We are coming of age in a time where love and life are on display – and the scrutiny seems almost inescapable. I would rather observe than partake; it’s one of the few times I prefer to sit on the sidelines of life. But it feels like one of the few ways I can keep love a little bit sacred in such a time as this.
Still, there are a few things I never said about past love, and would-be lovers. Busy days and lonely nights have gone by – but the words continued to elude me. Perhaps it was bitterness, perhaps it was fear, and yet still, perhaps it was the feeling that the time for such loves had come and gone, and my words had missed their moment.
But maybe words don’t need perfect moments, they just need to be said. So to all the boys and men that could not have loved me, this is my honest note. And if you find comfort and solace in these words, feel free to borrow or steal them. For truthful words do not come easy, and to come across the kind that dictate your heart is rare. But when it happens, those words become yours too.
I would like you to know I was hurt. Even though I am proud and I refuse to let anyone see me cry. Going without your love left a wound.
I would like you to know I was angry. How dare you awaken the rarest and best part of me and leave me there standing alone? Going without your love made me bitter.
I would like you to know I was sad. A sadness that made me feel terribly alone in the world, even when I was in a crowd. Going without your love made me want to be numb.
But wounds heal, bitterness does not make its home in a heart that is soft and strong, and I could never be numb for too long. After all, I have far too many passions to temper and to consume and to be consumed by, in this fragile but resilient body.
So I would like you to know that I am grateful. A heart that knows disappointment, is a heart that appreciates joy. Going without your love made me more thankful.
I would like you to know that I am kinder. My pain became a reason to be more attentive to the pains of others. Going without your love made me more gracious.
I would like you to know that I am happy. Because even though you could not love me, I realized there will be another, perhaps many others. Going without your love made me more open to life and to love.
A thankful, more gracious, more open heart is one that can honestly also wish you the best – the very best in your life. And even though you couldn’t love me the way I wanted you to, maybe you did love me the best way you could. And even if you didn’t, even if you couldn’t, I am still grateful that I could love you at all.
Sometimes love doesn’t need an outcome. Sometimes love just needs to be. And when I loved you, maybe I didn’t need your love back. Maybe I just needed to be.
Thank you for letting me be.