I was once told by someone I was crazy about that I should “love lightly.” He tossed me this phrase as I was in the early stages of picking up the pieces of a heart that was shattered into so many bits that I didn’t even know where to begin putting them back together. He had the best of intentions and wanted to inspire me to take the good as it comes and let go of the rest. But I don’t know how to love lightly. I’m not even entirely sure that I know how to do anything lightly.
I’m all or nothing. If I’m not jumping in with both feet, I’m standing as far away as possible and admiring the view.
I’m such a passionately open book that it sometimes scares people away. As hard as I try to tone it down a notch, I can’t. Being passionate and open is who I am, and I know in my heart of hearts that I will someday find someone who appreciates that about me.
Maybe that person will be you.
I will fall for you, hard and fast.
I choose passion over logic and fun over responsibility. I will read you like a book and memorize you like a poem. I will listen to the words you speak and admire and attempt to understand the perspectives you share. I will etch your birthday into my mind and think about how to celebrate your existence months in advance. I will want to know about your relationship with your parents and siblings. I will want to know their names. I will remember your favorite band, your favorite movie, your favorite color, your favorite book. I will mentally pause the moments that make your face light up. I will notice the freckles on your body and the color of your eyes. I will remember the way your hand feels and the way your fingers curl around mine.
I will touch you like I’ll never get to touch you again because I know how it feels to not be able to touch the person you love. I will give you goosebumps. I will make you forget about a bad day. I will find your insecurities endearing. I will always hold you and let you hold me for a few more minutes, no matter how late I’m running or how important the events of the day may seem.
I will look forward to date nights the way I look forward to getting off work after a long day. I will plan adventures for us and ask about the things you’ve always wanted to do and the places you’ve always wanted to see. We will stay out late and wake up early. We will grow together and try new things together. We will write new stories and make new memories daily.
I will believe in you and support your dreams, no matter what. I will challenge you and call you on your bullshit. I will not let you half-ass your way through life, and I will urge you to always try one more time when you feel like giving up on something that matters to you.
In the end, win or lose, I’ll want the best for you. I’ll want you to be happy with or without me. If I lose you in any capacity, I will mourn. I will get angry. I will cry a lot. I will try to make you change your mind. But ultimately, I will let you go and eventually come to appreciate the role you played in my life story. I will forgive you for your mistakes and forgive myself for my own. I will keep you in a special pocket of my heart and think of you often. I may even want to stay friends with you, if only to honor the fact that we ever crossed paths to begin with. And I will always, always love you.
But I sure as hell won’t love you lightly.