Dear sweet girl,
The other night you came up to me, leaned against the brick wall as I bent over for a drink from the water fountain. You asked me how my love life was and as I responded, you bemoaned the fact that you were single, while everyone around you had a boyfriend.
I told you, “Don’t be afraid to wait. Wait for the one who’s worth getting your heart broken over.”
I told you to wait. Avoid the heartache. I told you to do the very thing I hated that everyone told me.
And I’m sorry.
The thing is, you’ll learn, my girl. The world will hand you tools to build up the walls. The world will tell you to run from heartache, and it will tell you not to risk until you’re sure. Until you feel it in your gut that he’s the one for you, until the stars align and spell out his name across the sky.
Because heartbreak hurts and it’s hard. There’s nothing that quite compares to not being chosen. Because to put it simply, that’s what heartbreak is: not being chosen.
And we hate that feeling, and so we run from it, and we build little walls and safety nets around our hearts so we avoid it at all cost.
But what I should have told you, that night next to the fountain, is this: you always have the power to choose you. To pick you. The thing is, my girl: if you believe in yourself, you’ll show up for yourself.
The world needs a lot more people that show up. Show up for others, yes – but also, show up for ourselves.
We need to speak the words to the mirror that no one else does somedays: you are beautiful, you are whole, and you are an image no one else in the world carries. And I’ll keep choosing me. I’ll keep showing up. I’ll keep dreaming and believing that I’ll get there.
You don’t need to run from the possibility of heartache, love. I’m sorry for telling you to minimize the risk and avoid the pain. You don’t need to take the tools that the world hands you to build up those walls so high.
But what you can do, is choose you. Show up. Love hard and risk and jump and be proud that you did. Heartbreak will break you but it won’t destroy you.
Tell him you like him. And let him hold your hand. Let your eyes find his in the crowd, even if it’s scary. Laugh when he makes you laugh, so that you feel it all the way to your toes. Take risks, and don’t wait to do it. You’ll learn when you fall.
And you’ll pick yourself up again,
look in the mirror,
and even when the rest of the world is silent,
you’ll whisper: ‘I choose you. On the darkest days, when life seems safer under the blankets, I choose you. I’ll show up. I’ll believe in you even when you’re bruised. I promise –