I don’t want the social media version of you. Carefully crafted, perfect lighting, concise-captioned façade. I don’t want your performance. I don’t want you to work me the way you seemingly work a room so effortlessly. I don’t want your polite manners, your adopted behaviors as to how you should treat me, your burying of how you actually feel.
I just want the parts of you that are you.
I want you to tell me what movies and songs keep you up at night because they hit a little too close to home. I want you to tell me who hurt you and why. I want you to tell me how your struggles to forgive them are the reasons why you act out in the ways that you do. I want you to tell me each and every time you were in so much pain that you thought tomorrow wouldn’t come, and you’d be alright with that either way. I want you to trust me enough with these scars, open wounds, and pieces of you that are so powerful and fragile all at once.
I don’t want to just hear about your accomplishments, though I am always proud of those. I want to hear what you are ashamed of and what you regret.
I want to hear where and when you wish you’d had a do-over, and what you would have changed. I want to remind you that had you done things differently, you yourself would be different.
I need you to know that I don’t want you to be different.
I don’t want your profile picture face. You are not free of blemishes and you shouldn’t be ashamed of that. I don’t want the version you’ve dreamt up for yourself as being ideal because it can’t come anywhere close to being as perfect as you are right now. You are so meant to be the way that you are right now. But, I promise to expose myself to you in return and show you these shattered pieces I exhaust myself with trying to mend. I want you to share every reason you feel that you are unlovable. I won’t promise to fix them because I can’t, but I do promise to love you anyway. I swear, I will love you anyway.
I want that smile that you can’t hide. I want your uncontrollable laughter that escapes you so easily. I want that boyish excitement when you show me something you’re proud of. I want that look in your eyes when you recognize how safe you are with me. I want you to know that your name is invulnerable in my mouth and your self-proclaimed weaknesses reside safely between the spaces of my fingers.
I need you to know that your battlegrounds will always be in my focus, and your resting place will always be secured just above my collarbone. I need you to know that your pain is a part of you but it has nothing to do with what you have to offer.
I need you to know that you can share all of this with me. You can share yourself with me.
This world can demand a lot. Love can demand even more. But I just want you to know, at the end of the day, all I need is your honesty.