By Salma Elbarmani
I used to ask myself all kinds of questions about you. I wondered what you’d look like, if you’d have dark hair and gorgeous dark features. I wondered if you’d be tall, although you wouldn’t even have to hit 6 feet to tower above me.
I often asked myself if you’d be funny. If you’d make me laugh in a kind of burn in my belly sort of way, or if I’d laugh along just because I’d like you so much.
I’ve thought about conversations we’d have… and secretly I’ve had the entire back and forth dialogue between us in my own head, as I’m standing in the shower simultaneously contemplating my life choices.
I’ve thought about television shows we’d watch together, and books you’d tell me to read. I thought about the way you’d say I love you, before we go to sleep at night, or how you’ll get along with my parents and I’ll adore yours.
I’ve probably had thoughts about every conceivable aspect of what you’ll be like, and somehow I found it impossible to wrap my head around ever meeting you.
Recently I’ve overcome the fear. The fear of accidentally meeting you while I’m away from home, far off in a land I only planned to stay for a short while. Fear of falling in love with you while I’m still on my way to figuring out who I am.
There was a point in time when I feared I’d have to tell you I’m still unsure of what I want out of life. That I’m capable of giving love and receiving it, but incapable of committing to a single continent or career path.
Lately, the thoughts of you have shown up less in my mind, if at all. And I’ve often wondered if that’s my subconscious way of letting the idea of you go, or if that’s the universe’s subtle signal that you’re on your way to finding me.
Either way, I’m glad you haven’t shown up just yet. I needed this time.
I’ve learned to love myself in ways I didn’t think I needed to. I’ve learned to call myself beautiful with no makeup on, and wear my hair naturally curly when I’m out on the town. I’ve learned to be forgiving of my body and patient with my wants.
I’ve mastered the art of walking in heels and discovered the comforts of hiking in Nikes’. I’ve tested various shades of red on my lips, to which I can proudly proclaim I’ve mastered the science.
I’ve discovered how much I value alone time, as much as I live and breathe a social life. I’ve even taken the time to try new foods — just to be certain that I am actually a happily self-classified picky eater.
I’ve added creative to the labels I give myself. Along with determined, relentless, loving and curious. I’ve crossed experiences off my list just to make room for new ones.
And I’ve been brave.
Not just brave in the way of independence, but brave in the form of vulnerability. I’ve started walking towards the things I thought would never be for me. The opportunities I thought I couldn’t land. The places I thought I’d have to wait a lifetime to see. I started working on my dreams rather than being mesmerized by them.
And I’m not finished.
In fact, I have to tell you — I’m just getting started.
In the way I once dreamed of you, I’m dreaming of the future I’ll create for myself. So when we finally do meet, just know, I won’t ask you what took you so long.
Photo credit: Ryan Holloway on Unsplash
*Salma is a writer, activist and aspiring social entrepreneur. She has a special love for culture, meaningful conversations, politics and dance.
Originally published on Medium at https://psiloveyou.xyz/while-i-was-waiting-for-you-i-took-the-time-to-love-myself-afbb24398563