HOW TO LOVE YOURSELF MORE THAN YOU LOVE HIM:
i. Someone once told me he was an arctic I lost myself in. I learned how to breathe while frozen, learned to enjoy how the frostbite numbed my fingers, learned to be thankful they were not falling off at least. Someone once told me frozen lobsters can come back to life when unthawed. That without the cold, they can learn to live again.
ii. When snakes are born with two heads, they fight for food. When twins are born conjoined, they fight for use of their organs until they are separated. You think your bodies are made to fit inside of each other, but darling, soulmate is not synonymous for togetherness.
iii. You are lightning always competing with thunder, but yelling louder doesn’t mean he’s right. Loving publicly doesn’t mean you love more. Weeping harder doesn’t mean your sadness is stronger. So smile, smile because you have the strength to give up the fight.
iv. Maybe you aren’t there yet, but recognition is the first step. Recognize that you are fighting a war against the unchanging earth and kiss yourself with a million apologies for every time you put him above your well being. Blink butterfly kisses into your bloodstream until love radiates through the melanin in your skin. Put on your darkest shade of lipstick and kiss him out of every photograph of him kissing you, no matter how numb your tongue is from its inability to sit still without his mouth.
v. Realize that love has a lot to do with the way he made your tongue move against your lips. It’s late-night tongue wrestling with words so sweet, you spit them out so easily. Now your tongue is bitter like black coffee and it will take some getting used to. Luckily, your tongue is the strongest muscle in your body. Luckily, you can find other people to swirl your words in like galaxies. You can find your own belly so soft, you will never cover it in indigestion.
vi. Before the 17th century, almost all carrots were purple. When you are seventeen, the most important thing is not developing your taste, but finding comfort in things unchanging. Find new comfort zones. Hallow out your backyard until hell looks like home. Until you are thankful that the pain made you who you are.
vii. This life is for exploring, never for standing still. There are more microbes on your skin than people on this planet. Our bodies are outnumbered ten to one by the bacteria that lives on them. We have so much more to love than just our bodies. We have so much more to scrutinize than just our skin.
viii. You are taller in the morning than the evening. Our eyes are the same size from birth, but our ears never stop growing. Your eyes can deceive you, so open your ears to knowledge. Learn who you are and wake up each morning stronger-willed, with bigger bones than you thought you could ever be made out of.
ix. Love him, love him, love him, but never forget to leave him.
x. Love him because he does not know any better than the fault lines his hands create, but love yourself enough to let go of him anyway.