Growing up, I was never exactly sure about love. I grew up with parents whose marriage consisted of jokes about celebrity boy and girlfriends, brothers who weren’t the biggest romantics and were pretty much man-whores (one of them definitely was, and the other one? Well, he lies a lot). I remember how much one of my brothers used to just bounce between women, and as young as I was, I knew that something was wrong with the fact that the girls that I’d been introduced to, disappeared after a few days. Worse as I grew up, because I’d sympathize with them.
I would ask myself, who in their right mind, is alright with being lied to, and being used? Growing up, and seeking out my own relationships, I made a personal vow to myself that I wouldn’t be that kind of a person. I wouldn’t be the kind of guy who thinks of his sex life as a conquest, who regularly jumps from girl to girl and doesn’t really care about it afterward. I, completely unlike my brother, became obsessed with the kinds of romantic relationships you’d only see in movies, or tv shows, or read about in books. That resulted in getting my heart broken, on numerous occasions, and a lot of the time over flings that barely lasted a week.
I learned the hard way that interpersonal relationships are complicated as hell, and that love doesn’t work as easily as it does in fiction. That sex isn’t always this amazing experience between two people who throw shit off of desks to make way for themselves. I put myself and other women in situations that I thought would cater to that part of me that wanted things to be special. It all felt so hollowed out and so empty; nothing felt right.
Then I met you. I was in another one of the relationships I’d had before you that was destined to fail, and when I met you, you were this amazingly, beautiful, perfect girl who I automatically assumed would look right through me as if I didn’t exist. I was wrong. I thought that there was no way a girl like you would be close to a guy like me. I was wrong. We became close, we laughed, we joked around, we hung out, and we spoke about our lives. We got to know one another, and I mean, actually know one another.
I shared with you things I hadn’t shared with any of the people I used to surround myself with. We were there for one another when our last relationships fell apart. We knew that we were treading on dangerous territory being close with one another during that time, but there was the night we threw caution out of the window and I kissed you as if I’d never kissed someone before. I remember that night because we were all over one another like we were both drowning, and in each other’s lips was the oxygen we needed to breathe.
What followed was honestly the most turbulent couple of years of my life, where I’d learn what a panic attack felt like, why people may need therapy, how life wasn’t going to get any easier. I’d learn what it meant to feel truly, truly heartbroken, and to actually be depressed. I’d venture into the darkest parts of my mind and find things that I’d been hiding for so long. For all this, I thank you. You took me into the dark, only to have me learn on my own, that I can create light.
You taught me to not fear the dark. You smacked me awake from the dream that I couldn’t wake up from. You shook my entire world up. You had to teach me that you, yourself weren’t the perfect girl I made you out to be. You’ve seen me at my absolute lowest, and didn’t cringe at the sight of my scars. You simply helped me pick my head up and showed me yours. You taught me to slow down, in all aspects of my life. You showed me that I was trying to run before I’d even learned how to walk, and got me to actually stop and think about what I was doing.
I could spend hours writing about how beautiful I think you are, and that nervous stuttering mumbling I still suffer from whenever you talk to me, but I’d rather write more about you being the caring, loving, and understanding person that you are. I don’t think I could ever thank you enough for doing what you do for me. I want to thank you for just existing in my life; thank you for looking past this facade I’ve put up over the years and truly seeing and understanding the lost little boy trying to act like he’s grown up, when he’s still got some growing to do.
Thank you for being an inspiration to truly grow as a human being (minus the immature moments where I’m sure you want to punch me), and inspiring me to really get off my ass and do something. Thank you for having the patience to deal with me and the bad habits that have accumulated over the years, and the patience to guide me past them. Thank you for being around even when I start to feel like I don’t deserve you in my life at all.
Two summers ago you wrote a note to me that said, “what we have is a process that can’t be rushed, because we aren’t sprinting toward the end.” I want to tell you, that you were right. This isn’t a race, this is our marathon. This past December, you gave me a puzzle, and said “hopefully we can fulfill the missing puzzle piece to our journey, and that (you) can prove to (me) that (you’re) in this to win it!” When I put that puzzle together and found a collage of us throughout the years, I knew that all the notions I had in my head that you were the person I was meant to fall in love with, and the person who would change my life, were right.
I fell in love with you because you changed my life, and now, we’re there to help one another as we take steps toward building our dream of a better tomorrow.