I look back at my thoughts from seven months ago and see how lost I was and how desperately I longed for answers. Now I have those answers and I often feel ashamed of how long it took to obtain them.
I begin to regret wasting so much of my time focused on one man, convincing myself with absolute certainty that he was my person. I ache thinking about all of the perfect moments that never amounted to anything more.
But in my regret, I find growth. I am not who I was seven months ago, or even 15 months ago when I first met him. I walk taller now, and I am aware of the respect I must always demand from any man in my life.
He taught me how to take chances, how to care for someone, and how to love someone through their struggles. I cannot regret someone who genuinely gave me the best summer of my entire life for the simple fact that I had someone else to share the sun with. The tears I cried along the way only enforced the idea I was growing into a woman who knew she deserved more than what this one man had to offer.
Every tear reminded me that my heart was big enough for the two of us, but that it was unrealistic to think I could carry us all the way. His heart was never truly aligned with mine, and while I know he cared about me, and still does, the way he looked at me would never be more than the admiration of a dear friend.
I realize now that’s okay, and it’s for the best. Author John Green once said, we like someone who can’t like us back because “Unrequited love can be survived in a way once-requited love cannot.”
But at the very least, once-requited love comes with the bittersweet knowledge that there was once a rare human connection that can never be forgotten. I realize now that I belong to no one other than God, and in His own timing, He will reveal to me the man He has handpicked to withstand and fight beside the beautiful storm that is my soul. It’s with this peace that I can rest. Amen.