To the person whom I chose to love for the rest of my life, We have finally found each other. It took a while to get here, to finally make the decision of allowing someone to know every piece of me like the jigsaw puzzle that I am, whole but partly broken. I never believed you to be the last piece to my puzzle. Instead, I think you to be the one to put the pieces together.
The one who took the time to rearrange the individual pieces, slowly scrutinizing if this piece should be put here or there––from the corners that are easiest to decipher to the most confusing middle pieces––and when all the pieces have come together, you would have seen my brokenness and yet, you would have been happy to see the whole picture and thought that the time and effort that took you to complete the puzzle were all worth it.
Perhaps you have not put all the pieces together yet. Maybe it’s in moving forward that I’ll give you the rest of the pieces.
And it will be like that. Being the Reformist that I am, I will probably not give you an easy time because I would not want to let my guard down. What if you were not the one? Then again, I never believed in the one, only in choosing the right one. I pray for humility everyday because of a mindset I have nurtured through the years of trying to achieve.
It seems that I have been conditioned to always get things right. It has made me proud. I have spent many years trying to build myself. The early parts of my life were marked by laureates and speeches, doing my best at everything that I did. I was never pressured into it. I just felt like it was the proper thing to do.
People started to recognize it and I never knew how much I got used to that until the day I ceased to be the overachiever that I was. I remember asking one time for a simple life where I was average so that eyes were not always on me. And it came true. College and the years after broke me to pieces and molded me. I experienced failure and not meeting expectations that people have set for me, high standards I have set for myself. Disappointment. That was what it felt like for years. I feared it. I lived in it.
It was a series of rejection and missed opportunities in both life and love. It took all of that to allow me to grow. My parents gave me freedom and allowed me to stumble. Family reminded me I will always be loved and could always be a part of something. Friends taught me to live a little.
Mistakes made me realize that not always being right was okay. It is alright to trip and be imperfect. It’s the imperfections and the failures that make room for growth. To many, it would seem that I have a pleasant demeanor and I try to take care of people but only a few would know that it takes little to irk me.
You would probably roll your eyes at me for my occasional gossip-mongering. I pass out judgment on people as if I was a juror in the common room. I recognize that side of me, do not take pride in it, and find it a difficult habit to break but one I am trying to control. If I notice that the mood is sour and that the tension in the air is cutting, my mood will swing that way, too.
In our arguments, I would probably contest my side until the very end but don’t worry. I will always listen to your side also. I will hear you out and see where our points differ, how they differ, and why they do. Maybe you’re right or maybe I am, or maybe it’s the both of us. We probably will be both at fault. It could be just a difference in perspectives. No matter the case, I hope that we will always have respect for other even in pain––especially because we are both hurting.
In a relationship, there should be other things than love. Trust and respect, as much as love, are both foundations of a lasting connection. If it were me a few years back, I would probably be wishing for the fairytale or the romantic comedy happy ending finish. I would have imagined myself with someone who would love me just right, not too suffocating or too loose like the no label notions couples of my generation grew up with.
But that was the idealist in me. I know now that the world is unkind and that it will always be unfair. Skewed towards the ones with the most and cruel to the lacking. I accept that our relationship could bear pain, but I never went into it thinking it would have an expiration date. I will always hope for this love to last and will work on making it so.
I hope that you fell in love with me first because you found me beautiful––not only by the frame of my body that will decay over the years––but by the ideas of my mind that occasionally stray too close to the sun, by my resolve to spark change in the meager space I have in the world hoping it would reverberate so that the already unkind world would be just a little more forgiving, by my effort to always do what is right and just for people and places and principles not only to satisfy myself but to improve the quality of life for many.
When I am too caught up in trying to make a difference in the world, I hope that you could pull me back from time to time so that I may enjoy what already is. I may believe that there are many things that the world, people, and myself can improve on, but there are also a multitude of little joys that we can only appreciate in the moment.
Time may have taken away many of the things we treasured and people that we loved, but it is also what gives everything its meaning. When we are bound by limits, we either try to work around them or transcend them, but never be halted by them.
Whether or not we exercise our biological potential and perpetuate the species, I hope that we become a part of a family of acceptance and not just tolerance.
In our upcoming marriage, we already become a part of each other’s. We don’t create our own, we merely extend the love that we already have. For many times in my life, I have felt alone. Sometimes lonely, yes, but I have also found solace in it. I have gotten so used to standing by myself, against the tide, that I sometimes forget how to deal with someone else standing beside me. So when someone else reaches out and makes me feel loved, I find it foreign and confusing albeit comforting.
There was a time when I thought that I did not have the right to love. Thank you for letting me know that I deserved it. And so I hope that in the family that we will have, it becomes a home of love so that none of us will ever feel undeserving of love many of us have spent lifetimes to search for. For all that’s right and wrong in the world, I have found you to be the balance of both. Yours, The person you chose to love for the rest of your life.