In my observation, there are certain boxes that need to be ticked for me to let you into my life. While the checklist may not be an official written document — nothing published, nothing in black and white, nothing particularly noteworthy — there are certain things that you attribute to my life that make me want to learn more about you every day.
In other words, there are a few things that I think you should know that I think of when I think of you:
I appreciate you. Your smile is beautiful and your heart is amazing.
I appreciate your challenges. I would never tell you that I love hearing your criticisms of my personality because, if you read through this blog, you’ll see that I’ve worked very hard on becoming the me that I am today, and I happen to like this me. That said, I appreciate your challenges, and I appreciate the softness in which you’ve learned to deliver your messages to me.
I appreciate your intentions. They’re deep; they’re considerate; they’re thoughtful; and they’re incredibly unique. Your respect for your own situations is equally as respectful as the respect that you show for my own self.
I appreciate that you let me love you. On the day that we actually became friends, I told you that I have a rule: I always tell my friends that I love them. I don’t expect them to say it back; that certainly defeats the purpose. What I do expect is that, if I love you enough to tell you that I love you, you love me enough to let me tell you this. ‘Love’ isn’t the most comfortable word for most people, and some may say that I use it too frequently. Suffice it to say that I disagree — at least to my own extent. I absolutely use the word often. I subscribe to the idea that I may use it as frequently as possible, for so long as it’s true. Thus, I love you.
I appreciate our differences. As recently discussed, we couldn’t be more different. Down to almost every detail, we are polar opposite people. The things that make us so significantly different are some of the things that make me love you so much.
I appreciate the rapid-fire quickness of my favoritism toward you. Just a short while ago, I never would never imagined having someone like you near me — in my life in any way. Today, I can’t imagine my life without you.
What I have learned in these thirty two years (or, perhaps I should say in these last nine or so months of significant self-searching), is that I love myself for my vulnerability… my fragility…my heart-on-my-sleeve way of learning.
In this, I have also learned that I have people that are in my life that love me to the end of the earth, and I love them just the same. I communicate through my fingers; I don’t speak what I need to say — I don’t know how. Today I told you that I speak through my fingers: I touch and I type. That resonated with you, and for that, I am glad.
At the same time, I am not sure that you understand the fragility into which I was born. I am sensitive. I have an enormous heart, and it’s one that is easily cracked, broken, or even shattered. I also love with a fierceness. Of all of the faults that you find in me, those that love me can find a million more things that make me amazing and unique.
I’m curious… how do you find so many faults in my being? I realize that you find them with love, and that your intention in pointing them out is to make me grow… to make me a bigger, better person. What I wish for our beautiful, amazing friendship, is that you would realize that I really do live in a glass house. I don’t throw stone, as they will break my own walls. I don’t judge others, although that is your perception of me. I decorate my glass walls with ornaments of the love that is delivered by my friends, and I reinforce the fragile exterior with the strength of those with whom I choose to surround myself.
It took me a very long time to realize that I didn’t know how to communicate. If you love me at all, you’ll love me for acknowledging the fact that this is one of my biggest works in progress. I am happy to have constructive criticism, but what I ask from you on the other side are two things:
What positive qualities do I have to offset this awful evil that you have found in me?
Can you tell me that you have successfully mastered the flaw for which you are critiquing me?
In all truth, you are just as faulted as myself. The difference between the two of us, one of many, MANY differences, is that I will never choose to point out your faults as my first line of conversation. Admittedly, I have used this as a line of defense, and for that, I am absolutely sorry and ashamed.
Going forward, I want and need you in my life. I promise to try my hardest to respect your boundaries and walls if you promise to try to let me in a little. The thing about having a checklist that is already completely checked when I let you into my life is that I expect a little humanistic leeway on your end. I realize it’s not exactly an honor for you to be in my life, at least not from your perspective, but I promise you that I have many people in my life that would argue this fact.
I love them to the end of the earth.
And they love me just the same.
I have checked off enough boxes to earn a spot in their hearts.
And they have checked just as many spots on my list.
My friends love me. Check.
My friends can disagree with me. Check.
My friends mean no harm. Check.
My friends have the best intentions. Check.
My friends want me in their lives. Check.
My friends want to know about my life. Check.
My friends appreciate me for me. Check.
My friends adore that I appreciate them for them. Check.
Beyond everything, my friends allow me to love them in the ways that I know how, and they love me for my love of loving.
Yes, it’s been an emotional few days, but in the end, after many tears and a few incredibly raw meetings with me and myself, I have come to the realization that my checklist is significantly far from intrusive or inappropriate.
I just want to love you. Remember that love takes many forms, and I communicate via type and touch.
I love you as my friend. Check.