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To all the boys I’ve ever loved

To all the boys I’ve ever loved,

There aren’t too many of you out there. If I ever loved you, you knew.

There was once a time in my life when I only saw you, and looked up to you like you were magic. I held your hand happily as we strolled down countless streets together. We would go to restaurants and share food, and I would sit next to you rather than across from you so that I could kiss you whenever I wanted. I loved telling you about my weird dreams and we probably laughed a lot. I would dress you, and forbid you to wear certain articles in your closet. You probably cooked for me a lot (especially breakfast), as I watched you starstruck. We traveled together into the wilderness or across the world. We fought whenever I was hangry, and if you were a smart one you carried snacks with you. You brought me flowers often cause it’s my favorite thing, and poured me whiskey whenever I was upset.

My friends were your friends and your friends were my friends. Your family welcomed me in as their own because we made each other so happy. I was your number one fan, whether it was finishing a marathon, trying to start your own business or going back to school. You were my hero, I adored you and I could not imagine life without you. We ‘liked’ each other’s social media posts and probably had wayyyyy too many photos together. You always told me how cute my freckles were and never took me for granted. You had to carry me out of clubs and bars more times than you’d care to remember, but those were epic nights. You always knew where to find me-watching airplanes take off, painting on the rooftop, writing on the fire escape. I was loyal to you, and I was a good girlfriend.

We talked about the future a lot, and that’s when I loved you the most. You wanted to marry me and start a family and we joked about how beautiful our children would be…but deep down we knew they seriously would be gorgeous.

Then hearts broke. I can almost feel it again now, the moment when you feel your chest sinking as you watch everything you had so much hope in crumble into nothing.

But what I want to say here is thank you. It’s been due for a pretty long time.

Thank you for teaching me how to become the strong, independent, loving woman I am today. You, ex-boyfriends of my past, taught me how to hold myself up with respect and how to have standards. You taught me how to appreciate craft beer, how to snowboard, how to camp, how to change my oil, math (that wasn’t too successful sorry), how to drive a manual, how to give massages, how to pack, how to travel, how to treat strangers, how to manage finances, how to write a resume, how to explore a new city, how to make friends without speaking their language, how to make pancakes, and how to pour wine. You taught me how to forgive myself and others for not being perfect. You taught me how to be a good citizen of the world and how to take care of myself. You did such a good job that here I am, all by myself LOL.

Even though we have gone our separate ways, and no matter how long or short we were together for, a part of you will always be with me. I only hope that whatever you are off doing now, that I helped encourage, inspire or support you somewhere along the way.

To love someone and to be loved in return is one of the most important things you can ever do. Some would even argue that it’s the purpose of living. Because I have loved you and been loved by you, I still believe in love. Because of you, I have lived life fully. Thank you.

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