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Dear almost lover,
We are looking into each other’s eyes. We are quiet, and it’s time. Yes, I want you to f*ck me.
But there are some things I’d like you to know first.
I want you to know that I like to eat toast on rainy days. When it’s blustery and windy, and I can hear hard pelting on the roof, I will make a hot cup of coffee, I will slather soft, salted butter on perfectly browned bread, and I will savor every last bite. For a moment, it will only be me, my toast, my coffee, my laptop, and my imagination—all while the rain comes down.
I want you to know how I feel about traipsing through the woods, how I could live outside all the time. When I’m on my mountain bike, I am perfectly happy amidst the trees and the streams and the ledges and the roots, the rustling, and the living, breathing wild woodland rumpus.
You should know that my soul lives inside the woods, and it always will. It’s where I go to feel free and peaceful and whole. I like being surrounded by the sound of silence and my inner calm.
I want you to know that I’m curious about so many things: my harbored feelings, getting to the bottom of my imperfect reactions, my tendencies, my convictions. You should know that I’d like nothing more than to change the bad parts of my human self and amplify the good.
I want you to see me from the inside out, and I want you to help me do better and be better, not just in our relationship but also in the world. I want you to know that I’ll make mistakes, lots of them.
I’ll get jealous. I’ll be wrong. I’ll say selfish things, and I’ll seem bat-sh*t crazy to you sometimes (trust me, I will). But I’ll be the person in your life who tries like hell to do right, to rectify—the one who hangs in there and doesn’t walk away. I’ll keep learning because, at my core, I am hopeful and earnest.
Also, I like to get up early. There’s something about the opening, the promise, the dew, and the busy bird racket that straight up transports me from sleepy lethargy to inspired and present.
Birds are my spirit animals; they call to me. They remind me that I am not the only living being, but that I am sharing space with all living beings. They sing this truth over and over until I stop and listen. It’s just how I am, and while I will undoubtedly change in other ways, I will not change when it comes to this.
I’m a little bit mystic and freaky-deeky, so you better be okay with that.
I want you to know that I straight up cry when I watch the AKC National Dog Agility Championship on TV. And how I melt into a puddle of tears when they do well, and you can tell they are just so proud of themselves. I weep over dogs doing funny things, little things, cool things, and it’s mainly because of their happy little faces, wagging tails, and smiley mouths.
And if you’re going to poke fun at me over this, if you look at me like I have two heads, I’ll laugh along with you. But I will always be this way, and you’ll have to get used to it.
I want you to know that I hate my stomach, and if you touch it, I’ll get a little weird. I’ll get wild-eyed, and I’ll recoil. You need to understand that it’s not that I don’t want you to touch me, it’s just that touching me there makes me think about the time I was assaulted, and the time I was called “tubby” in second grade. Or the times in high school and college when my clothes didn’t fit. And then all the times I swam inside them because my weight was so low I couldn’t keep my jeans up, even with a belt. I threw up my shame and tried to become invisible for years and years.
I don’t expect you to understand all my wounded history, but you better not tell me to “get over it” or that it’s “no big deal.” It is a big deal, and it’s a battle I refuse to lose. I’m stronger now, despite my struggle. And if you want to f*ck me, I expect you to digest this dark part of me.
You should also know that I do not like cut flowers—slashed in their prime, imprisoned in a vase, stationed on a table, idle, bored, and dying slowly, just for my casual pleasure. It is not natural. And while I do not judge others, I will not place them on display in my home to quickly droop and be discarded.
Let’s leave them alone, outside, where they live and grow, and sway in the wind. Where they shed and cycle and come back, year after year (in the same way I do). It’s just not right.
This is how I think, so please do not show up expectantly with roses in a bunch, or weeping peonies wrapped in tissue.
If you can be my imperfect champion, the one who sees me and knows me—the one who encourages my independence, pushes me to be fearless, reveres my existence, marvels at my way and my wit (even when you don’t fully understand me)—I will treat you the same, and I will love you forever.
And, yes, I’ll f*ck you silly, too.