I know the kind of image that danced through your mind when you found yourself here today. I know the hotel room and the rooftop infinity pool and the velvety warm air and the palm trees silhouetted against a pink sunset sky sent you right into that hopeless romantic mindset of yours, and I know you were thinking how this didn’t look like a place you experienced by yourself. I know this is the kind of place that is supposed to sweep you off your feet and wrap you up in the romanticism that is so easily found in a tropical Miami night. This is a “table for two, please” kind of night, an evening so gorgeous it begs to be punctuated with good conversation, multiple margaritas, and probably salsa dancing – even if you don’t really know how to salsa dance, it’s just kind of part of the fantasy.
I know you recognized all of this when you walked into this hotel lobby today, solo. I know you were well aware of it all when you went up to the pool and took a seat, by yourself, at the end of the long row of empty pool chairs. I know it didn’t slip past you that you were laying there, watching the sky change colors as the sun melted away, alone. And as cute as all of those lovebird images were, you decided to smile at the idea of them and be completely okay with being half of that equation. You made the decision to live up each and every one of those moments, despite being there unaccompanied.
You unearthed that long, flowy skirt from the bottom of your suitcase, the one you packed just in case a moment like this one decided to strike. You lined your lips in your darkest of lipsticks, and brushed out your hair, and spritzed perfume on your wrists. You felt just fine sitting on that pool chair by yourself, the fabric of your skirt rolling in the soft breeze. In fact, when you relocated to the big bench swing that looked out over the ocean, you stretched out so you took up all the space and thought the bench to be much more comfortable when you didn’t have to share it. When you were looking up places to take yourself out to dinner, you made a mental note of how you got to make this decision completely for yourself. If you accidentally chose somewhere weird, in an awkward location, with crappy ceviche and an even worse wine list, you didn’t have to worry about disappointing anyone. It’s not like your palate is sophisticated enough to detect mediocre wine anyway, if we’re being honest.
As the night carried out, you walked along streets next to large bodies of water, with the perfect breeze, and the perfect amount of moonlight, and the perfect variety of lively mood music, in the perfect weather. The ceviche at dinner exceeded your expectations, and the espresso afterwards was even better. Instead of good conversation, you engaged in a good writing session and if anyone was looking at you weird for wining and dining yourself partnered only with your journal, you didn’t notice, and even if you had you wouldn’t have cared.
I’m proud of the girl you decided to be tonight. I hope you never forget how important self love is, and even though you’ve always been known to love at a bit of an intense capacity, I hope you always remember how much fun it can be to spend some of that love on yourself full throttle sometimes. You have plenty of time to hold your lover’s hand, to take them into consideration while making dinner plans, to scoot over on the bench swing to make room for them. But I challenge you to take yourself on more dates. Dress up for yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror, tell yourself you look beautiful, hold your own damn hand on the walk to dinner if you feel like it. (Seriously, it probably won’t even look that weird, everyone will just think you’re about to pray or something.) Watch how much greater your love for others can become when you have reserved a little bit of it for you, and only you. A lot of times girls think they have to have a counterpart by their side during a romantic evening in order to feel worth it, to feel beautiful, to feel taken care of. I don’t know when we stopped realizing that we can do all of that on our own, but tonight was living proof that it is so possible, and so necessary.
I’m proud of the girl you were tonight, and I hope you remember to be her more often.