To The Next Person I Love: Here Is How I Hope You Show Up

Brandon Woelfel
Brandon Woelfel

I hope you show up wide-eyed.

I know we’ve both been living for a while. I know we’re tired and jaded and have been let down enough times that we’re ready to throw in the towel. I know it’s been a hell of a trip. I know we are not eighteen years old anymore.

But I hope you still have a bit of that spark in you. The one that used to push you to strive harder, dream bigger, keep moving towards the kind of life you dreamed of at ten or fifteen or twenty-two.

I hope you show up afraid.

I hope your ego hasn’t filled so much space that you have no room left to bask in uncertainty. I hope that you’re still nervous about most things: of love, of progress, of failure, of getting lost or letdown or hurt. I hope you haven’t hardened yourself to the point where you feel as though nothing can touch you.

Because if you’re living life right, it should touch you. It should challenge you. It should inspire you and it should scare the absolute hell out of you. I hope you’re still willing to let yourself be scared.

I hope you show up still brimming with unexpired hunger.

That you are hosting a heart full of questions that you don’t yet have the answers to; that you are comfortable, still, with the search.

I hope you show up with a mind that is aching for explanation and a backbone that refuses to settle on whichever answers present themselves first.

I hope you show up defeated.

Not beaten-down or brokenhearted or helpless, but having seen a few losses in your day. I hope you already know that life is never going to look like a fairytale, that love is very far away from magic.

I hope you’ve been around the block a few times and lost just enough to make you appreciate all that you have. I hope you’ve learned there’s no such thing as perfection. That you cannot control what comes your way, but you can always appreciate the hell out of it. You can be thankful for the good when it arrives.

I hope you show up searching for connection.

I hope you don’t confuse love with perfection – thinking that if you have your life arranged with precision, you’ll be worthy of adoration forever. I hope you’re still willing to be open and raw. I hope your ego hasn’t grown so big by the time that you get here that you’ve let it stand in for your heart.

Because the kind of love I’m looking for is willing to be split open. It’s unfiltered. It’s unchiseled. It’s every bit as human as we are and it’s searching to connect, not impress.

I hope you show up calmly.

I hope you show up bravely.

But most of all, I hope that you show up unexpectedly.

I hope I’m not ready for you when you get here.

I hope you’re nothing like what I expected – a little too chaotic in some ways, a little too composed in others. I hope that you challenge my idea of what I think that you are going to look like and that we’re both surprised to find out that we’re what each other needs.

I hope that at the end of the day, I actually have no idea at all how you’ll show up.

Because if there’s anything I’ve learned thus far, it’s that the best things in life tend to take us completely by surprise. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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