I Think

I think you still love me.

I think you still love me because you answered my phone call today, and asked what I needed.

I think you still love me because you snap at me when I check up on you but are mad when I ask you what’s wrong. I think you want me to care.

I think you still love me because my pictures are still featured on your Facebook and Instagram (and please, don’t ever take them down).

I think you still love me because we spent too much time in each other’s arms whispering all of our secrets.

I think you still love me because you haven’t shut me down and out. You could’ve said that you didn’t love me, but you didn’t. You could have ignored my numerous texts, but you didn’t. You could have said to not contact you, but you said “I’ll always be here”.

I think I still love you.

I think I still love you because you are still the last person I think of before I fall asleep (if I sleep) and the first person I think about every morning. I can still feel your breath in my ear as you sleep and hear your voice in my head.

I think I still love you because I pray for you every night.

I think I still love you because as much as I want us to be together, I know that what you need or want does not coincide with me.

I think I still love you because our breakup was not rough, but the thought of us not being together was the tough part.

I think I still love you because I hurt when I know you’re hurting, and I hurt when I know you are pretending to not hurt.

I think I still love you because you are doing something that makes YOU happy, and I want nothing more than to see you be happy.

I think I still love you, because I have hope for us in the future. Though you may get married, and I get married, and have a bunch of kids and are long time friends, I still hope that you are the person I get to say my vow to, to raise children with, and to grow old together.

I am always here, and I will always love you.

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Challenging Love

There is not much I can say about Romell that won’t seem super cheesy, as well as extremely personal, and I usually strive to keep my relationship private,  but this post serves as a platform for all the things I say in my journal but hardly to you, Romell, and I admit, I should say them more.

I often joke with Romell that the Universe was trying to tell us something when he put us both on the trajectory to meet each other. We are completely opposite people with completely different paths, so I can only thank the universe for deciding that we needed to be in each others’ lives in some way. We both have some of the strongest personalities that are often hard to miss. We come from different backgrounds. We don’t even like the same foods. Our first interaction wasn’t smooth; I yelled at him over politics and vowed never to speak to him again. And here we are, just over two years later…I never thought that I would ever get here, and yet I now can’t imagine my life without you in it, Ro.

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Romell, you are the most selfless person I’ve met. You’d give your shoes to a stranger if they needed them. And you have used that selflessness on me and on our relationship. Even when I felt like I didn’t deserve it, you made sure that I knew I was worth it, deserving of that love and generosity (and let’s be honest, sometimes I really don’t deserve it). You never stop pushing me, and I will never stop pushing you. You are so hard-working — one of the hardest working people I know, and your determination to fulfill each and every one of your goals, as well as the patience to fully achieve those goals is inspiring. That commitment is in yourself, but in our relationship too. You possess the potential to become an even greater version of yourself, and it has been a gift to watch you discover it, as well as begin to embrace it. Even in those moments of insecurity, of uncertainty, I see a light in you that has been present since I met you, and serves as a reminder of why I love you.

As my partner, you are my #1 support. You have an innate ability to make me feel like the most treasured person on this Earth, whether that is rubbing my back when I’m sick to making me laugh uncontrollably when I am feeling sad. Even when you don’t have the right words to say, you make me feel better in other ways, in ways I never thought would work. You challenge me to understand love not as self-sacrificing, but as a team effort. You taught me compromise, and patience, and you taught me how to not only understand those who think differently than me, but to accept it. You are a physical depiction of my opposite, and that is what makes us so strong. You challenge me physically, emotionally, and mentally, questioning my every belief, my every habit. That cannot be replaced.

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In a way, love can be selfish, and this letter of gratitude has definitely proved it: The things that you do for me and the way that you have affected me are significant. However, what has been most surprising, and yet challenging, is my growing ability to be selfless for you. You have made me a kinder, softer person. You have made me realize that I don’t have to do everything by myself, that it is okay to ask for help, to ask for time to take self-care. You remind me that having fun is OKAY, that I don’t always have to take life so seriously and work all the time. You have challenged my concept of love and what that means for you. You challenge me. And I will forever be thankful for that.

There is so much more I have to be grateful for when it comes to you, but I’ll keep this short. I love you so much Romell and can’t wait to see where our next journey takes us (Loyola!). I am so grateful to be your crazy partner in this crazy world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Balance between Independence and Commitment

My whole life, I have been non-committed to romantic relationships. I am committed to my family, friends, my passions, sure. Partners? Relationships? No thank you. I love to hook-up, to meet and talk to different people.

Despite this lifelong belief, I have been in a on/off relationship for about a year, something I NEVER thought I would say.


Said partner in Amsterdam with me this past March.
Said partner in Amsterdam with me this past March.

We have spent the majority of our time apart from each other, and it has been an extremely difficult process. We have had more than our fair share of trials and tribulations, each different than the last. But we have matured greatly and our love for each other grows with each day we are apart.

This time around, the problem is where I am: I have spent the last four months in Italy, and he has stayed in Chicago, working. Living in Italy by myself has more than boosted my independence: I have grown to be a much more confident person, both in daily life choices and my future career goals and relationships. I have also learned that one of the things I value most is my need for space, to be myself and process.

What is the balance? When do you become too independent for your partner?

I know that my partner and I often clash because one of us needs more attention that we simply cannot give at the time. Lately, my partner has been seeking attention that I not only can’t give, but also don’t seem to want to. I am here for one more week; I am trying to make the most of my experience before I am forced to go back home (I say forced because I never want to leave Europe). Am I selfish for wanting my space? Am I a terrible partner because I want to do my own thing, have my own space, and that is something I inherently value? When does compromising come in?

All these questions I feel I cannot answer by myself. I only hope that the pieces fall where they may. I love the kid, I do. I just love my space too.

Ci vediamo,

Hannah