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February 3, 2016

To the Stranger I Will Love Someday.

woman sitting thinking meditating

The future can be so enchanting if we let it.

It’s in the way we can paint over the blank-ness of it all—the untainted uncertainty—with a thousand shades of imagination. No outcome is carved in concrete, and it’s this vagueness that makes room for us to fall in love with ideas. We create notions of who we will become, of places we will go and people we will find.

See, there are glimpses in life that hold the type of stillness that make people want to fall in love. They are little moments, modest and fleeting. These are the places that I find you buried deep within my senses, likely years before we have met.

I think about you more often than sometimes, wherever and whoever you are.

It is in the warmth of cupped palms and tingling ivy fingertips draped around steaming tea in the morning. Curled up in a blanketed cocoon on my seat by the window, it is in my eyes filled to the brim with a sleepy kind of imagination. It’s tucked into a safe haven, a bomb shelter from the day’s responsibilities that explode in the corners of my mind. It is comfortable and peaceful.

This is how I think you will feel.

It is somewhere in between my third and fourth glass of shiraz. My lips are stained with two shades of red and my tongue is familiar with, but never bored of the taste. My mind buzzes, and there’s a sudden shift in how my blood pumps. It’s intoxicating and mesmerizing, like a miracle meeting a tragedy.

This is how I imagine you will taste.

It’s in the scent of salt that clings proudly to the breeze of a shoreline. It smells like wild feet on hot sand and smoky bonfires at dusk. It smells like warm rum tucked in water bottles we will hide from the police and double-dare all-in skinny dipping when the sun falls. It’s the faint smell of seaweed and sunlight, triggering memories from when I was a child. I see film reels of seaside vacations, when laughter was the only language spilling from my naïve mouth.

I spend a moment wishing I knew you then, that I could have found you sooner. I spend another wishing I knew you now; I imagine you would love this kind of place. It smells something like freedom, restlessly liberating.

This I where I recognize the scent you will carry.

I start to love the idea of you in these quiet moments. But there are also brands of loudness that bring me to you, ones that demand to be felt.

It is in the bridge of the opening set, building acoustics echoing from four walls. It’s buried deep in the steady pound of the drum synchronizing with my heartbeat. It’s in the resonating chorus, speakers blaring and bodies jumping mindlessly. It’s the anticipating cheers of a crowd, united in the faintest form of purpose. It’s in the lyric that hits home, the words you want so desperately to shout from storybook rooftops.

I hear pieces of you there.

I don’t think of you always, but I see you just about everywhere. I see what I think we will be splattered across café walls; I see us in the old couple sipping coffee in the corner. I see us in postcards tacked temporarily onto corkboards, in dots on roadmaps and in photos of strange cities.

I see you through frosty windows of late December drives, hunting endlessly to catch glimpses of Christmas lights. I see you in the stars when I’m walking home alone, when it starts to snow and everything just kind of subsides. I see you across the counter laughing as I spiral-dance around the kitchen, and I see you in the hypnotizing headlights on drowsy drives home. I meet your warm gaze in strangers on buses and in bar booths.

I see you in all of the people I have loved before you—in bits of their kindness, their regret, their glimmers of silent forgiveness. I see parts of you in myself, in my own insecurities—things one day I hope you will learn to love.

These are the places I see you.

You are in all of my senses, in unexpected moments.

I feel your warmth in my mornings and I taste your sweetness in my evenings. I smell your freedom by the crashing waves of the ocean and I hear your soul through the lyrics of my favorite song. I see you in my dreams, in the places I let my mind wander.

I do not love you yet, nor do you love me. But when I do I want you to know that you have been entwined with the smallest aspects of my life. It will have been you that I have waited for; I will feel like I have known you forever.

But please, don’t rush. I think we both have a few more things to explore—a few wandering eyes to get lost in before we find each other’s.

To my “someday,” I will miss the idea of you as much as it is possible to miss someone you haven’t met yet, and I hope that within the cracks of your smallest moments, you are missing the idea of me too.

To others’ “somedays,” it’s so easy to lose yourself in the idea that you need to find someone before it’s too late. In a relentless battle against loneliness, we settle for the safest bet and let the dream of the extraordinary fizzle. If you are not in love, this does not mean you are not lovable; it means the universe is still working on your storyline.

I promise you, someone out there is falling in love with the idea of you—all of your petty quirks and perfect imperfections. They are thinking of the version of you they will find someday, the one you are still becoming, and to them that will be so much more than enough.

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Relephant Read:

Someday, I will be Loved.

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Author: Lauren Hurst

Editor: Toby Israel

Image: Freeparking/Flickr // Jem Yoshioka/Flickr

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