Every refrigerator you see seems to be covered with happy engagement pictures and wedding announcements – even your own refrigerator. Part of you wants to take them all down, but that hopeless romantic inside continues to place them up.
All around you, people are flocking to temples, churches, and beaches to begin happily ever after’s. And yet, there you sit, helplessly reaching for something that oftentimes seems unattainable. This is my open letter to you, the lonely romantic.
You know what it feels like to listen to someone tell you they just don’t love you the way you love them, how you want to punch them and kiss them at the same time – how your blood runs cold, and your stomach shivers. How you tell them you understand, but spend the whole night trying to work it out in your head. How you wake up only to realize that it wasn’t a bad dream, but reality, and how you drag yourself out of bed wondering if you’ll ever wake up next to someone who adores you with every piece of their soul.
You know what it feels like to dwell in the past and to try to recover the paths that you lost, even though you know that they have been buried by days, months, or years of inattention. How you long to turn around and walk backwards until you return to this fork or that fork, and take the road untraveled. How you lay in bed at night wondering what could have been, what would have been – maybe even what should have been.
You know what it feels like to question yourself. How you doubt your previous thoughts and feelings, wondering if maybe you misread this signal or that one. How you think about your childhood dreams and realize they never felt this alone, and your heart cries out, and your spirit shrinks within your body. How you have moments of self-doubt where you are certain that you aren’t pretty enough, or smart enough, or fun enough, or young enough, or old enough… or just enough enough to get what you want with all of your heart.
But, you also know what it feels like to walk in sunshine with wind blowing your hair behind you. How you feel like the world was created with you in mind, and that God knows exactly what He is doing. How you go to an event by yourself because you, and only you, want to go, and how you walk away listening to whatever music you would like to hear because life is yours to live, and you might as well choose the soundtrack.
You know what it feels like to long for your mother and your father and your brother and the friends too far away to give you the hugs that you need, and how you radiate pure happiness when you hear their voices. How you jump for joy at a new friendship or an unexpected phone call – knowing that those you love are hugging you in their minds and though you can’t feel it, you can still enjoy it – and pass it on.
You know what it feels like to realize that you’ve never been so sad, but that you’ve never been so happy either, and that even though you feel alone, you feel alive within yourself. How you taste your own mind, and recognize its sweetness, and you see yourself for who you are every time you pass the mirror. How you find a friend you didn’t know you had, who had slept with you every night of your life, and though you are alone, you are with yourself, and you love yourself with ever piece of your soul.
And though the refrigerators still are covered with smiling couples and dates and addresses where they will start their happily ever after’s, you know that you have already started yours. And you take your picture and place it there, in the midst of those invitations – and you invite yourself to a party of one because your life is worth celebrating. And you invite your newest friend, and since it’s you, you know they’ll come, and you don’t have to argue over movie choices – you just sit together – alone – a pair of lonely romantics.
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