Tag Archives: Love

Holidays.

Things change as you get older. For me, the holidays used to be filled with… magic. A lightness, an excitement – enthusiasm. There were stories of baby Jesus and Santa, whispers of presents, and tours through neighborhoods of brightly lit houses. For days and weeks there was a wonderful anticipation and, from that perspective, everyone felt it and longed for what was coming. All of it culminated in a day or two of sheer bliss, wrapping paper strewn everywhere, time to play with cousins, treats always at hand, and ending the day exhausted but falling asleep with a smile on my face.

I’m incredibly grateful for that experience. I know that’s not how everyone grew up. I  wish it was because everyone deserves to share in that goodness.

It’s different now. There isn’t really a ‘holiday season’ anymore. I’m sure others would disagree but that’s how it feels to me. The only thing prior to Christmas is trying to figure out what to buy for others (and then actually remember and find the time to buy the gifts). Then I leave home to return to a place I used to call home. Then that day or two that used to be bliss is still filled with family, but it’s not the same.  The love is still very much real and treats are still always at hand, but I tire quickly of being surrounded by people and dread the drive back. Now, I can see the cynicism on people’s faces and feel the underlying tension. The cousin I used to look up to now actually doesn’t like me, so we avoid each other. Now, instead of playing with toys, we sit and chat or play a game of cards, trying to ignore the questions about if I’m with anyone yet or not. Now, some cousins aren’t even there to celebrate because they live far away or are with their partner’s families.

It’s not that the holidays are bad now. Like I said, the love is still there, which is all that matters. I guess the point is that… the love isn’t perfect. Most of it is well intended of course, but it’s no where near perfect. And the day isn’t perfect. And the weather is never perfect. The presents aren’t perfect. The meals aren’t perfect (though the desserts usually are, I’ll be honest). And the people. Yes, the people definitely aren’t perfect.

What’s fascinating to me is the concept of family. You’re not supposed to get annoyed by them. When you only see your aunt a couple times a year, you’re not supposed to get tired of her. When you have this amazing, huge group of people who love you endlessly, you’re not supposed to miss the quiet of your one person apartment. And yet, so many of us feel all the things I don’t think we’re supposed to feel during the holidays. I mean, no one wants to feel anxiety or depression hitting them square in the chest during the ‘most wonderful time of the year.’ But we do. And going back to the place we grew up to visit all of our cousins and uncles and grandparents and aunts is more difficult than we ever knew it would be when we were kids.

The magic and the children who felt it during the holidays is gone. And you know? I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s just a grown up thing. I can accept that.

It’s not that the holidays are bad now. Like I said, the love is still there. And that is all that matters.

-Melissa

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Missing you.

So… I still miss you.

That shouldn’t surprise me anymore. But it’s been a long time since I’ve had a conversation with you. It’s been a long time since you’ve looked me in the eye… Even longer since it wasn’t followed by quickly looking away when you realized I was looking back. Goodness, it’s been years since I’ve heard your laugh. Years. But I still miss you.

I never want to stop. So maybe that’s why I haven’t. But I never expected that it would still be this strong. That the pain would still be so real.

Then again, I never expected that, by now, we wouldn’t have become friends again. I never thought your silence would last this long. I always thought our reunion was just around the corner.

Now, part of me wonders if I was delusional.

But, when I was at my worst, those delusions gave me hope. And God used that horrible experience to teach me what hope was. And I’m forever grateful for that.

But that was years ago too. It’s been so long. And there’s a very large part of me that thinks if you and I tried to be friends again today, it wouldn’t even work. Because too much time has past. There’s been too much space, and my pain has completely filled it. And your walls have successfully kept me out. And, though I’m sure you’ve changed, I’m not sure you could even remove a single stone from one of the walls.

And that’s the other thing. Missing you is mixed with worry for you. Because I worry you’ve kept everyone else out. I worry you’re alone and lonely. I worry you’re in pain and too afraid to let anyone see the utter goodness you hold inside of you. I just… I worry.

And you would tell me to stop. And you would say you were fine. And you would say that you like living just the way you are.

And I would be able to see through your lies just as clearly as you saw through mine.

I don’t know why you did what you did. It doesn’t make sense, Tyler. You and I had a friendship that most will never understand. Didn’t you realize that? Didn’t you see how well we understood each other? Didn’t you feel the comfort that came from our friendship? Didn’t you know that I would love you, literally no matter what you did? Didn’t I tell you that on more than one occasion? Didn’t you promise you’d never leave?

And was all of that what scared you and sent you running?

We’re less than two months away from it being four years. This is why I’m convinced that, though there may be stages of grief, grief never actually ends. Because, if it did, would there still be tears in my eyes? If it did, would my heart still ache at the thought of you?

I love you, best friend. Haven’t I proven you can’t change that?

Missing you.

-Melissa

Dear.

Dear Future Husband,

I feel a stupid writing this. It was acceptable when I was sixteen, but now it just seems pathetic. Even more pathetic because I still don’t know who you are yet. But I need an outlet, so here we are.

I want you. I don’t need you. But I want you to come to me. I know I am fine without you. I know we haven’t found each other yet for a reason. I trust God in that. I know His timing is best. And I truly want what He wants from me, whatever He thinks is best. It’s been proven time and again that His will is much better than mine and I will happily follow His plan. And I will be patient.

But lately it’s been hard. Really hard. 

And I don’t know what to do. Love is everywhere. In the books I read, the tv I watch. And when I think I could just cut those things out of my life, I realize the amount of couples around me. There is no way to escape this.

Every man I meet, I wonder for a moment if he could be you. Just for a moment (most of the time). Do you know how distracting that is? And I don’t know how to stop.

It’s not that I want anything bad. I just want someone to live life with. I want someone’s hand to hold. I want someone to come home to. I want someone to read in bed with. I want someone to take dancing lessons with me. I want someone to offer comfort and safety and security. I want someone to care for. I want someone to depend on.

There are people in my life that have some of those qualities or who can offer some of those thing, but truthfully, I want them all, and more, from you. 

I just wish so badly I didn’t want it so much. 

Part of me can’t believe I haven’t found you yet. I didn’t think it would take this long. And I didn’t know it would be this painful. The worst part is that I just think it will get worse with age. 

So, wherever you are, know that I am longing for you. I’m longing for your presence in my life. And truly hope you’re not having as hard of a time as I am. If you are, I’m so very and truly sorry.

I know we haven’t met, but I miss you. You’re wonderful. 

your love, 

Melissa

Love.

I want to live in a society where men and women can be great friends and no one assumes they’re in love. This of course comes from the way that I love. I get deeply attached to people and that is so often misunderstood. So often, people assume that I like whatever male friend I’m hanging out with or gushing about. And maybe that’s the problem– that I do gush over some of my guy friends. When I do that, it’s hard for others to believe that I genuinely don’t like them in the “I want to date you and marry you and live happily ever after” way.

One part of me understands that. I can see why the way I talk about or show care or attach myself to some of my male friends could be misconstrued as a romantic affection.

But the other part of me just gets so frustrated. Most of the time, the frustration is aimed at people who don’t believe me, no matter how many times I tell them. But today, the frustration is toward me. I’m not mad at myself or anything, but it’s just frustrating. Because I know people are confused because I honest to goodness cannot describe how I am feeling. I can’t put into words the difference between being in love with someone and loving them deeply but feeling no romantic attraction. And it’s hard for me to describe how deeply I care for these friends because I know it will be misunderstood.

For example, I had breakfast with one of these friends today. He talked almost the entire time so I was privileged to just listen and watch him as he spoke. I was able to sit and stare back into his blue eyes with pupils that, quite honestly, are much larger than what I’ve seen on anyone else. It’s like he’s in a black room and his eyes are searching desperately for light. I was able to observe the way his brow pulls together sometimes when he’s confused or didn’t quite hear me, the crease in his forehead slightly off center. I sat fighting a smile from forming because I was thrilled to be sitting across from him and to be listening to the way his voice rose and fell gently as he explained his new job to me. The way he automatically took the check and the smile on his face as I convinced him to let me pay. His short burst of a laugh. The fullness in my chest at the happiness and contentment of being near him again…

And now you think I’m in love with him.

And I understand that! But you have to just take my word for it.

It’s just… my heart doesn’t quite beat on it’s own. Instead, it hears and replicates the patterns of the beating hearts around me. It seeks to create a beautiful harmony that our ears are simply not privileged to hear. And I can feel the pull– the grip– of other hearts on mine. Ah, I wish I could describe the feeling! But truly, there are no words. And while there is no romance, there is a love much deeper than can be expressed.

So, I understand the confusion. But again, take me at my word. Everyone else might be confused but, for once, I am not. My Lord calls us to love each other- he didn’t say only love those you’re attracted to. Never did he say to only cherish your crush. No. He said love your neighbor.

Plus, let’s be honest: If I liked someone, I wouldn’t be gushing about them. I mean, come on! I’m not that forward!

-Melissa

Christmas.

Yesterday evening, I had the privilege of holding a baby who was only two weeks old. The tiny boy was only seven pounds and a few ounces. Carefully, he was handed to me. Asleep and totally, completely helpless, he lay in my arms. I rarely looked up from his beautiful face. His eyes were closed peacefully. He had a little scratch on his nose from his nails that needed to be cut. His lips, so small, were absolutely perfect. A miniature Santa hat covered his dark, black hair. It had probably been years since I’d held a baby this young. His beauty left me awestruck.

As I let myself become captivated by him, my mind thought of my King. My Lord. The God of the universe. His Son, filled with power and might, set it all aside and humbled Himself so that He could come into the world just like the rest of us. He trusted us enough to lay down His crown and put on our humanity and come to this earth as a baby. A tiny baby, helpless and completely reliant on those around Him. Too young to form words or even real thoughts. Too young, too weak to even lift His head on His own. This is our King.

Pregnancy. Birth. In themselves, they are miracles. But when you think about the fact that God came down to be one of us in that way? It’s mind blowing. A tiny little thing.. A head that fits in your palm. A hand that can’t even completely wrap around your finger. A body the length of your forearm. This is how the King of the world chose to present Himself to us. This is our Lord, willing to be born among us. Willing to put our life in His hands. Willing to be raised on this earth. Willing to take the first trying steps in learning to walk just as we did. Willing to befriend us. And ultimately, willing to die on our behalf.

This is our King. This is Love.

This is Christmas.

-Melissa

Too.

I sat quietly, trying to read one of the thousands of pages I’d been assigned. Unfortunately, my mind wasn’t anywhere near the book I held in front of me.

I replayed the moments in my mind. Not the good moments, though I had many of those to choose from. Just the awkward ones. Just ones where the silence lasted a touch too long. Just the ones that didn’t go perfectly, that made me question every single thing either of you had ever said to me. And my mind worries over every single second.

Because what if one of those seconds made you realize I’m not as great as you’ve somehow made me out to be? What if one of those moments caused you to wonder why you had bothered to come? What if you realized how uninteresting I was and got bored? What if you suddenly became aware of the fact that I am a horrible conversationalist? What if you came to terms with understanding that you had an idealized version of me in your head?

And I know none of those things are true.

Maybe it’s because I can’t read either of you very well. Or I think I can’t. Or maybe it’s because I… well, I honestly think you’re really cool so I can’t imagine you actually wanting to be my friends.

I do realize that this is not fair to you. I know that. I know that you, if I said these things to you, would argue relentlessly. I know. I am aware. I know you’ve proved me wrong countless times by now. And yet I question everything. I wish I could just turn that off.

Wouldn’t that be great? Do you have any idea with how much more comfortable I would be around you? Do you know that I rarely, if ever, fully let my guard down around you because I am so focused on how I’m being perceived? No, you don’t. Because I can’t tell you. Because that would legitimately hurt you, and for good reason. Because I should not be like this. I consider you close friends and yet… I’m afraid it’s too good to be true.

I’m so sorry for that.

-Melissa

Missing you.

Someone asked me the other day how I ever could have been friends with you.

For once, I tried to put myself in his shoes. Really, in their shoes. Because I know he wasn’t the only one. I knew how… hard you could be. I knew, vaguely, how other people saw you.

And I listened as he tried to explain why it never made sense that you and I were friends. How it never made sense to anyone. He said the same about another one of my friends too. Honestly, he doesn’t see much clearly. But I understand what he was saying. I mean… sort of. I understand what he thought he saw.

But that’s just the thing. He didn’t see you. He thought he did.

But he didn’t see the first time you spoke to me. I sat there quietly, just like I always do, and you made conversation with me. You know, I don’t remember the moment I first meet someone. Most of the time, you just wake up one day and you’re friends with someone and you can’t remember the moment it started. But I remember you. Because I could tell you…saw me. Do you know how rarely that happens?

He also didn’t see the time I had to deal with a death surrounded by people I barely knew. You were the only person here that I could tell. He didn’t see the way your face fell when I told you. You had no reason for your face to fall. You didn’t know them. But you let yourself feel my pain.

He thought he saw you. And maybe he did. But it wasn’t the real you. It was the hard you. The you others couldn’t see past. The you people were afraid of. Who pushed people away. Who constantly built up your walls, higher and higher. But he didn’t see that crack in your walls. Just barely big enough to let a grain of sand get through. And I got through.

I just… I didn’t know how many layers of walls there were. Not that that would have changed anything. Okay. Maybe it would have. Because I do hope I would have fought a hell of a lot harder than I did at the end.

What terrifies me now is that I know you’ve pushed me out. And you repaired that crack in that one wall. And your walls got higher. Stronger. And I’m… terrified you won’t let any one else find another crack. I’m afraid you’ve repaired them all so perfectly that no one else will even be able to think about getting through to you. I’m afraid you wake up every morning and take a walk around the wall, a bucket of mortar in your hand, and fill all the cracks, even add another layer of cement where you think it might be weak. And then, when you get a chance, you go out an buy a few more bricks and make the wall thicker and taller. And it’s just this ongoing process where you make sure that no one sees you.

Which… I don’t even think you see you. Actually, I know you don’t. Because you choose to see the you other people see in you.

Ha.

Not me. Other people.

Because you never believed any of what I told you.

Oh, what did I tell him? When he asked why I had ever been friends with you?

I told him he never saw the you that I did. He didn’t see the way you talked to me. The way you cared for me. The way you were literally there for me whenever I needed you. I told him about the time when, at four in the morning, you were begging me to come outside to talk because you knew how badly I felt. Because you knew how much pain I was in and you knew I needed to talk about it.

I told him he didn’t actually see you.

Missing you.

-Melissa