Tonight you are going to go home, and you are going to cry your eyes out. You are going to curse every promise that left his lips and every touch that left his hands. You are going to burn the image of the way he last looked at you into your brain. You are going to re-read every letter he ever wrote. You are going to replay every "I love you" he spoke. You are going to trace the remembrance of his fingers intertwined in yours. You are going to pound your brain with every memory.
Go ahead. Go ahead and hurt. Go ahead and grieve. Go ahead and pray for him to come back.
I know being sixteen with a broken heart seems like the end all, but I promise you there is so much more. I promise you will heal. I also promise you will have your heart broken again. And that won't be the last time. You are going to fall more in love with another boy, and you will swear he must be the one. But there will be another one, "he is the one" you'll proclaim, but he's not either. You're also going to break a few hearts yourself.
One day you're going to sit in a coffee shop and you're going to wonder why.
One day you're going to sit on the back porch and you're going to cry your eyes out.
One day you're going to hug your best friend and curse your soft heart.
But, one day you're going to laugh. You're going to let go of the pain, the brokenness, the regrets, the remorse, the insecurities, and all the scars they left you with.
I wish I could tell you it was going to be easy letting go, but at eighteen you still have a box of all the empty promise filled letters, the clay heart he made you, the necklace with his initial strung on it, every ticket stub he ever bought you, and endless memories that still bring tears to your eyes. You will sift through it from time to time, but for the most part it just sits as an echoing reminder of that scar.
You'll throw it out soon. That's the only box you ever keep, but at twenty you still have the a hoodie that you casually wear, and at twenty-one you will hold on to drawings he made for you, a promise ring, and those photo booth pictures you took. Soon enough you start to realize that holding on is no medicine for a broken heart. I'm proud of you in those moments. You don't know that you will get there, but you will. One day you are going to let go.
You don't know any of that now. All you know is that you no longer know where you stand, who you are, or what you need. All you know is that for the last year and half you devoted every moment of your life to a boy you swore you were going to marry. Now he's gone. Now he's with her. Now you sleep alone at night, and suddenly the darkness seems more suffocating.
You don't know that one day you're going to wake up and be okay with him leaving, with who you are without him, and with where you are headed without him.
You don't know that now, and that really is okay. I don't want you to know. I am glad these words can't reach back into your heart. I am okay with you having to face the days filled with unknowing. I am okay with you having to discover these better days on your own.
You don't need me to tell you you are going to be okay, because you are going to find that for yourself, and I promise it is a beautiful process.
You see, who I am today, is already in you. She's there. She's always been a part of you. You just have to find her. And trust me, there are going to be more broken hearts, more regrets, more mistakes, more fears, more uncertainty.
But I am still here. I am still here despite all those things that you don't know yet. I am still here despite all the darkness you will crawl through. I am still here despite the nights you will want it all to end. I am still here despite all the people who will try to bring you down. I am still here despite every moment you will fall to your knees and curse the breath in your lungs.
I am still here, so I can certainly promise that you will be okay.
You, me, us at eighteen, us at twenty-one, we are all going to be okay.
Your heart is a lot tougher than you think.