I breathe deep realizing that I don’t fear losing you anymore.
Yet, I also realize that perhaps all along I doubted if I deserved you.
I suppose I could take the independent woman stance and say, “Of course I always deserved a love like yours, one that doesn’t rush, change, or is conditional upon me doing anything,” but in reality, I would simply be lying to myself.
It seems that I’ve done enough of that for the rest of my life, and so it’s with a profound sigh that I acknowledge there was a part of me that questioned if I was worthy enough to be loved forever. It was easier to think you’d leave than to admit that I didn’t know what to do with a love like ours.
In reality, I never planned for you—not that I think I could have because some things are more than we could ever anticipate. But I had also talked myself into a story line that told me I was “too much.”
I’m not going to sit here and blame past loves for my healed scars, now smooth and pink; instead I will lay blame with the raw and painful memories that I clung to for so long.
This was the path I needed to take, but it’s not the road I’m on anymore.
For much of our time together, I have been scared that one day I’d wake up and you’d have taken your love away just as quickly as the moon fades from the brightening sky. I feared you would wake up one day and realize that you never actually loved me, and in that moment, all I had felt for you and experienced by your side would become nothing more than a dream—too good to be true.
I had kept my fear beneath me as a safety net. In some ways, it’s a lot scarier to believe that love will last forever than to believe that one day someone might just change their minds about us.
Love has always been important to me, but as we grow and change together, I’ve realized that emotion is just the icing on the cake. It is not the whole of what we share and provide for one another. And while that was a beautiful realization, it was also terrifying because I’ve never experienced these particular emotions with anyone else before.
It left me believing that you would eventually be taken from me—but then a shift occurred.
I began to accept that life will happen all around us, but I am worth loving, unconditionally and forever.
It’s not a fairy tale to believe that someone can take my hand and keep their promises. It is not crazy to think there might be someone out there who wants to experience life as deeply as I do.
And while you supported me coming to this realization, you never had to prove anything.
As we get older and approach new relationships, we somehow feel as if it’s our partner’s job to prove they love us, that they mean what they say, or even that they want to be with us. But it’s not their job to make up for the failures of our past partners. It’s not their job to prove their innocence.
I never looked to you to prove anything because I gave you my faith even when I wasn’t sure I should, I trusted you even when I was scared, and I loved you even when I wasn’t sure you felt the same.
I did it because I needed to make choices for myself. I did it because I knew that if I didn’t, I would only be fearing change and unworthiness—I would be holding myself back.
I refuse to stand in my own way this time, so I’ve decided that I’m not scared of losing you anymore.
I don’t think that you’ll wake up tomorrow and change your mind. And I don’t think I’ll wake up and see this as something I dreamed up.
We have been walking this path together before we even knew that we were and in those moments we were building our foundation. While we may have taken the path less traveled, it doesn’t mean that what we share is less substantial; it only means that we did what came naturally to us.
It might never make sense to the rest of the world, but in my soul I know that we are right where we are supposed to be. I’m not professing to know what will happen tomorrow, or that either of us have this “life thing” all figured out, but what I do know is that the love we share today isn’t going anywhere.
Sometimes we fall into love, and other times, we grow into it. I’m not here to debate the merits of either. But we didn’t fall into something so shallow that we now run the risk of it drying up completely.
We have built something based not on the guise of love or partnership, but grounded in the people we are, standing right in front of each other.
You have always been yourself, and while it may have taken me longer than necessary, I’m also right on time—because I finally realize that, sometimes, love really does last forever.
Author: Kate Rose
Image: Megan E. LaBonte photography
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Danielle Beutell
Social Editor: Catherine Monkman