There were moments after Jon died when I was so afraid. I was afraid of the rest of my life. If I had already had something so wonderful, so beautiful, so extraordinary... if I had been loved that much, in a way most people never get to be loved, what were the chances I'd get to have that again? What were the chances I'd ever experience happiness like that again? The future looked like one big let-down. And though I wanted to believe I'd fall in love again, that I'd have the life I'd always hoped for, there was a part of me utterly frightened of living a life always knowing it 'could have been' better.
What I have learned is quite the opposite. No one will ever be Jon, and that's okay. That life, our life together, is over. It will forever be etched into my heart and preserved in my mind as a beautiful memory. It will be the thing I am always grateful for. And he will remain a part of me for all eternity. But experiencing that kind of love, knowing it exists, only makes me want it more. Only makes me believe in it more, and believe in other people, in connections, in friendships... in everything. It makes me more open. And being loved in the way Jon loved me -- completely -- makes me recognize my own worth. A very wise woman who experienced an all-too-similar scenario said to me recently, "I get to have him be a part of my being and confidence in such a concrete way that most women our age don't ever get. We aren't desperate, we aren't t self conscious, we know we are worth loving and that our love is worth giving because we have been loved by real life angels that had no reason to HAVE to be with us.". (Thank you for that, Bahar) :)
I know what I'm worth, I know what I deserve, and I want to have it all. Jon loved me fully, completely. He made me a better person, and accepted my flaws. He knew me in a way most people never will.
I think little things are what make people beautiful. I think their quirks and understated unique qualities mean everything. Like the way they laugh or how their eyes sparkle, or the funny way they say a certain word. I look for those things in the people around me -- those special things that maybe no one else will notice. And I think that's why I love so intensely and quickly. I see past what other people see pretty fast, and fall in love with what makes them special.
I can picture myself in so many different situations that it's hard to see where I want to end up. I'm city and beachy and maybe a tiny bit country. I'm sensitive. I take things to heart. If I care about you, I will do anything for you. I'm devoted. I'm bratty. I'd pick salty snacks over sweet any day. I'm passionate. I can eat pickles right out of the jar.
I HATE when people say "calm down". It actually infuriates me. I hate tomato juice. I'm obsessed with sea turtles and owls and animals in general. Daisies make me smile. I think roses can be boring unless it's one perfect, non-red one. I have hundreds of lip glosses, but barely wear any. I used to think my stuffed animals had feelings and I'd take turns putting them on my bed so none of them felt left-out.
I can't sleep without a blanket on. I can fall asleep pretty much anywhere. I love unique one-of-a-kind things. I fully believe in the magic of dream catchers, the bracelet that I was told will protect me from evil spirits, and the ring I wear that symbolizes endless possibilities. Sometimes when I'm walking down the street and a little bird pops out, I think he's saying hi just to me. (Snow White complex?). I sing "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid in the shower...like all the time... since I was 4 years old. My parents say when I was a kid I'd never go to sleep because I was afraid I'd miss out on something. Cheez-its are amazing. I've never seen Star Wars in its entirety (I know, I know!). I think I was meant to be a mom. I'm pretty judgmental of how other girls dress, carry themselves, laugh... ok I guess girls in general. But it's mostly because I expect more from my gender, though I can't say I've never disappointed myself. I can rap "Gimme the Loot", either Biggie or Inf's part (thanks, Bon!). Coldplay and an iced coffee make me reminiscent of college. I think dogs are guardian angels. I think the nicest thing we can do for someone is to let them know we thought of them. I like to be thought of. :)
When a moment is important to me, I memorize it... every aspect. And I can play it back in my head as if I'm there. Like when Jon told me he loved me, or Katie said "I still have a sister", or when my mom gave me a matching angel necklace when I was 8 so "we'd always be connected" or the way my dad got choked up at my high school graduation party. I notice the way someone says my name. I remember songs playing in the background. I find it hard to believe in coincidences. I don't know how to say more than a few sentences without incorporating some form of sarcasm in there. I think a lot can be felt in a simple touch.
I think I come across as pretty confident, but I'm actually self-conscious. . . a lot. I have a photographic memory. School always came fairly easily to me. I wanted to be a ballerina. . . I sort of was one, at least an aspiring one. I had modeling pictures done. . . once. (Only 3 people have ever seen them). I obviously enjoy compliments about my physical appearance, but I secretly fear that I attract guys simply because they think I'm "hot" or want to get in my pants. I want someone to notice the way I say their name. Or the different color specks in my eyes. I want someone to not be able to control their own laughter when I laugh. I want someone to notice the beauty mark on my right cheek. I want someone to look at me with pride in who I am. I want someone who is thankful for how much I care for them.
I think having a partner to go through this life with is a blessing. A teammate, someone you can count on. Someone who makes you a better version of yourself. Isn't that what we all really hope for?
I fear no fate. I'm not afraid of anything anymore. My heart is open. I've known more truth and felt more love than most people ever feel in a lifetime. I know who I am. I trust my heart. It's never been wrong before.