I posted this on Medium this morning, full of gratitude on this Valentine’s Day.
To love fiercely
I have met myself and I am going to care for her fiercely.
I wouldn’t call it dreading, but I’d been thinking about this day since last week, wondering if the man I’d been very casually seeing would casually ask to see me tonight. He didn’t. And even if he would ask now, midmorning on the day for sweethearts, I would tell him no. As Doyle has written, I’ve learned to love myself fiercely. I’ve no use or interest in being someone’s last minute thought.
This day has significant meaning, in that back in 2015, I got engaged on a Ferris wheel on the Seattle waterfront, as it reached the top, the Cascades greeting me and my man as I said yes. It was magical and I believed the rest of my life would be just as spectacular as that day, spending it with who I thought was the man of my dreams. It didn’t turn out that way. I didn’t realize during our two-year courtship that he was slowly chipping away little pieces of me, and by the time he left me, five months into the marriage while we were in a developing country, I resembled Swiss cheese.
The comeback from the deepest and darkest of black holes was terrifying at times. If it hadn’t been for my children and some genes from my father, I doubt I’d be here today, the depression and anxiety almost impossible to battle. But I did it, with the help of medication and therapy, a handful of loving friends and enrollment in an MFA program that brought catharsis, eventually purging my brokenness.
Healing is never finished, but I know I’ve come a long way. Four years after that magic moment, overlooking the Cascades, my engagement wasn’t my first thought this morning. Instead, I made a list of what I’d do for myself today. I’ve learned to love myself fiercely.