I consider myself a reasonable facsimile of a writer, most days. I’m honest when I say there’s only a handful of things I’ve ever written and been completely happy with, but I think I do alright. I wish I had more time for it, but I’ve discovered that adulthood means making the most of the time you have, since it goes away quickly.
It will always be a strange contradiction to me that I can emote and wax poetic for strangers on the internet or on a stage, and then when it came time to write in a card, for the woman I loved, I struggled. The pen stayed in my hand, lifeless, uninspired, for long moments as I groped for words.
We’ve been together a year, she and I, but for some reason, it took me a long time to think of anything to say. I’ve told her over and over how I feel. There are text messages, any time of the day, simple reminders, because that’s important. And here, on the anniversary of our first date, I found my slate blank, my mind uncertain. I knew what I wanted to tell her, and for a bit, I didn’t know how.
Was it the perfectionist, needing it to be right, to be certain? Was it the fear, of saying the wrong thing? No, it wasn’t that. She’s done a lot to assuage my fear, to make the uncertainty that plagued me a thing of the past. I was better, more certain because of her, because of who she is, and what she means to me.
I’ve even talked about her here, in limited measure, carefully. Not wanting the over the top affection of youth, but not ignoring her as a part of my life that’s important and vital and certain and needed. I struggled with showing emotion, mistaking it for weakness. She showed me that was wrong, and accepted me as I am.
I found the words, and put them inside the card, to give to her. I got there, and discovered that she had managed three pages on paper, in immaculate (well, almost immaculate) handwriting. She’d found the words that I’d struggled to. Closet sentimentalist that I am, I loved it, like I love her.
In reading, I realized that was something she’d taught me too: put it all out there, be open, about what you love. I draw strength from her love, from the way she shows it, as she does from mine.
It’s strange, talking about that here, openly. I used to think it was unlucky, or it was uncertain, or that acknowledging it publicly would scare her away. It didn’t, and it won’t. And that’s amazing.
One great year with her. Here’s to more.