It’s so funny how I come out here to think and type and write, and I’m sitting here on my front porch curled up in my papasan chair covered in a blanket listening to Stevie Nicks thinking of you and suddenly I have nothing to say. That’s not true, of course. I have lots to say. I almost always do, except for those moments when you leave me speechless like no one else can. Just. Wow. Change is hard. So hard.

I should be used to it by now – change. I’ve been through so much, and even if I hadn’t, I know that change is always constant. Change and time are the two things we can always count on in life. But there’s more than that, too. There’s something to be said for finding the magic in the ordinary. In seeing the truth and passion and wonder in the everyday. Beyond just looking for extraordinary – and believe me I want that, too – there’s magic in every little minutia you never even bothered to pay attention to. But you see, that’s what you’re missing.

I remember sitting on the roof of my old ‘88 K Blazer with you, looking up at the stars and talking for hours on end. It didn’t matter if our friends were drunk or stoned, or what other shenanigans were going on around the campfire. It was us. It was just what we did. Sat there in wonder, two kids looking at stars, believing that there was always something more out there for us, for all of us, even if most people never stopped long enough to catch a fleeting glimpse, forget about truly feeling it or letting it into their souls. But we did. We were different. And then you were gone.

I miss that truck. I miss those times. I remember doing that even after you died, still thinking of you. On clear starry nights, I’d pull over on the side of any random backroad and climb up to the roof of that old truck and just sit there and talk to you as if you never left. And in my heart you always reminded me, you’re right here. You still are, aren’t you? I hope so. You were so much of my past but even more so, so much of my future. Without you and your mother, I don’t know that I’d ever have become the person I am today. I owe her an email, or perhaps not owe, but I have things I want to share with her. She was such an important part of my life, too. Thank you.

I’m going to sit here and listen to the rain for a while and wonder when you’ll tell me I’m too much. Or not enough. Or maybe not anything at all. Though I know it’s all in my head. I know that I’m waiting for you to tell me that my bad life decisions are too much, that I need to stop. That I need to change. But you haven’t. You just keep accepting me for me and I think I’ll stop now. I’m done making bad choices like smoking a cigarette on the front porch because I can’t sleep knowing I don’t even like cigarettes, telling myself it’s an old habit that I do when I am stressed, only I’m not stressed. I think it’s still just my way of trying to push you away and have you tell me it’s not good and it’s not smart and it’s not healthy and all those things I already know. I’m good at self-destructing, but you keep accepting me, and I keep realizing that I am only doing this to myself and perhaps it’s time I stop and go back to embracing all of this. All of us. Even the messy stuff. Because I know better, and I want to do better, and I can and am every day. Even when I take moments to backslide and let myself try to prove to myself that I wasn’t ever worth it in the first place. This is different. We’re different. And I’m done with the things that I do to keep making it easier for me to walk away because I don’t want that, not even for a moment. Even when my brain tells me I am stupid for believing in magic. I am an adult, after all, aren’t I?

I am. But I still believe in magic. I still move mountains. I still wish on stars and look up at the sky and wonder at the rain and remember that I breathe differently with you. Without you. And with you in my life. That’s pretty fucking amazing and it’s about time my brain stops trying to sabotage my heart and my soul and everything I truly feel. It’s time to let go of the past and remember who I really am and who I’ve been becoming all these years because of you, and now because of you. I believe in us.

I think I’m finally done comparing everyone I’ve ever met to you. It was unfair, but to be honest, you set the bar pretty high. Even for a completely platonic relationship – we always were like siblings – it didn’t matter. You were the first person to truly see me for me and help me believe that life was worth living. I wish you were here to meet him. There’s so much ahead, and while change is hard, so very hard, and I know that this won’t be easy, I do know that all of it is worth it because you taught me that ages ago and I still believe you today. The difference is that I believe me now, too. And I believe in me. And us.  This new us. Whatever it is and is becoming. I’ll tell you more under the stars but it’s raining now.  I think I’ll just sit here and listen to the sound of the rain and let it settle in and soothe my soul.