All of the bad stuff – the late night fights, the tears, the heartache – broke me down. It cracked and weathered me, leaving me scarred and rough around the edges.
The one that I knew long distance wouldn’t work, but we tried anyway. It ended with both of us miles apart in tears, our faces red through cell phone cameras that shattered when thrown against the cement dorm wall.
The “what if” guy that occupied the back of my mind for too many years. The lonely letter sent in the mail that was met with a disappointing response. While eloquent, not the one my nineteen-year-old heart wanted.
The second love. The one that was tumultuous. The one that was always missing something, but I couldn’t quite figure out what it was. The one that I hoped and wanted to be right, to be “it”. But no matter how much want there is, nothing can force what isn’t right. The one where in breaking his heart, I smashed my own as well.
All of these heartbreaks left me a crumpled mess, thinking that maybe love just wasn’t in the cards for me. That the cool aunt would be the role I filled. That my love of travel and money would fill the human-shaped hole that these break-ups left me with.
I band-aided the bleeding & stitched up the torn apart skin. I pushed the bones back into place and shocked my still beating heart. I went from needing crutches to walk, to running past the regular joggers. I rebuilt myself.
I rebuilt myself just in time to stand before you. I rebuilt myself stronger than before, not in spite of, but because of the cracks that I glued back together. Because of those cracks, black & blue bruises, and stitched scars I can now stand before you confidently and know that I want to hold your heart safely in my hands. That I will not drop it. That I will not clutch it too tight and crack it nor will I hold it too loose and let it fall. I know, with all of me, that I want to hold it forever. That should we be so lucky to have years ahead of us, I am strong enough to hold your heart and protect it. I will not get sick of it. I will not let it go.
And so, I stand scarred and rough around the edges in front of you, stronger than ever. Like a child waiting for a gift, my eyes are closed, my hands are out. I trust that you do not hold a knife to slice my exposed wrists. But rather, I trust that should you touch me at all, it will be to place your heart in my hands.
I have taken the leap of faith. My eyes are closed, trusting in you. I need you to take the leap of faith, too. Trust me with you, for I promise I will not crack, smash, or break you. I will treasure this gift you give to me every single day. My hands are waiting, ready.