Thank you. I know it wasn’t easy. The sleepless nights, the constant reassurance, the distance I would create between us. You met me at a time in my life when I couldn’t see the perfection in my flaws and quirks. Loving me while I didn’t quite understand how to love myself was hard, I’m sure.
Before we dated, I told you how much of a mess I was and how difficult it would be to love me, but you were a ready knight who courageously took on the task. You would always compliment me even though I tended to reply with, “Thanks, but I’m really not that great.” Every poem I would write, you would marvel at it, as though it was really something special. Every painting I made you would say, “This is incredible, let’s hang it up,” as soon as I showed it to you. You thought everything that was a product of me was just as special as I was.
I thought you were totally out of my league; I had no idea what you saw in me. Even when I’d come to your house in sweats without make up on, you’d say “God, how lucky am I?” When I told you I thought my face was too round you said, “Baby, your face fits perfectly in my hands. I love it.” When I told you I hated my laugh you said, “Don’t hate it, it is the sweetest sound.” Every time I would tell you something I hated about myself, you turned it around into a compliment. Slowly, I began to love the things I hated most, and I have you to thank for that. You found something to love in everything I considered a flaw; you reinvented the way I saw myself.
I don’t know how you did it. It seemed like you had endless patience for me, and for that, I am so grateful. You would love me on the days I couldn’t pull myself out of bed, you would sit with me in the car for however long it took for me to muster up the courage to go out in public and it never bothered you when I wanted to hold your hand when I got nervous. The day I couldn’t put my jeans on because I was bloated, you sat beside me on the bed and held me while I cried. You always kept your phone on loud in case I called at 3 a.m. needing to hear that you loved me.
You never let me go to bed without knowing how loved I was and how special I was. You always greeted me with the biggest smile even when I was unkind. You held my hand as I was on the journey to loving myself and every time I stumbled, you were there to pick me up and dust me off. You gave me more than just companionship; you gave me unconditional love for myself. I hope everyone is loved by someone like you in their lifetime—someone who can see the good in everyone and loves every bit of another person.
Thank you for loving me while I was learning to love myself.