This post is an open letter written for a few specific people; you know who you are. Thank you for entering and changing my world, for helping me laugh and learn and grow. I’m so grateful.
You wonderful human. You best-thing-that’s-happened. You people-loving, arms-wide soul. I see you, and I see all your layers. The depth, scars, mysteries, triumphs and addictions. I see you.
I’m sitting here trying to break through some sort of ceiling. It might be glass… but it’s probably acrylic. Three inches of bullet-proof acrylic, the kind that scratches easily. There are words just bottled up inside me, things I want to tell you that maybe you haven’t heard before, at least not sincerely. But I mean every word. I want you to hear me.
“And the more I learn about what it feels like to stay in love, the more surprised I am, and the more I realize why for so long I have been missing it. It doesn’t feel exactly like I thought it would feel. I’m finding it in the strangest places, in the most unexpected ways. It is easier than I ever thought it could be and also harder and softer and stronger and takes more of my heart than anyone ever told me it would.” – Ally Fallon
I’ve felt this so deeply, it has become ingrained in my soul. Finally embedded here, written on the walls of this heart. Like hearing an old, familiar song, it’s more real and beautiful this time than it was before.
Together, we’ve experienced a level of transparency and humanity that only comes through physical proximity five (and often more) days every week for months. We could be alright forever, this way, but schedules and seasons have to change. If our togetherness can’t last forever, I’m so glad it has lasted this long.
What I want you to believe
Here’s what I want you to know: Nothing you do could make you any less valuable. Failure, hard days, when you give up or give in… these things don’t define you. They sculpt your soul, rub off the rough edges, fill in the empty places. When I see you, I’ll always think, “Wow, what a human. What a very wonderful person.” And I hope you’ll begin to believe it for yourself.
Eat red meat or don’t. Recycle plastic when you can, binge-watch a show, listen to music too loudly in your car, windows rolled down. Read your books, fix your hair, go to work and to class and to your friend’s dorm. Use all the hand gestures you can, and play until your muscles ache. Go to musicals, have the numbers of everyone or no one on campus, own your own strengths and refine your weaknesses. Know the souls around you, pour into them. Seek peace and pursue it. Be a leader.
This summer, I’ve fallen in love with you in C.S. Lewis’s “friendship” way. You’re one of the dearest people I know; I love your present and future self. And I’ll always be watching from over here, cheering you on.