She's not my world.

Orion's belt rests adjacent to her left ear, and a crescent moon sits on the far left of her upper torso nestled between her clavicle and acromion process.

She's the universe.

When I was 12 years old, my family took a trip to the Galapagos Islands on a cruise. While we were there, we met another family; they had a girl my sister's age, and a boy my age. We all became fast friends, and within a couple days I developed one of the biggest crushes of my preteen life.

It turned out that we all lived in the same city, a bizarre coincidence that led our families to keep in touch. When I turned 14, our families spent my birthday together, which made me incredibly happy since I got to see this boy again. He was a little taller, his hair was a bit longer, but I still thought he was cute.

A few more years passed and our families didn't talk much. I had my first boyfriend, a high school romance that lasted 11 months. At the end of my senior year, the boy popped into my head again and I thought it might be fun to reconnect, so I added him on facebook, messaged him for a bit, and then asked if he would be my prom date. He politely turned me down, saying that he was too busy with end of the year stuff, although it sounded like fun.

Oh well, live and learn. What I did was a little too forward and weird anyway- even if it was just going to be platonic. Luckily, our families didn't talk a whole lot, and I was going off to college in a different part of the state anyway. I knew he wasn't going to the same one, so I figured I'd probably never have to see him again.

I forgot about him for several years. Since going to college, I'd had a boyfriend my freshman year, and then another after that relationship didn't work out. In fact, I hadn't thought of him at all until I got a call from my parents that said, "you'll never guess who's transferring to your school!"

Holy crap.

I didn't know why this was bothering me so much. I was 21 and I had a solid relationship, but the thought of this boy seeing me again after I'd kind of asked him out in a weird way was mortifying to me. Oh well. It was a big school, and the likelihood of us seeing each other were pretty slim.

I graduated, broke up with my boyfriend, and moved back home for a few months before finding a job that allowed me to move out and move to a different city. I had another boyfriend, joined a band, and began figuring out my career, but after a while I got tired of my new city. The jobs I had taken weren't leading me to my ultimate career goal. My band broke up. My boyfriend and I had a passionless relationship that I ended because I was so miserable.

It was time for me to move back to my home city, where I could start over, get on my feet, and further my career goals. While I was visiting my parents one day, they mentioned the boy I had almost completely forgotten about.

"We had dinner with them, I always forget what a good time we have! And you know, the boy is a recent grad too and you guys have similar degrees- why don't you ask him about any possible opportunities his company might have?"

Because after asking him to the high school prom over 6 years ago, I'm still too embarrassed to look him in the eye or ever speak to him. But my parents don't know that.

"You know, he's never had a girlfriend before. And he doesn't get out much, his parents worry that he's cripplingly shy. I think his sister finally set him up with a profile. Shame, because he's so nice and smart."

Really? He had never had a girlfriend? This surprised me, because I took a peek at his facebook and 12 years after I first met him in the Galapagos Islands, he had gotten really hot. He still had the bright eyes and dark hair and crooked teeth I remembered, but the once gawky kid I'd known was now athletic and strong.

Last night, I was talking to my parents and lamenting how I feel that at my age, all of the types guys who I'd really want to date have girlfriends and are taken, and that I don't know anyone my age who meets my criteria.

"What about the boy?"

Perhaps it's time to reconnect with an old friend.

I need someone to understand this.

When I say I'm lonely or that I'm tired of being alone, it doesn't come from a place of not being comfortable by myself. I am immensly comfortable being alone, I like being alone, and at times I thrive off of it. But being alone isn't always fun, and I long for something more. I can go to the movies alone, but I also want the option of having someone I care a lot about come with me. To share experiences with someone I love.

It just feels like I've come to love myself and I want to share that with someone. I have so much love that I'm ready to give, to commit and devote to one person. And without someone to give it to, it just sits there, with no where else to channel it. To the point where sometimes I feel like I'm so filled with it that I could explode, like there's not enough room inside of me to contain it. It's this sort of restlessness that makes me want to reach out and yet intensifies my loneliness.

I guess I just want people to understand that I love myself. But I'm also ready to fall in love and love someone besides myself.

How many strangers do we fall in love with throughout our lives? Not in an all consuming, butterflies-in-your-stomach kind of love, but the sweet, small sort. A moment that conveys the strong, steady pulse of humanity, emotional and raw. A feeling so brief and beautiful that the cynics in our midst miss it entirely.

We made eye contact on the tram today, your lips curving up in a small smile. I glanced down at my shoes, a light dusting of pink spreading across my cheeks.

If no one else has told you today, I will.

You are loved.

you're stuck in my head like a song I didn't realize I would like as much as I do and now it's the only one I want to listen to


Things may have been pretty confusing between us but I deeply wish that you are happy. I'm worried. Wish we could talk in person. It's been such a while since we last met. You're going through one of the most memorable times of your life but you carry sadness with you wherever you go and have little motivation to carry on.

I'm worried.

I want to hold you in my arms, and run my hands through your hair as you tell me each and everything that is wrong and let you fall asleep in my arms. I promise I won't let go.

You're not alone in this world, sweetheart. You never are and never will be. There are so many here that you love you, you're just blocking them out and focusing on your haters. Haters who envy you for your efforts and hard work, haters whose attention you seek but ignore you for other people, people you're beginning to believe are better than you.

They're not, darling. They're not. Nobody is as special as you. Nobody is as lovely, as beautiful, both inside and out. Nobody has hair like that - hair that naturally flawless despite that you think it's horrible and ugly. And in all honesty, your personality - I'm addicted to it. We don't meet in person often, but when we do - God, I feel as if I'm in the presence of an angel. Your dashing intelligence, your soft but witty humor, the way you drift off into your thoughts - you're a masterpiece. I've never seen anyone care for others like you do. You make them feel belonged. You make them feel loved, feel important. You're quick to befriend others, despite their mistakes.

How could someone like you not be important?

You think nobody notices your hard work. You think your struggles are pointless. You believe you're worth losing in perspective of other more "important" goals.

You're not. 

Please stop going through this much pain.

You think nobody notices you, but people do. But others disregard your strength because, in front of them, you're always strong, always hardworking, always caring.

But in that moment when you sat downn and breathed that sigh and looked away with your tired eyes, I knew. I sensed exhaustion and stress beyond compare. Sweetie, you're working so damn hard but you're being taken for granted.

I don't know if you use this site or not.

But I hope you see this.

You're the lighthouse, breathing warmth, breathing strength, breathing support, into a bay that takes you for granted. 

Don't give up.

Three years later, I'm sitting on the quiet floor of the library writing my research paper. And then it hits me...

It should've been you.

I don't think love is as dramatic as the movies make it seem.

I think it's just finding someone who will hold your hand and laugh at your dumb jokes and think you're amazing even when you're being a jerk. I think it's finding someone you can tell everything to and be yourself around and always make up with after you get into disagreements.

Maybe we don't need a Nicholas-Sparks-esque, kiss-in-the-rain-while-our-families-shun-us kind of love.

Maybe we just need a tell-me-what-you're-thinking, look-up-at-the-stars, wanna-be-your-best-friend-forever type of love.

The world is growing darker, and all I want is your arms around me while I fall asleep.

Promise me you'll never be a traffic controller because you send really mixed signals