once upon a time i was the girl who wanted it all. the husband, the family, the backyard garden, the proverbial white picket fence. when he cracked my heart wide open i let go of those wishes, let go of all the ideas of splendid normalcy i had always dreamed of. for the next three years i spit fire, screamed into the wind, and belonged to no one but myself. i was there one minute and gone the next, collecting the hearts of those unfortunate enough to love me, leaving with no remorse, and never looking back for even a second. i was cold, but i was also content. there was nothing to take, nothing to destroy. from my broken emptiness i once more made myself whole. i laughed at the idea of domesticity, i belonged to the wild thing inside of me. i dreamed of a better life, one of a wanderer. i wanted no attachments, nothing to hold me down or keep me in one place. and then i met him. from the very first day i knew my running was over. one look into his chocolate brown eyes and i felt the wind leave my sails, felt my feet touch the solid rock of the earth for the first time since i was sixteen years old. suddenly, all the progress i had made, all of the walls i had constructed around my heart, crumbled. once again i stood, heart in hand, at the mercy of another boy, who i knew in my heart of hearts, would never love me the way i needed him to. it would be months before i realized how deep i had fallen, how quickly i had once again become the same naive fourteen year old who had worn a t-shirt in the pool, had stifled her own interests, had closed her mouth in hopes of being wanted. now here i stand, on the precipice of both freedom and loss, finally admitting to myself that i never stopped wanting a genuine human connection. letting myself hope for rainy Friday nights in bed, my head on his chest, his hands in my hair. dreaming of being held like i’m the most precious thing in his world. letting myself wish for shared birthdays, showers, and hopes and dreams. once more learning that just because you give up on love, that doesn’t mean it gives up on you.