Dear Missed Opportunity,
I don’t have the balls to say this to your face. At least not without a little Dutch courage in me and then I’d botch it all and be embarrassed the next day and pretend I never said anything at all or that I don’t remember. That, or I’d awkwardly try to see just how awkward I made you feel and then awkwardly try to clarify things and in the end it would be more botched than if I’d just left it all alone. *Ahem*
Except that the whole reason I want to say this to you is because even though all the above is true, I don’t really mind that I’d be botchy and awkward and tongue-tied because I think you wouldn’t mind either. I think you would understand exactly what I was trying to say and even if you didn’t feel the same way you’d get where I was coming from and you’d laugh and hug me and in that moment all awkwardness would disappear and I would know that we were still OK. But I have just this teensy tiny bit of doubt which is making me write this vs say it, and then on top of it never tell you I wrote it, because what if I’m wrong and you were awkwardly figuring out how to pretend I never said anything? I’d be mortified.
We crossed paths once, twice, thrice, then four times and you told me it had to mean something. It was serendipitous. You weren’t going to let this chance get away…I agreed that we had this cosmic-feeling pull towards each other, but then I let the chance get away after all. I don’t quite regret it yet but I think I might, I’m still not sure, but I’m afraid I will, and then what?
We talked for hours. On the daily. There is some kind of mental chemistry and connection there that I have never, ever experienced with anyone else. It made me a little bit giddy but it grounded me too. I felt like you really saw me; you really accepted the dark corners and broken pieces together with my strengths and positive qualities. I was still afraid to be so honest but you made me feel safe. Sometimes I need to just bounce around and spin-off somewhere and you made me feel like I could tie a little lifeline to you so I could always find my way back, and you’d be there.
I said I was freaking out because you were so – so willing to let me be ME that I realized I didn’t even know what the hell that meant – as soon as I realized you weren’t telling me how to be or who to be, that you were just saying “Hey girlfriend, just be your crazy, random, sweet, bitchin’, fun-loving, insecure, confident self, I’m diggin’ it.” – when it finally sunk in that you saw my mess and still called it beautiful – I panicked. I had no more outline because you were letting me draw my own. But I’m a chameleon.
You draw the lines and I‘ll color myself inside them. That’s just what I do…
I realized that in allowing you to see who I thought I was on the inside, I couldn’t control what you saw. Allowing myself to maybe, just maybe, be in love with you meant I had to take the risk of loving myself. That’s what you were going to require of me. I ran so fast and so hard away from our connection. I knew I didn’t want to be a chameleon anymore I just didn’t know how. At that time I was full of excuses. I cut myself off from you and said I needed “space” to figure me out because I just wasn’t “ready.” Well, I truly did need that, and you so calmly let me have it without anger, rejection, or bitterness. Thank you.
I still have excuses. I’m sorry. Maybe I’m a bit more ready than I was last year and perhaps it’s too late. The last time we talked you said you’d met someone…I tremble a little at the thought of you loving someone else, but I think it will be alright. (I don’t actually believe you “loved” me, but I believe you were open to the idea.) Having you as a friend is more valuable than having you as a lover. Confucius told me to never have friends not equal to myself, and your friendship makes me expand and grow and accept myself. That’s a beautiful thing, and so very rare. I might be afraid of drawing my own outline at times but I am not completely without courage and I know that I need you in my life, so I hope you will be, one way or another.
I know now that the reason I didn’t want to tell you any of this is not because I am afraid. In writing it down I realized that the person I really needed to say all this to was myself. One day when I’m ready to tell you, I know you will listen, laugh, and hug me, and we’ll be OK. Just as friends, or whatever the future may hold.
A ship not yet sailed