It's been three years.
Three years since I loved a heart for every beat.
Three years since I gazed upon rings and wedding gowns counting down the days.
Three years since I told myself that I was ready.
It's also been three years since we broke up.
She wrote my sister today.
Left her words to float freely through my mind.
Every time, it cinches the rope around my heart.
Pulling it back again.
Today however I struggled to find the girl I knew in the woman that I saw.
I searched, but the resemblances were few.
We were young.
We had no concept of forever.
The closest we had come was a promise made on a couch in a basement on New Years Eve.
I love her.
To this day.
To say I don't is childish and naive.
I love the girl who cried the day I left.
The day I drove nearly 3,000 miles from Atlanta to Los Angeles.
I loved that girl.
I can remember her fists on my t-shirt, clinging to the last of what would be us.
I remember the months before where she drove 4 hours to meet me in Tennessee.
It was almost her birthday.
When she had to return home, I told her to stop for gas nearby at the slowest station around, and raced past her with a full tank.
I arrived at her home only minutes before where her family waited patiently with me to surprise her.
I put everything I had into that girl.
We were separated by miles, and anger.
Angry that we loved so intensely, but were in no place to be together.
Three years later, I'm still picking up the pieces.
Three years later I've broken two hearts who loved me, hoping I would feel the same.
I've made mistakes that I'll never be able to take back.
Three years later, I can finally look myself in the face without regretting who I am and what I've done.
I thought the distance killed us, but the truth is we had little in common except the love we had for one another.
Her dreams ended with a degree, and that's where mine began.
Three years later, and I know she was never the one.
She was a beautiful memory.
One that I'll use to remind myself to try and love again.
She's the girl that I'll reminisce upon as something I did well.
She's the girl that I can reflect on and say honestly that she loved me just as much as I did her, but we were young.
Not everything is supposed to work out.
Not every relationship is meant to last forever.
Three years ago prepared me for today.
See, three years ago, I didn't know what forever meant.
Three years ago I couldn't look at one woman and truly believe she would be the last taste on my lips.
Three years ago I had no idea what I wanted, much less what was best for me.
Frankly I still don't, but I'm three years closer.
When I walk up to a woman and take her hand.
When I tell her I love her now...
Those words will not be wasted.
I'm not saying the next woman I love will be the last.
I'm saying that if she's not, then I will be one love closer to the one that lasts.
I'm also saying that those in the past have taught me mistakes to not make again.
Never again will I be a stranger in the arms of a woman who loves me.
Never again will I hesitate.
I won't fear love, or loss.
I'll search until I find the woman who is looking for me as well.
The woman who tells me beautiful things because she means them.
Not because she believes they're what I want to hear.
Next time I'll find the woman who holds my hand, not because she's afraid I might leave.
But because she likes being synchronized with my footsteps.
I'll fall for the woman who holds me.
I'll fall for the woman who rolls into my arms when she wants to be held.
The woman who plays no games because her time is better spent winning my heart.
I'll fall for the woman who does her own thing all day long, but I'll still be the first and last thing on her mind.
It might be tomorrow, or three years from now.
She might never come, but never again will I settle for anything less.
After all, three years is nothing when you're facing an eternity.