implications

And I don’t think I knew what love was

when I said I loved you

and I don’t think I meant it when I said it,

but I said it anyway

and you said it back

and at the time I didn’t know the implications

that we would matter

that we would be closer

that we would care about each other

and I never felt any of that

but I wanted to

I wanted to feel love

I wanted to know what it meant

to have someone you care about

but you can’t force that kind of love,

it comes on its own

and I want to believe it’s worth the wait

I just want to learn

I just want to learn

I want to learn about you.

I want to learn what makes you happy

what makes you sad

what makes you unreasonably angry

what makes you laugh uncontrollably

and I want to learn

about your favorite song

and what makes it so special

and I want to learn

what age you were

when you realized

you felt sad most of the time

and what age you were

when you realized

you weren’t sad like you once were

and I want to learn

what makes you so special

because you are so special

platonic

And I remember thinking back on the night you left. And I remember thinking I was glad. But I wasn’t glad, I just didn’t know how to feel so sad. So broken. And the months that followed, I felt sad, and I felt broken, and I made mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes trying to get over what you put me through. And I thought that would be the end of it. And it mostly was, but then I realized I’m a year into this new relationship which started way too soon, and I don’t even like the guy. I don’t know what compelled me to ask him out. Or why I was on Tinder so soon after my last heartbreak. But I was and I didn’t want to be. I tried to end it, and I fell for other people while we dated, and I made more mistakes, but I never felt complete. I didn’t realize at the time and I would come to realize in the year after I left him, but I didn’t need someone else to feel complete. And that’s not something anyone could’ve told me, either. That’s something I had to realize the hard way. After five years of basically back-to-back dating people I barely cared about, and all I really needed was a few close friends. And to care about myself. I didn’t need love. And sure, love is great, and I wouldn’t turn it down were it presented to me now, but there’s more than just romantic love. And I think platonic love is beautiful in its own way. I think friends, true friends, would walk to the ends of the earth for each other. And I think true friends would be there for each other when they needed each other. And maybe it was the guys I was dating, but I never thought they’d do that for me. And my friends, I know they’d do that for me.

important

Eloquent, but not with you.

I could never tell you how

much you meant to me or

how much I love to see you.

With you, I’m distracted by

your eloquence and the way

you carry yourself like you

matter. And you do, and it

distracts me. I’ve never met

someone who matters like

you do. And I think it scares

me how little you know how

important you are. And you

are so

very

important.

You spoke and I listened

You spoke

and I listened.

I talked, too

but you only heard

what you wanted.

You heard me when

I was disinterested

and when I was upset,

but you didn’t hear

the love I had for you

and all the admiration

I once felt

for you.

And it’s still there

but you never wanted that,

did you?

The little, mundane parts of life

I fall in love often. It happens suddenly and I’m all in. And it’s not just with people. I fall in love with the way my coffee tastes, I fall in love with the way the air smells in the springtime, I fall in love with the first snowfall of winter. I fell in love once with the way a boy smelled and from then on when I smelled that same smell, I thought of him. And I thought of love. I didn’t even love him, at least not at the time, but that’s a story for another day. I fell in love with the feeling of love. Of admiration. Of romanticizing little mundane parts of my day. I think that’s partly how I got over my depression. I fell in love with constants in my life, like the way the sunrise woke me up every morning, or how the rain sounded inside a car while music played softly, or even my own quirks. That was when I learned to love myself, when I learned to love my quirks. The things that made me, me.

And being a writer throughout all this, I would write about falling in love and it was never about another person. It was falling in love with learning to love. It was falling in love with these little, mundane parts of my life that I knew would never leave. It was falling in love with being genuinely happy for the first time since I was twelve.

Sure, I’d fallen in love with people before. But it never felt as pure as falling in love with the way sitting under a tree and reading feels in the middle of summer.  It never felt as hopeful as the first warm day of spring. And maybe I’m just saying this now because of what all my exes put me through, but doesn’t that just prove my point?

That my true happiness doesn’t come from another person, it comes from within me. And for so many years, I put all my self-worth into what my boyfriend thought of me and if we were happy and if I was in a relationship at all. And it was miserable. Life is about finding purpose, it’s about finding happiness through all that it throws at us, and I never felt that in a relationship. I always felt like I was drowning, or that I was fighting with some thing that would never see my way and it was miserable.

So, I took a step back and I thought about what makes me happy. Forests make me happy and the ocean and the way the early morning sun looks illuminating the grass in backyards. And I fell in love with all these little things, these constants that would never hurt me. And I realized I was terrified of being hurt and I thought to myself, “That’s a part of life and I know I’ll have to deal with it, but why? Why can’t I just be happy? Why do we have to feel pain, too?” but I knew the answer, I always knew the answer. It was because I had been hurt so many times that I could understand what it was like to truly be happy. It was because I had felt such brutal heartbreak that I could learn to love these little, mundane parts of life.

And then I fell in love with that fact, too.

When You Left

When you left

I swear the world caved in

or maybe that was

my heart.

Either way, you left,

I rebuilt myself,

and I’m only getting better.

Every time I think of you

and all you put me through,

I can’t help but smile

that I never have to deal

with you again.