I have loved two guys in my life (well, not counting my nephews). When I was in love in my late 20s, it made me do goofy things because I had forgotten how good it could feel; that underlying sense of optimism, that grin that you wake up with lying next to your soulmate. The warm fuzzies you feel as you toe fight under the sheets. Come to think of it, I can barely conjure up that feeling now, it's been so long.... But. I digress.
I remember one time during that relationship I felt so overwhelmed by my feelings that I sat down and penned a good old-fashioned love note. I knew it was goofy even as I wrote it, but I couldn't stop myself. I just remember it was long and gooey and in retrospect, embarrassing -- but I remember thinking I wanted to preserve the memory of those feelings, and if I were on the receiving end, it would make me sooo happy to get such a note. I gave it to my beloved and he said thank you and kissed me on the cheek. I gave it no more thought after that.
Until we broke up. Over a year later, I remember the night he didn't come home when he should have. I remember how I felt as the realization dawned on me that it really and truly was over. I will not go into the details, but suffice it to say I was crushed, and disappointed, and very very angry. A woman scorned. Suddenly, I remembered that note, and I could not rest until I had it in my possession again. He no longer deserved it. He was not worthy of my declaration of love, and I no longer felt that way. In the heat of my misery, I didn't stop to think that the whole point of writing it was to preserve how I felt AT THAT TIME -- all I could think about now was how I never wanted him to read it again. So for the one and only time in our entire relationship, I snooped through his things. And I found it. I tried to read it, but the pain in my chest was too intense and I just couldn't. So I did the only thing I could think of -- I burned it in the fireplace. As I cried and cursed and watched it burn, somehow it made me feel better, if only for a moment. As my words melted away, I imagined it was my love melting away. And perhaps it was. You see, by destroying that love note, I felt like I was taking it back. I was protecting my heart, because though I could handle that he would no longer be in my life, I could not handle knowing that raw proof of my feelings was out there somewhere. It had to go.
Now, years later, I feel sad, and even a little ashamed, that I did that. I don't know what he would have done with the note; when he found it someday, maybe he would have read it and tossed it out. But the fact of the matter is, no matter how many objects I burned or destroyed, I could never change those feelings I had at the precise time I wrote the love note. And I wouldn't want to. Those feelings were real, and while it's faint, I remember having them. And I wish he still had that, so wherever he is in his life someday, he might read it and remember.
I have not ever written another note like that, and I doubt I ever will. But the point is -- I did. I revel in the knowledge that at one point, I was able to open myself up and fully share my heart with someone else. It gives me hope. I musn't forget that that's possible, or I am lost. And I'm not ready to be lost.
One word: PMS.