I once liked a boy who took me for granted. I let it happen, knew it was happening, and still held on. When I came out of it, I felt stupid and naive and taken advantage of all at once. It didn't feel good. I liked a slew of boys in high school. Sometimes the feelings were reciprocated, other times they weren't. But even if they were reciprocated nothing came of it, which almost hurt worse than no feelings at all. I still listened to love songs and believed they were meant for me.
It was crush after crush after crush until one day I just stopped. Stopped it all. If someone wanted to find me, they could do the searching. I think everyone around me (including Jeffrey) knew before I did that Jeffrey would be the one. And it didn't happen instantly. I didn't know at any one particular moment that he was it. I think it was different because we were young and at seventeen years old I wasn't looking for a husband. It was a million little things that added up to one big thing, and that's how I knew.
Whereas in the past I searched for boys to like, Jeffrey came as a complete and total surprise to me. I do believe that is how I fell in love so quickly with that charming boy. Looking back, he was there all along. As a matter of fact, I liked him several times, on and off, before the summer we started dating. I was in a good place that summer. I felt confident in myself and myself alone. That's the only reason it happened, the only reason I was open to it. Before that I was too wrapped up in my own head for magical things like this to happen. It was a series of many, many tiny events that gave way to this big one.
And all those crushes, the reciprocated and un-reciprocated, didn't matter anymore. They never really mattered. Because all along it was written somewhere that Jeffrey and I were meant to be. Because I was open to loving myself before loving someone else. Because I realized that the boys I liked previously just weren't meant for me. Because Jeffrey never gave up on what he knew could be great. Like I said, small events that made up a big one.
Four years ago today, Jeffrey asked me to be his girlfriend on my front porch. And I said yes. It's funny that such a small word changed my life so totally and completely.
If I could say only one thing to young women who get crushes on boys that take them for granted, it would be this: Stop looking. Just stop, and it will come to you in a rush so big and unexpected, it will knock you off your feet and take you somewhere better.
I know and believe this with my entire heart because it happened to me.
Happy Anniversary to the one and only boy who showed me just how wonderful love can be. I love you.