Letter to My Future Husband

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
— Rainer Maria Rilke

January 16, 2016  (note: I wrote this in my journal after a little teeny heartbreak -- but the title alone is too serious and sappy and sentimental for my liking... so I've called upon my spirit animal, Elaine, to balance that out)

Dear Future Husband: 

Tonight I miss you. I wonder about how it would be to have you just with me, maybe while I do my thing and you do yours. I'm studying light right now for this essay I'm working on mainly for fun. I should be working on getting products into my shop. But I love to learn and I miss writing. If you were here, I would tell you about how cool the human eye is. I would tell you about how mind-blowing it is that there are galaxies 13 billion light years away. And we would just think about that for a second and then come back to earth. 

Me, after jumping off the treadmill. 

Me, after jumping off the treadmill. 

I'm ok without you, but I think some part of me forces myself deeper into my work so that I don't think about the absence of you. There are always times like this, you know, when I set my heart on something and for just a second, let it hop off the treadmill that drives my dreams forward. Because I would jump off any treadmill for you. I'd even fall off of it (*have done irl more than once).  But I don't know where you are. So when I think I see you, I get excited and everything else I'm doing just seems like a distraction, even though it's not pointless, and I love what I'm doing. 

But I've chased sooooo many mirages after jumping off the treadmill, and I've stopped for Prince Charmings that were meant for someone else. And I've done the same thing to others that they've done to me. I've broken hearts. At times I've had to pretend to be someone besides who I am to dissuade people from pursuing a hopeless thing. I hate that, but I don't know what else to do because you can't just go around and bluntly tell people who are interested that you are not interested in them back. 

I've been waiting for you for so long. And I'll wait more because I still believe you're out there. But I'm warning you, my heart is kind of a desert fortress right now, so I hope you can scale the walls (that's not a euphemism :)).  And maybe together we can drill a well and have an oasis. I don't know how water in the desert works. 

But I do thirst for you... How can you crave a flavor you've never tasted?  Or sense textures and a tone that you've never felt before? I don't know, but I know that your absence brings real pain. At best the pain is like a yawn that doesn't quite get to the bottom of your lungs. But then it's like "well, I'm too tired to yawn again" and you just move on to the next thing, dully. At worst it's just the onset of a gaping stillness, a silence, and a darkness that stretches on forever in the soul-- punctuated by pinpricks of hope that, like stars, are beautiful, but so very distant and unknowable.

It does help just to imagine that you are there, even though I can't project specifics. It helps to be with people who love me, but sometimes it makes it hurt more and then I have to go be by myself. It also helps to realize that a relationship can be bad, and that's why I've waited so long. I don't want one just to have one. 

If you were here right now, you'd probably laugh because I'm a mess. One minute I'm freaking out about how cool Kwanzaa is (yeah, the holiday)... and the next I'm in tears because I'm thinking about all of this and that I can't share it with you. 

Also I'm in my gym clothes b/c I was going to go to the gym and then I got absorbed in what I was doing and thinking about all the things. Well now I'm not going because I'm crying and I can't breathe through my sniffly nose. I would probably cuddle up to you or something. I just can't believe that I don't know you yet. Or that I only know of you. Because how could we both be where we are if I knew you? Really knew you?

I'm sorry if this is my fault. That's a stupid thing to say, probably, but it might be relevant. :) 

I've just met so many people you that you haven't been. I'm so dizzy with it. So dizzy, how will I ever even get my head to be clear enough to see you? What if I've become to calloused, cynical, unbelieving? What if I'm expecting love to be a revelation, but it comes more slowly than that, and in a guise I just glaze over in my growing solipsism? These are the things I worry about. 

I pray all the time for you. I know that God, in a way I can't quite fathom, is pulling strings somewhere. Maybe our kids are somewhere out there, too, helping. Somehow? 

If we have a daughter I want to name her Grace. So I always remember the miracles that cradle me and all of life but I forget to see. 

I don't always feel like this. Despondent and stuff. Ridiculous. 

I just don't know how to take myself seriously without you sometimes. 

Can you imagine Eve alone, without Adam? I can't think of anything sadder than that right now. And yet. So many Adams and Eves, Eve-less and Adam-less. I toil on because I believe. But oh gosh I miss you. 

I just wish you could text me right now, haha. That'd be cool :). Maybe I'll just ask God. He's been pretty great lately. Maybe Januaries are just a bad time for me. 

Please don't settle. Please don't make it so that I can't find you like that. I'm here. I'm trying to send some kind of signal? 

Well now I'm kind of laughing and crying. So there's that. 

Just so you know, this whole thing started this morning, when the Scandinavian Guy didn't text me back. It's fine. It's been 2 days since he texted me-- been here before. Totally know what it means. And honestly, I kind of felt like it was all too good to be true anyway. I mean seriously... a Scandinavian Guy like that? 

It's not like I don't think it could happen with an attractive Scandinavian, it just kind of felt like "well probably not, but please happen because it would be awesome."  That old familiar feeling of superficial attraction, when you're so aware of all the ways you're projecting on the other person, but somehow you don't care and for a few days or weeks they become the receptacle of all your teenage dreams of the charm and flirtation that whisk you away into all your dreams coming true. 

Anyway, his not texting me back after I basically fell off the treadmill for him is kinda why I'm sad. Because even though somehow I was psychically prepared, my heart wasn't. And who knows, he may text me back eventually. Who knows? YOU COULD BE HIM... but that's unlikely. 

I went to the bathroom at work today and Desperado was playing over the speaker. I kept it together then. Mostly I just laughed because it was funny and ironic. But I'm coming to realize that laughter about dating always masks some kind of sorrow or another. The mask gets more warped the older you get-- thinner in some places, thicker in others. You relinquish control of some parts but slowly tighten your grip on everything else. Before you know it, you're white knuckled and tense in the shoulders. 

I mention this because I'm kind of a Desperado right now. And I probably will be when you meet me. Just know that. It may not seem helpful to listen to the Eagles when you're trying to figure out how to woo me (if we have to go through the wooing phase, please dear heaven, let it not be awkward and drawn out).  But you should. 

The loneliness seems to echo on forever at this point in time. I know that's not reality, but it feels like it from where I sit.

What are you doing right now? 

It's the second Friday night in 2016. You're not with me, so where are you? With people? I hope you're really happy. I mean, not totally happy, but content. Since I learned to be content with what I could control, I've been pretty happy. See, that's where the treadmill comes in-- the treadmill is everything I can control and enjoy doing. Treadmill has kind of put dating in the back seat. 

Is dating how I am supposed to find you? Can't you just jump out of the woodwork? Ha. That'd be something. My life is maybe going to be a movie some day, but probably not like any I recognize. 

If I were a betting woman, which I'm not (yet.... YET)  I would say I already know you already, or somehow you will just appear. Like, maybe in my ward. Or at work. I don't know? The supermarket?  Stopped beside me at a stoplight?  When you're trying to be open, these are comedic possibilities that somehow you actually begin considering. It can be the entire reason that you put on a coat of mascara some mornings even though you're already late to work. 

I "tinder" mainly as a tribute to the karmic forces that govern dating. I have a Tinder A, Tinder B, and a Bumble. I do objective A/B tests with them and, in my mind, am writing a program/seminar that will help people maximize their success on the apps.  "Success" meaning positive interactions, not necessarily relationships. There are so many people (dudes, at least) who have no idea how to confidently and accurately pitch themselves to another person-- not even as a potential partner but just a person.  Anyway, I don't have the energy to take that more seriously than a few minutes a day before I go to bed. It's work, and it takes time. 

Another song you should listen to, especially the lyrics, is called "Let There Be Horses" by the Barr Brothers. Pretty much this is the song of my soul at this moment.  I love this line: 

"People want love, but have little for themselves.
They pray for a stranger to lift their veil. 
That would be everyone. 
That would be us" 

I hope you have what it takes to lift the veils. But you will. Because I'll help you. I mean... I'll be your wife. Or your future wife. So all I really need is patience. And to be brave in my patience.

There's that Thucydides quote: "The brave are simply those who have the clearest vision of what lies before them-- glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it."  I love that :). 

Well, if you know me at all by now, you'll know about my tendency to ramble, which is what I'm doing. 

But hey! I've stopped crying. It's hard to be sad for long. In spite of everything that's hard for me, I feel incredibly blessed. I feel humbled, and I feel like I need to get back to work, since the best cure for grief is action. 

I love you. But I love God more. He's helping me. Probably he's helping you too. That's what I'd say if I were a betting woman.  Better to be a hopeful woman, I guess. :) . 

So wherever you are, good night. I love you.

Till we meet again for the first time, 

Emily