What I Thought I Needed

I thought I needed you.

I thought I needed to hear what made me special. I thought I needed the fairy tale story of the high school sweetheart relationship. I thought I needed to wear your jersey every Friday night and hear your friends tell you how lucky you are. I thought I needed you all through high school and then through college because this was familiar, this was our life. Then the world got big and I got scared so I thought I needed more. I thought I needed him.

I thought I needed his contrast of love, the needy kind. I thought I needed to stay. I thought I needed his approval and praise. I thought I needed to change his idea of love, I thought I needed to heal and help. I thought I needed to isolate myself to prove my loyalty and I thought I needed to be selfless and give up my control so my love wouldn't be mistaken and be called selfish. But then I needed to leave.

I thought I needed you. I thought I needed my eyes to be opened in order to love again. I thought I needed the funny guy, the playful guy, the guy that came out of nowhere of the crowd in the middle of a party. I thought I needed to be the athletes girl, I thought I needed to make sure my schedule revolved around your events to show my support. I thought I needed to be fun and wild to prove to you I was the right fit. I thought I needed to be one of the boys, to go out and be cool so you wouldn't want anything else. I thought I needed our late night food dates scavenging the town for a pizza place at 2 a.m. Then I thought I needed him for the night.

I thought I needed his touch, his love, his words to drown out my need for you. I thought I needed the satisfaction that if you were wondering about me I was already moved on with my life. I thought I just needed the night, but then I needed more. I thought I needed his validation and compliments, his empty presence to fill what I thought I needed to leave in the past. I thought every night would be the last time, but maybe he meant it when he said wanted more. Then I thought I just needed his presence to prove I was needed by someone, so I decided I needed to leave again.

I thought I needed you. I thought I needed your presence of a saving grace, of finally finding someone where I was just me, you were just you, and we just were. I thought I needed our life talks and your perspectives. I thought by now I knew myself and was ready for you. I thought I just needed you for you, a companion in the morning with coffee. Most importantly, I thought I finally found what I needed.

But I really just needed me. I only needed you to show me high school was a small sliver of life. I only needed you to show me love doesn't grow in fear and control. I only needed you to teach me the funny guy is always fun and easy to fall in love with and its okay to love just the memories. I only needed you to show me there's a difference between being a cheerleader and being a support system. I only needed you to teach me to never fill loneliness with someone else' emotions. I only needed you as an example that sometimes it feels like the perfect fit, but you can't force the pieces together if their fears are still in the way. I thought I needed someone else, but I only needed their lessons, I will always be stronger just as me. I only needed my love and forgiveness to accept the lessons. I only needed to figure out that every new relationship may not last as long as I like, but love isn't dependency - it's growth. Needing another person is never the point of the game, but learning about yourself and your own joys and beauty is the best gift others can help you give yourself.

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