I am starting to understand love now

Last night my girlfriend and I shared a very special date night. It was our one month anniversary of when we went public. We both marked our first date on our calendar as a special day but I marked a different day to celebrate on mine; the anniversary of the first time It old her I loved her.

When I told her I knew she wasn’t ready to say it back. Not because she didn’t feel it, I could tell by our conversation the night before she had feelings but didn’t have the words yet. I myself took longer to get the words than I expected. Considering the only other woman I ever said those words to was a failed engagement I felt really confident knowing I was giving her more than words, I was giving her my heart.

Love has always eluded me. Even in my own family those who claim to love me hardly show it. My parents do their best but they limit their expressions to things they know. I do the same. I show people I love them in subtle ways. Usually with regular hellos.

Last night was the first time I watched my beautiful love cry. It wasn’t because she had a rough day and needed to vent. It wasn’t because the romantic movie she picked for date night was sorta sad. It wasn’t because she was in a bad place or overly emotional. She cried because I did something thoughtful for her she didn’t expect. I wrote her a poem straight from my heart.

This was the first time I ever wrote a poem about someone I love. The first poem I wrote her, a few weeks ago, was more about my journey walking a lonely road to discover her. She was the end result of a long, desolate trek through the wilderness in it. In this latest poem she was the focus of my love. I wrote all the nice things I could think of her using what imagery I knew would resonate with her.

I haven’t written many poems to be fair. I was assigned a poetry writing class in college I never took because it would have been the semester following my expulsion. I have a book of poems written by Emily Dickenson but I hardly find the time to read through them. I do with my poetry what I do in all my writing, I simply write from the heart.

It has taken me this long to start to get an idea of what true love really is. The more time I spend with my love the more exciting life becomes.  I keep finding new ways to express my love for her as well as finding new things for us to do together. It’s difficult because the distance between us is so great, the obstacles in our way are also challenging. Despite all that I believe our love is true and will continue to grow. I know that we’re going to have our ups and downs. We had both last night.

I spent a portion of the evening trying to cheer her up. She was having a rough day and needed me to try to relieve her stress. I did my best which she confided was just what she needed. I am also enjoying watching our friendship bloom as well. That friendship is where this all started. I said the first day I spoke to her I was just so grateful to have her as a friend. Even in that moment I told myself if that was all she let me have I’d cherish it until the end of time. I am beyond blessed she saw fit to let me into her heart because it’s such a warm and comfortable place to be. I love her so much I, a college educated professional writer do not have the words to express how deeply I’d do anything for her. All I can do is seek new ways to remind her how important she is to me as often as I can. It took me this long to understand what love is. Now that I have it, I am in awe at how wonderful two people can make each other feel. If she is feeling what I am feeling, I am super happy for her too!

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Stephanie Bri

A transgender writer who also does podcasts and videos.