Thank You For Showing Me That I Can Still Love

Milos Tonchevski

I didn’t expect you. You were a surprise to me in so many ways.

I’ve had my heart broken twice before in my life and I’m thankful for each experience, though I wouldn’t have been thankful while I was wading through it. But in hindsight, I’m glad it happened, each time. Life happens as it does and I found myself in a place where I didn’t want to be with another person romantically.

At first, it was because I was afraid of having my heart broken yet again. Fear is normal, right?

I feel like I wrapped that fear around me tight and stayed warm in my fear for longer than I should have. Once the fear subsided, I told myself I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship because my friends needed me, I didn’t want to online date, or some excuse like that. And then I found myself staring down the barrel of a Major Depressive Episode and all that entailed. Cue the comfort eating, etc..

I emerged from the depression several pounds heavier and uncomfortable in my skin. When it became too uncomfortable, I forced myself to find motivation and joined a new gym. I worked hard on myself, emotionally and physically. I was avoiding being in a romantic relationship because I was “working on me”. But I’m so glad I took that time.

I’m so glad I leaned into the fear and learned how to enjoy being single. I became really good at being single, maybe a little too good? There were a couple guys over the last few years but, as I knew in my heart of hearts it wasn’t going anywhere, I side-stepped any major entanglements and continued along my merry (single) way.

Earlier this year, I realized I was feeling good in my skin. Really good. I realized I wanted to be out there again, in the dating world. I opened up to the many possibilities available and went out on a couple dates. Nothing too exciting but it felt good to be “getting out there.”

I went back to my hometown for a vacation this summer and found you.

We shared a sweetly innocent make out session at the age of 13 and I hadn’t really seen you since. I’d heard about you, heard you were married, had a kid, but we weren’t in touch on social media. Running into you so many years later, someone that I had never really forgotten, was a surprise. A very pleasant surprise.

We met for drinks. Drinks turned into dinner. Dinner turned into a stroll around the neighborhood. The stroll was followed by another drink. It seemed we didn’t quite want the evening to end. When we kissed at the end of the night, it felt familiar and new at the same time. I had forgotten that I remembered how you kissed.

Another evening spent together—listening to music, watching the fireflies dance, talking, laughing—it was one of those perfectly magical kinds of nights. Unexpectedly magical.
Saying goodbye to you at the end of my trip wasn’t the hardest goodbye I’ve ever had, but it wasn’t easy either. Promises to keep in touch were made and kept—for a little while anyway.

We’re both back in the real world and communication has tapered off. We’re both busy, living our lives. You sound like you’ve moved on, from what I’ve heard. And I’m sad. I had a nice little fantasy built up in my head. A fantasy where I move back to my hometown (due to a fantastic job offer, not because of a guy), we explore what we have, and everyone lives happily ever after. But that has turned out to be just that—a fantasy.

So while I’m sad that it doesn’t seem like you’ll be in my future, I also want to thank you. We only had a week together but it was long enough for me to realize that I’m not broken.

My heart can actually still feel.

After two heart breaks, I shut down the factory, so to speak. I closed off that part of me in order to heal. And when I finally felt like opening back up again, I wasn’t sure if everything still worked. It does. I may be a little rusty but I can still feel. So thank you. Thank you for trusting me with your story and sharing space with me. Thank you for showing me that magic does exist, that fireflies eventually flash in unison, and that certain satellites are only visible at certain times. Thank you for showing me that I am ready to love and be loved in return.

I wish you nothing but the best and want you to know that my door is still open. I’m no longer standing in the doorway waiting for you but the door is still open. TC mark

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