He leans forward with his body, asks questions, makes eye contact that is so intense and steady I have to look away again and again. Twice, we laugh, together. It’s real, spontaneous laughter and it moves the air around us—the air that has grown so stale—and I wish the kids were awake to hear it. It sounds like hope. And I understand that shared laughter is sacred because it’s proof that two people are right there at their surfaces with each other—they’ve come up for air together; neither has sunk away inside herself—both are right there, trying to touch. As we laugh I think, Is this space we’re in right now love? Are we in love right now? Can you only be in love with someone as often as you are fully present? How did we get here? Is it safe for me here?
This is a note of thank you to the man who never had the balls to claim me.
Although I am a strong and independent woman, I have a secret cavern inside my heart that is open to be claimed—but never owned.
And while I realize I still have so far to travel on this journey, I also feel immensely thankful for all those “maybes” and “what ifs.”
I’m thankful for those that were intimidated by my wild heart because it taught me that I have two choices in life—to either live within the boundaries of their comfort level, or to say f*ck it, and be my own self—wild and all.
Thank you for teaching me to embrace, love and revel in my wild.
I am appreciative for those who I made uncomfortable with my truth. It was only through learning how much others don’t like the truth exposed, to learn for myself how much I crave its very existence—if truth were a drug it would be my favorite high.
Thank you for teaching me to never be afraid of the darkness that the truth may hold.
I’m gratified for each and every time that I felt I wasn’t getting what I needed from a man—because in fact I wasn’t. It was only through looking at what I didn’t have that made me realize what I do want. While I may travel along empty back roads by myself at times, I also have realized that it’s okay to not accept less than what I deserve, regardless of if it makes sense to others or not.
Thank you for showing me everything that I don’t want, so that when I finally come face-to-face with what I do want—I’ll have the courage to go after it.
I am thankful for the insecurities that your actions brought out in me, because if it hadn’t, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. In looking at what emotions the behaviors of the others were triggering in me I had the ability to look at myself and make the choice on how I wanted to feel. It was only through this experience that I learned no one can make me feel a certain way unless I give them permission to do so.
Thank you for helping make me into the strong confident woman that I am today.
Even though at the time it is never easy, I am simply so grateful that you never loved me enough. We never love the same way twice, and while I know in your own way you did love me, it wasn’t the kind that could keep me warm on a blustery winter’s eve. Thank you for showing me that I don’t want someone to be only half in love with me, or to merely appreciate me—but to leave them breathless.
Thank you for teaching me that the love I seek is the one that is extraordinary.
I am so grateful that I was able to feel what it was like to be trapped by normality, because it taught me that I will never fit into any sort of box or label. I was not put here to make others feel comfortable, but instead to make them feel alive.
Thank you for never appreciating me for my individuality and spirit, because it taught me how important it is to stay true to myself.
Although being alone was tinged in isolation at times, I realize now that it was in those moments that I was able to take root and bloom into myself. Finding our own way in this world where so many think they know what is right for each of us is the most difficult work we will do. I will always be grateful for you trying to change me so that I was able to realize I am exactly as I should be
Thank you for leaving me with my loneliness so I could find my way back to myself.
I am so appreciative for you having tried to make me the woman behind the man, because it was there in the shadows I learned that I am meant to be a partner and nothing else. I can create a lot more trouble in this world next to a man who appreciates the burn of originality.
Thank you for attempting to dim my light so I learned that I needed to burn as bright as I could.
Thank you for being afraid of the power of my sexuality, and the mysteries of my eyes because it taught me that only those who can match my passion should be allowed to share in it with me.
Thank you for being scared of my intelligence and the depths of my mind, because it taught me there is a difference in loving how I look, or how I make you feel versus loving who I really am.
Thank you for not being the man that I needed, so that instead I was able to see the woman I already was.
Thank you for never having the balls to stake a claim on my heart, because it left the space and opportunity for someone who will be brave enough to take a chance on the wonderful desire of the unknown—someone who will cultivate every trait you tried to suppress.
Thank you for being all wrong, because it showed me what right will look like—and for that I will always be eternally grateful.