night I tossed and turned in my bed trying to get to sleep and ignore the fact that I had an 8 a.m. deadline to meet for a story. My first real story!

Excitement over the story isn’t what eluded my sleep, though. I spent a good fifteen minutes convincing myself to not get out of my (not) warm (enough) bed, pull out my dusty stack of leftover graduation stationary, and write you a letter. Then and there. I even considered texting you with the innocent proposal that we become pen pals, now that you’ve moved back home.

What was I thinking? Stamp prices are awful.

I often have these delusions of grandeur that I’ll say one word and you will bend over backwards to please my selfish little heart. I know you’re fickle. I know it’s difficult for you to love something that’s not at all familiar to you. I know this, but I can’t accept it… yet.

So, anyway, this is me satiating my desire to tell you about my life in the measly hopes that you will stumble across this and calm the murky waters of my mind.

***

I’m always lonely and curious, and more often than not, I’m wondering about you.

College is treating me well. It isn’t very glamorous, but there’s never a dull moment. I’ve got a fancy desk job downtown, and admittedly, it is a little soul-crushing, but it’ll do for now. I love my classes and I’ve made friends and I’m doing fun things on a regular basis. It feels like I’m fulfilling a prophecy I kept telling everyone about. “I’m meant to be in college,” I’d say. “I’m wasting my time anywhere else.”

I’ve been listening to a lot of great music and I’m on good terms with all the people I love. Most importantly, I’m on good terms with myself. I feel good naked. I eat well. I don’t wear Spanx and I let my cellulite show. I still think I am darling and my hair is more amazing than ever.

I never would have thought such things if it weren’t for you.

I am a woman, and it is something that I still struggle with accepting. Not in a gender-identity crisis sort of way, but in such a way that I never really felt like a woman until I met you. I had always felt like this little girl who hadn’t grown into herself, playing a role that wasn’t fit for me.

I will say I didn’t always feel like a woman around you. Sometimes I felt like a tiny mouse, scurrying across a crowded room, trying not to get stepped on. Other times I felt like a martyr ready to jump off a cliff to save you from my needy wrath.

And as hasty as it may sound, I’m almost certain I loved you. The funny thing about this realization when it came about, however, is the subsequent notion that I… I loved myself? You were great, yes. You taught me things I yearned to know and things I didn’t even know I wanted to learn and it gave me worth. It gave me knowledge and this crazy idea that I, this mess of fumbled thoughts and awkward comments could actually create beauty with her own hands.

I can’t thank you enough for that.

I’ll always revert back to the anxious eighteen-year-old at the mention of your name. The one who knew how to kiss but what never quite sure how to speak.

I speak up, now. It’s wonderful.

I hope you’re enjoying Chicago. Kiss the cat for me.

All my love, for as long as it lasts,
Me TC mark

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