To All the Boys (and Girls) I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys (and Girls) I’ve Loved Before,

There’s quite a few of you, aren’t there? Obviously, I’m not going to say any names, but I have a feeling you all know who you are.

I’ve learned something from each of you. Whether the feelings were reciprocated or not (and more often, they were not), I have taken every interaction into the core of my existence and used the lessons to better myself for the next one. I’ve learned that I cannot be afraid to tell someone I’m with that I care for them, or else they may never believe how special they are. I’ve learned that you can fall in love with a friend (or two, or ten), but to never lose sight of the importance of the friendship before anything else. I’ve learned that if you break up with someone just to see what else is out there, you might end up hurting yourself.

I’ve learned that not every person I love is going to love me back, and I shouldn’t expect that from them. But I’ve also learned that I should not tolerate being treated badly just because my feelings for someone else outweigh my feelings for myself.

Each person I’ve been with, fantasized about being with, or just had a crush on has known a different version of me. The girl who had never kissed anyone, the girl who had kissed too many people, the girl who was afraid of intimacy, the girl who jumped at the chance of intimacy; I am ever changing. But as I grow and evolve as a person, each one of you will remain a part of me, as an example of mistakes I’ve made, achievements I’ve had, heartbreak, happiness, and every emotion in between.

And although I will stay awake at night and wish I could take back every stupid, naive, immature, and embarrassing thing I’ve done or said to you all, I know that deep down in my heart I do not regret a single thing.

So, to everyone I’ve loved before, thank you. Thank you for the poetry you’ve created when your hands brushed my skin. Thank you for the storms you weathered when things did not work out. And thank you for the lessons you taught me so that I may turn into the person I was meant to be, instead of the person I was living as.

Always and Forever,
Liz Zarb

 

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is available to watch on Netflix. 

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