This feels slightly surreal to be writing to a person who not only shares the same the first name and who also has a last name beginning with “H”, but also to be writing to someone who wholeheartedly gets it. And by it, I mean life, love and the pursuit of happiness.
I found your book, Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date, on the shelves of a thrift store a few weeks after I moved from my hometown of Wisconsin to New York City. Upon reading the title, I knew I had found something that I would always treasure. For I, like you, am not a light house. Ships do not flock to me regardless of my having my light on. And believe me, my light is on most of the time.
Over the years, I’ve thought that this was a bad thing. I’ve seen and dealt with plenty of lighthouses in my time at school and in college. I have a few friends who are very busy lighthouses and I always wondered why I wasn’t one of them, as well.
2 months from tomorrow, I will be 24 years old and I have never been in a relationship or even been on a date. I, like you, have had my fair share of crushes and have only found myself crushed by them. While in the whirlwind of high school, I would see friends and non-friends finding love at every turn while I did not. The same thing happened to me in college. Most of the time I found that my choice in guys had, unbeknownst to me, already chosen their girls long before I came along. This fact used to get me down. This fact used to make me think that there was something wrong with me. I felt like I was the overlooked and that is never a good feeling.
Now that I’m out of college and am in one of the greatest cities in the world, I am still not a lighthouse and I still sometimes feel overlooked. But reading your book, made me realize that that’s okay. I’ve become very used to being single and dealing with only me. I’m not really sure how I would be able to handle another person romantically. But that could also be because I don’t understand how people realize that they like each other. A fact that I’m glad to know you also have questioned.
I don’t understand how love works and I don’t know if I ever really will. But I’ve come to understand myself in ways that I might not have if I were to have been born a lighthouse. For the moment, I’d like to say that I’m content in my perpetually single life and some days I am. But some days I’m not. But I’ve also found that that’s okay too.
I just wanted to tell you that your book spoke to me in ways that I didn’t even think were possible. It’s hard when you’re surrounded by people who don’t understand what you’re going through, but you do. And you’ve helped me to see that I am not alone in my plight. You’ve also shown me that it isn’t a plight. It’s just life and I can either accept that or I can’t.
So, Katie, from one non-lighthouse to another, I thank you for helping me see the light through the darkness. A darkness, that honestly, isn’t really all that dark.