You may not know who you are, or that I loved you. It may even seem strange to you to learn that you affected my life at all. At the end of the day all you did was hold the door for me, or hand me my coffee with a smile. Events whose details I can’t even remember anymore - but I remember that they counted. No matter how short, whether ten minutes or three weeks, the time I spent in love with you has always taught me something about myself. Or perhaps just reminded me about the loving and lovable parts of me. Either way, I’d like to thank you.
Sometimes I worry that I’m spreading my love too thin, like if I have one more crush on one more cute doughnut shop employee that’s it, done for the decade. How sad is it to think that love is finite? That you get to choose two, maybe three people who get every part of you and then there is nothing left? But then you smile at me on the bus and I remember all the capacities within me. Capacity to share myself, no holds and unafraid. Capacity to still know who I am afterwards. Capacity to have new and exciting experiences I’ll never forget. Capacity to disagree but grow and learn from it. I remember how amazing it would be to see the universe in the eyes of every person I meet.
Every time I think about the name of our three kids after you linger a second too long handing me my change, I’m filled with bliss. Not because you finger tips are soft as you lay the coins in my hand, but because nothing is more amazing than the bond I’ll one day get to share with my children. As I zip my purse, shoot you one last shy smile, and walk away I think about my own parents. My smile grows from shy to hurt-your-cheeks as I think about how lucky I am to have two amazing, hardworking, strong, endlessly supportive people in my life. Falling in love with you reminded me of this. Thank you.
When I fantasize about our wedding after you send me a friendly email, I’m overwhelmed knowing that there is still so much love in my future. I will be loved by people that I have yet to meet; in ways even greater than I have loved so many that I will never meet again. Ways I can’t even imagine (even though I’ll certainly try). It’s easy to get caught up in the love we have lost. Falling for you over and over serves as a reminder that I am strong enough to move on after loss. I am ready for the time I fall fully and deeply, because I know I will still be standing firm in myself when the tumble is over. I owe this to you and all the times I have loved you and lost you and been okay.
Maybe I want to love you for this short moment because if everyone I meet is my soul mate, even for a second, then I never have anything to prove. You don’t have to impress someone you’re meant to be with. As I try one more time to grab your attention with a joke or warm smile, it’s not to convince you of anything, but simply to remind myself once more of the many things that make me worthy of being loved. I’m showcasing the things I love about myself for me, not for you - but thank you for allowing me to.
I am grateful for the lessons you have taught me. Thanks to you I will always love with reckless abandon, starting with myself. In the end, I don’t expect you to remember me, let alone care. But you did care about a stranger enough to be kind to her, and I hope you know that meant the world.
All my love (for right now),