Tonight is one of the many nights I imagine you in my head.
I think about how you’d laugh at that joke I just read, or cry with me over the movie I just watched or agree with me when I defend my outlandish political position or have something to say that’s far more brilliant and passionate than I could say myself, but you’d still let me say it because you have nothing to prove, or how you’d be thinking the same thing I’d be thinking and I’d know because you’d give me that look and I’d give it right back, how you’d want to fight against the injustices we see, by my side, or even leading me, leading us all.
I can imagine you smiling at my awkwardness, staring into my eyes and beautifully willing me to believe that I’m a treasure to be seen. Hugging me until I feel safe and known and purpose-filled. I can imagine your humble gentleness, your dedication and thoughtfulness.
I think about how you’d be so in love with Jesus that when I look at you I wouldn’t see you but the brilliance of Jesus shining through your eyes, your actions, your heart.
I think about how you’d encourage me, fight for me, but call me out on all my hypocrisy and nonsense. And that I’d actually listen because behind all of it would be such a sincere and pure love.
I wonder what you’re doing right now. Are you thinking about me, too? Are you hoping for a girl who appreciates your deep empathy and passion to change the world?
Are you looking for someone who recognizes what it really means to live, to love, to take risks? Someone who understands that those three things are one in the same?
Are you waiting for me, too? Or are you content with where you are? Are you content that you don’t know when, or where, you’ll meet me? Or do you stay up late at night wondering where I am, too?
Am I living my life to the fullest, as I sit here thinking about you? Maybe I should forget about you all together and live my life day by day until we bump into each other on the metro, or meet at some birthday party or have some class together. Maybe if I keep thinking about you then when we actually meet it’ll be a disappointment. Like when you’re so excited to get some present, or to go to some city, and then once you get there you realize you hyped it up too much. Maybe I should stop thinking about you so you’ll catch me by surprise.
But at the same time, I like thinking about you. I like knowing you’re out there somewhere. I like imagining that maybe you’re thinking about me, too. And sometimes it’s easier to just imagine you, because in my imaginations there are no fights, there are no disagreements, there is no disappointment, there are no conflicts or worries or regrets. Because I know that in real life these things exist.
Sometimes I hate you. Sometimes I hate that you can’t just grow up, that you can’t just find me, that you can’t just understand that if you think I’m so great then you should be right beside me. But mostly I just hate the world, sometimes. Because it’s not your fault that we haven’t crossed paths. It’s that we’re both stuck where we are. But I just want you to know that if I could break free I would. If I could leave the now, could forget the mundane, could jump to the future, then I would find you. I’d go out there and find you myself. But I’m stuck here, going through the motions, hoping—knowing—you’ll find me some day.
Tonight, like most nights, I’m hoping you’re not settling for the girls already on your path. And I’m telling myself over and over again not to settle for the guys on my path, either.
But more than all of that, I’m praying we both realize it when we find each other. That when we both realize it, we don’t run away in fear, but instead take the risk. That we fall for this crazy thing called love and that we stop looking forward and never start looking back.