Spring is coming.
The warm breeze brings the promise of possibility written in mud and woven in tiny, brightly colored buds.
It feels like surfacing—and I need it so badly. It tastes like hope and a new shade of bravery, the same hue as tiny purple crocuses. Nature buzzes again, and it just…gets me out of my shell.
But my shell has also been a nice home, one I’m a little reluctant to give up. You know how it is, we get tossed around by life and build walls like skyscrapers—”Keep the hurt out,” they say.
But they keep the love out, too. They keep joy and spontaneity at bay.
They keep us living in the shadows, lost in the ghosts of relationship past, the very real grief we felt, and the relentless struggle to understand why things went wrong.
For me, a list of failed relationships and one broken engagement keeps me quite cautious these days.
“Don’t get too close,” the walls whisper. “You know how much it hurts when love falls apart.”
But I wonder—is it really failure? Because no matter how unfortunate these situations were—I learned. No, the growth did not always look pretty; it often looked like cheap waterproof mascara that never lived up to its promises and the resulting black smudges around my eyes.
So many tears.
The hurt is not something to gloss over, ’cause I honestly find empowerment in knowing we can harvest gold from heartbreak and take responsibility for the roles we played.
There is wisdom in knowing I don’t ever want to lose myself like that again, that I don’t ever want to fall into someone or abandon my own life.
Yes, that’s all true. Also true: I’m holding myself back and I know it.
As the spring air speaks to me, she says boldly, “Oh honey—you can’t hide forever.”
And I can’t. I can’t stand frozen wondering if the past will repeat itself—straddling fear and suffocating the sh*t out of a fledgling bud of love that glistens with possibility like dew.
We can’t hide from the unpredictability, beauty, tenderness, and chaos that is life. We can’t hide from the vulnerability of connection.
We have to trust that our growth is real, that it has amounted to something more than subtle shapes and shifts within our own secret inner realms. We have to trust that it has amounted to tangible changes in the well-worn grooves of old patterns we are just so done with.
We have to trust ourselves in order to trust another.
As I wander through these words and the raw labyrinths of my thoughts, I think about the man who has been in my life for the last nine months. It’s been such a delight getting to know you, my love.
I can’t hide from your luscious kisses and the ever-expanding depth of my feelings for you.
I can’t hide from our laughter.
I can’t hide from the way you make me a priority and hold me on the really hard days.
We’ve got a good thing going, that’s for damn sure.
And I don’t want to hide from it. I want to enjoy it. I want to savor the sweetness of you and me, our lips meeting at the end of a long day. I want to embrace committing more fully to you. I want to eagerly explore the threads of what a future could look like together.
At what point do our walls become not something that keeps us safe, but the thing that keeps us stuck?
So, I test out the waters, show you my scars, and tell you my stories. I reveal my witchy ways and dark humor and stick out my tongue. I practice maintaining good boundaries, I test you (probably too many times), and see how you respond when I’m not at my best.
At a certain point, enough is enough.
We aren’t meant to stay still forever, that’s just not life—and granted, I don’t think we have to make giant, earth-shattering leaps.
Those of us who are afraid to get our tender hearts hurt again, well, we can take small steps. We can move forward with curiosity, into a fresh burst of sunlight. We can play and explore, seeing what it is like to be close, to trust, to need another, to lean into delicious feelings of care.
Love is always a risk. And loving does not make us stupid or naive—it makes us courageous.
It expands our hearts a thousandfold in all directions.
And that sweetness warms the world.
As for me, I know it’s time to stop holding onto the tangled strings of the past that curl with exhausted questions—what I did wrong, how I neglected myself back then, how badly I was treated, how I allowed it, and on and on. Oh, the stories are longer than the Appalachian Trail. I may never fully understand it all, but that’s okay.
I let go a little and open my palms, feeling the warm spring breeze on my fingertips.
It’s more of a process than a singular action.
So tonight, my love, I will melt into your kisses, look at you intensely, and tell you I absolutely adore you.
This feels like a really good start.