A letter to myself on Valentine’s Day 2015


My love is coming to me. My love is coming to me.

He will be here by the end of the year. …

Clean up your heart to be ready for your love.

Rest assured, he is coming.

No need to seek. Just live. …

Oh sweet, Heather, I wish you wouldn’t torture yourself. You are an incredible light.

These are the words you scribble into a journal on February 14, 2015. Right now, you are sitting at a coffee shop, writing this post. Valentine’s Day has never really been one to make you cry, but on this day in this year, you cry multiples times. You shake hard from crying, under a blanket. Tears drip down your red hot cheeks as you talk to a friend on the phone. You cry so much in this day that you break a blood vessel on your cheek.

You feel dark and unworthy on the inside but when you try to express your feelings they come out selfish and foolish. Nothing about your life is truly catastrophic, but yet you feel so sad.

You’ve been sad for some time, haven’t you sweetheart? You’ve been holding out hope for something, wishing it around each corner. You excite at a new stranger. You imagine it in every experience. Still, that deep love hasn’t come. Maybe it hasn’t really been that long, your waiting, but I know how endless it feels, especially matched up next to other’s sweet little love stories. Grand love is the thing you’ve always wanted in the world and every goal outside of it was doused with potential of leading you there. I know how bad you want this, honey. I know that your desire for this big magical love is something you’ve kept hidden, but now it’s starting to boil and break your seams. Your disappointment can’t be contained in your own little heart any more. That’s OK, sweetie.

Today is not going to be a good day. You will cry more. You’ll be forced to sit at a bar and order cheese bread because your roommate failed to tell you that she and her boyfriend were planning to make a romantic dinner at your shared apartment. Sitting at a bar stool, you’ll sip wine and try to predict the stories of the other unaccompanied people in the small room.

The evening brings friends and a break from your inner demons. You’ll have a drink with a friend in a gay bar in Boys Town and you’ll share stories of unrequited love. Then, you’ll take an Uber together to your friend’s circus performance show. You’ll drink more and more. You will be in awe of the human body. After the show, you’ll go to an all-night diner. You’ll order fries. You won’t get home until 3:30 a.m.

Your lonely tears will not stop here. There will be more.

But your strength will meet the challenge. The courage you needed to say goodbye to people and pieces of yourself that are holding you back will be found. It is not gained or borrowed but rather you had it all along and you were waiting for the right moment to use it. That momentum will propel you forward, staying on the course to what your heart desires. When false promises and self-destruction try to lure you off, you’ll have the wisdom to continue on.

And, like you wrote in your journal with only the smallest of hopes, your love will come. He will not come with a big flashy story, yet soft;y and unannounced. He will practically sneak into your life, as if you looked away for a second.

He will not chase away your insecurities. He will not remedy your fears. He will not fix you.

He will, though, be what you most need. He’ll get up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday to drive you to your team run meeting spot. He’ll hold your hand when you learn that someone you love is sick. He’ll be patient when you realize you forgot your keys.

His presence will remind you of your family.

No matter what the future holds for you two, you will be a better person because of him.

I am writing to you not to tell you to stop crying or let the pain go. The pain will be crucial in recognizing your love when you meet him. You absolutely can not welcome him into your life until have undergone that pain.

It’s the last line you wrote on that February day that I am writing to you about. Heather, you’ve always been the hardest on yourself and even as I write this I am finding ways to judge and scold us. But this is one true time in which you do not need to belittle who you are. All the choices you have made, the good and the bad, led you to this moment writing in your journal in the cafe. Then, to this one where I am writing from the couch of my studio apartment. You don’t have to be more or less; you as you are is all that you need.

So, please cry. Call friends and laugh into the wee hours. Tomorrow will be better. But do not for one second doubt yourself and all the things you’ve been given. Show yourself empathy and stay on the course. Deep down, you know that you will find what you are looking for, so keep going. It’s there.


Published by The Running Therapist

A runner, writer, and therapist in training.

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