If you are reading this, know that you are reading me unfiltered. You aren't going to hear my self conscious little laughs to fill the silence or feel my hand trace patterns along your shoulder so I can liberate your heartbeat, and distract you from what I am really thinking.
Everything may change between the time I am writing now and the time your eyes earn my trust to see who I really am, but if the truth is ever shifting and the world is forever turning and our breaths still fall into synch when we look at the stars then I figure you can know who I was and where I came from.
When I first saw you, closing the fridge on the far side of the campsite, it felt as if every fear I'd ever had, every negative thought I'd punished myself with, every self conscious reflection, every voice editing the life I am destined to live, deeply shattered. As if your presence penatraited the moldy story I'd lived off of so deeply that it never had and never would exist and the only thing in this existing world was my will and for the first time I was in control.
Even in your car, speeding twice the speed limit, I was in control. And when we were parked under the large tree that hid the moon, talking for hours yet yards away from the places that we both had to be, I was in control. I felt like a small light at the bow of a boat, trying to understand the whole ocean when only one story trickled through at a time.
Even in the silence with the space between us throbbing, I was good enough. I didn't have to say anything, be anything, do anything. You have no idea what that means to me. Actually, I want to tell you.
I used to be the kind of girl who would wander into the woods, find the perfect rock with the perfect view and I would wait, incomplete, for the perfect boy to complete the scene. I would sit for hours, formulating our seamless conversations that would erase the glares and comments and actions seared into my self confidence.
I thought I'd found my hero when I met my first boyfriend. We'd stand on the corner for hours, laughing unable to end our conversations. I needed him to show me my passions, my inner spunk, my life path. And when I disintegrated in his eyes, I went from the girl who could do anything, to the girl who couldn't even put enough chocolate chips in his personally designed cupcakes to satisfy him. I'd assumed I was just broken.
And yet walking away from your car, not seeing you for weeks, thinking of you and wondering what you thought of me, I wasn't inadequate anymore.
It took running into my first boyfriend and watching him throwing curve balls to try and knock me from my self esteme, for me to realize that those stories don't make up who I am anymore.
I shed my past years when I packed my bag and hitchhiked away from my house where my boyfriend lived just down the street, to the company where we work. I don't come from a broken childhood when I am lying next to you because all that ever is, is now. But the biggest gift, and I am still trying to wrap my head around how this came about, is that I don't feel like I need saving when I am around you. Even when the river swallows our sandals and we are barefoot under the stars in a meadow of thistles I am in control and I chose to smile.
The funny thing is, I know it isn't you who gives me this feeling. Its me who wants to go on a night hike in the first place, my choice to smile. I know that I've had this choice my whole life, but something changed. I don't feel broken anymore. I am not waiting for you to fix my self esteme or sweep me off my feet. I hiked through thistle meadows to know that I am strong enough to walk myself. I am not made of where I've come from.
It occured to me, then why I am I writing to you? To thank you for what I already do on my own?
My mind travels back to one of the first things you told me. We do things with others because then we experience twice the happiness; theirs and ours.
So I suppose I am writing, not to thank you for being my hero, but to thank you for being your hero for you, so we can be our own heros together having a magical adventure together walking barefoot under the stars.