subject line: you August 10, 2017 by Hannah Brencher PDX I’ve been living for myself for 3 patient years. I’ve been anywhere (and everywhere) between “very single” and “very complicated”. I drank too much for a summer, and then became sober for a year. I graduated from college, and then applied for graduate school. I worked 2 jobs and bought myself new, professional clothes. Then I slept for what felt like months. Now, here I am. Very, very awake.I decided 3 years ago that I was going to live a life to be proud of. I wanted to know myself, wholly and fully. I wanted to figure out my purpose and my core. I spent countless nights feeling sorry for myself while watching horrendous reality tv. I also spent countless nights pouring over the Bible, blogs, and old journals—searching for who I wanted to become. I wanted to be a force of nature. That girl people respected and revered. Honestly, I wanted to finally like myself. I wanted to like what I did and who I was with and how I went about my days. It’s like I was going full speed in every direction. Then one day, some one pushed the stop button and turned down the volume, so I could finally hear for myself.And now here I sit. Next to you. Some one I never thought I’d be sitting next to. I had worked my ass off to become brave. And kind. And good. I liked this new me. I never thought I’d also want some one to look at me the way you do. That is, until I met you. And then you looked at me. And I knew it was something. Something good.You like to eat cereal in the middle of the night. You are obsessed with air—fresh air, breathing air, airing things out, and coolness. You made me play catch with you in the park. I never play catch in the park. One of your favorite past times is recycling. I’ve memorized the way it feels to lay my cheek in that tiny little dip of your shoulder. You hop from coffee shop to coffee shop, eternally looking for the perfect amount of noise and quiet. You like beer and Americanos. And best of all, you laugh at my jokes. Every one of them.I’m still not even sure why I’m writing this. But I don’t think I have a choice—I can’t stop. I have no idea what’s going to happen with you. With us. But for now, you’re making me smile. And breathe deeper. And trust in the work I’ve done for myself. You’re sort of this weird prize at the end of all the tremendously hard work. I wasn’t expecting you, but damn. I’m happy you’re here.