Dear One From My Long List of Ex-Lovers,
Thank you for being the gentleman who always opened doors for me. That was the first thing I noticed about you. You asked me about myself, and told me relate-able stories about where you've been. You played old-school N*sync and Backstreet Boys music without being embarrassed, and I felt my heart beat a little faster by your confidence. You were so real from the very beginning, and it made me feel safe by your side. You were attentive, and took me around places near LAX, so that I would know where to go if I were on a layover. You showed me some of your cafes, and shared with me your favourite drinks. You took me to your go-to restaurants and let me try some of your most-ordered meals. You told me stories of your childhood as we sang Disney songs. As time wore on, you kept teaching me more about yourself, and I fell deeper in love. You let me see when you were vulnerable, and told me I could be vulnerable with you, as well.
For the first time in a really long time, I had a home to come home to. You gave me stability, and I felt like I could rely on you for the rest of eternity. You welcomed me into your house, and into your life; my heart swelled with warmth with the way you were willing to drop anything to spend time with me. I knew without a moment of doubt that my feelings and efforts were well reciprocated.
You taught me how important it is to not just feel, but to also show my love. I've never been a woman of words, and I always bit my lip and held in the three words that my heart was bursting to say. I had nothing to fear, and yet I was waiting. Even to this day, I don't know what it was I was waiting for. I can probably tell you exactly when your love became tainted with fear; when you began to see me as a little girl on an adventure with you, rather than a woman willing to journey the rest of my life with you. That will forever be one of my biggest regrets.
Despite all of that, you never gave me a reason to lose hope. I clung on, I prayed, and I loved. When God answered and told me to keep praying and loving, my heart was not only shattered, but it also rejoiced and became fearful. How?
But now I know: honesty. I'll pray for honesty on both our parts. To be open to speaking from our hearts, and for our tongues to be untied. To pray we can speak the truth, even if it makes us vulnerable and throws us into uncertainty. To pray with honest humility and let myself be undignified; in the same way, love honestly, and let it take us where we are meant to be.
I've learned so much from you, and you've set the bar. You've become the standard that I will hold every man to, and taught me how to hold on. But most importantly, you have directly AND indirectly taught me to let go and let God.
I am blessed to have met you, and even more blessed to have gone through what we went through, despite the heartache. It's been such a long time coming, and I'd be lying if I didn't say at times, the pang of regret doesn't get to me every now and then. But as cliche as it sounds, I've become stronger and wiser. You're not a bad person, and I'd like to think we just happened to miss each other.
I have been listening to a really inspiring podcast: "The Life Coach School" by Brooke Castillo, which teaches us how to essentially get over ourselves and live he life we're meant to. It was recommended to me from my dear friend, Vincent (IG: @_cytherial). After a really long day of being trapped in a never ending cycle of hating on myself and overanalyzing all the ways I was not good enough, I reached out to him. Like a true friend, he let me rant, then gave me some real talk, and took me out to drink soju. He was right about a lot of things. We need to let ourselves feel in them moment, take responsibility for our part, and just let go. Of course, it's easier said than done, but I wanted to just take these moments to let myself feel the loose ends of different events, then tie them up and let it be. I decided to start off with one that is currently the most raw for me, so you'll probably be reading a lot more letters in the near future!
I hope that this exercise can encpurage some of you to also tie up some loose ends in your life. Do what you must, whether it is to confront or confess in person, or simply lay it down before God. Exhale out these burdens, because what is past is past. These people and events have shaped us, and it's up to us to make sure that it is for the better. These loose ends should not be excuses to live in fear and remain static, but reasons to overcome and grow! You are more than the journey you have walked; you are how you've survived the odyssey.