I've moved! This page should automatically redirect in 5 seconds, but if it doesn't, then click here.

7.31.2012

dear husband-to-be:


i was in london, freshly minted in a world post high school, when my dear friend anna first planted the notion in my head--this idea of writing letters to the man i'd one day marry.

anna herself is now married. she's become one hell of a woman from what i can tell--gorgeous, smart, committed to a very handsome fellow, and living, as fate would have it, in that very city we toured at the age of eighteen.

different paths. lives diverging.

i didn't write the first letter until five years later--a year past college and four years into an illness that saw me vacate my life.

it wasn't so much a letter as it was a disclaimer and it wasn't so much thought-out as it was me groping in the dark--cautiously finding my way back to myself, unaware i'd gone anywhere until that very moment i turned on my heels to head back.

it was a reintroduction of sorts. an oh-i-like-this and an oh-i-don't-like-that and an oh-i-do-this-and-i-don't-do-that sort of thing.

i could tell you that over the years that the letters have gotten harder to write. but that's not true. they're the easiest thing in the world. easy and simple and sometimes cavalier but mostly not. mostly they are true.

whether or not they are still a sort of groping-in-the-dark, well...sometimes they are and sometimes they are not. which is life. sometimes i'm groping, sometimes i'm not.

i've been reading a lot lately. books on shame and whole-heartedness and critical awareness and new-wave feminism and anorexia and women's role in media and what it means to want--to have an appetite for food and life and men and love.

there's this sense in my life right now that education is vitally important--and i'm determined to get the sort of academic college experience i never had. and so i'm reading. i want to know how the human body works and how the female mind differs from that of the male and i want to clarify my own voice. i want so much. to know more. more of the world, more of myself. not for you, but for me.

and certainly i want to know you. but i'm okay to wait.

there are moment of loneliness, of course. a great gaping hole middle of my chest--a mouth ravenous to feed--to feel affection and intimacy and trust. but they are only moments. and i suspect these are moments of enormous power--humanity unfurled and waving in the wind.

and at other times i am deeply sated. just by walking or riding the subway or reading a book.

i don't think i'm desperate so much as deeply fearful. if there is something i am ashamed of it is this: my fear.

and so i give voice to that shame, bring it out into the open in an attempt to diminish its power.

i am fearful i'll never meet you--not that i'm unworthy of you--just that we might miss each other. deeply afraid i'll never know your love. i recognize this as ridiculous, even as i write it, i recognize its ridiculousness. and this fear is not an overriding sense or ache so much as a passing one, but...
well,  i know what it is to love a man who cannot or will not love you back and if there is a desperation, perhaps it stems from this--from this place so intimately acquainted with that soft and numbing thing called heartache.

but this desire to meet you, to run towards you, and to give voice to it--i think there is a power in it. because this, more than anything else, makes me human.

this need or want or insatiable hunger is in fact the crux of the human experience.

it is not lost on me that the way one overcomes an eating disorder is to identify all those things of importance--all the things more important than thin--all the things more important than losing those last ten pounds. and the one thing--the one thing that trumps it all--is love.

i always thought love would be the thing to save me, and it did. not in the way i expected, no. but love of self, love of family, love of the little stuff, and the promise of your love--those things most certainly did, in no uncertain terms, return me to myself. and those are the things that keep me going--groping, forging ahead. charting new territory and seeking out new adventure.

so, in a sense, i am already indebted to you--tethered to you--in love with you.


yours,

pen-in-hand-and-all


38 comments:

Marie said...

oh meg fee.

your writing makes me so happy :)

Stephanie said...

sounds like you are reading Brene Brown?

Hayley said...

this is one of the best letters yet :-)

Tara said...

"i am fearful i'll never meet you--not that i'm unworthy of you--just that we might miss each other. deeply afraid i'll never know your love."

This is really powerful and lovely.

Krys72599 said...

As always, your writing touches me. If you ever write a book, you can count on selling at least one!!!

Allie said...

i love this so much. your writing is beautiful and i share so many of the same hopes:)

Ophelia said...

Such a lovely post, I always find that your writing touches something inside myself that I haven't been able to articulate as beautifully as you have. Oh, and I would love to know what books you've been reading, they sound fascinating.

look a little closer said...

oh meg. wow. this just pulls at my heart right now.

"i know what it is to love a man who cannot or will not love you back and if there is a desperation, perhaps it stems from this--from this place so intimately acquainted with that soft and numbing thing known as heartache."

wow.

shelbyisrad said...

I adore you and your writing. I swear i share every post you write lately on my fbook wall. I love it that much.

Anonymous said...

You should share/give some book reviews of what you're reading, I'm always looking for new reading material.

Betsey said...

Beautiful letter! I've written letters to my FH since I was 18! Can't wait to hand him a huge pile someday :)

Hope Johnson said...

I'm so glad you are writing these letters and could see past comments that painted them in a negative light. This one is particularly awe-inspiring. I connected with what you said about getting to know yourself again after an illness, and that this was one of the means you used.

I'd love to know what kinds of books/articles you were reading. Highly recommend 'The brain that changes itself' if you haven't read it already.

Diana said...

Amazing. I think this is one of your best yet.

Diana said...

One more thought:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson

Maybe this whole quote won't resonate with you, maybe it will. But either way, hearing you voice your fears helps me to admit to mine. And in a lot of ways, reading your words does exactly what the end of this quote states--it liberates me. Thanks for that, Meg.

Anonymous said...

swoon

Anonymous said...

swoon

colleen said...

i remember those moments of being single. the deep satisfaction from things like a walk, or a night reading on my couch. and every now and then - that moment of fear, it may not happen.

but oh, it does. and your future husband will be a lucky man indeed.

Sue said...

I love, love, love this.

May said...

this is so beautifully written...how do you do it?

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering, do you believe in the one? That god/ the universe/ whatever has a plan for one woman and one man to be together and especially to find each other no matter how and when, but that there's this plan for us?
I'm really wondering about those things, and I'd love if you could share your thoughts about this topic...

The Savory and The Beautiful said...

Self discovery is a beautiful thing. Interestingly, many of the letters to your husband-to-be sound like they are addressed to yourself. I love these letters. They inspire me to read and write more. Thank you Meg xoxo.

The Savory and The Beautiful said...

I love this quote. Sooo needed to read something like this right now.

Grace said...

I just found your site. You seem really creative and talented (the writing, the photos, wow!). I'm sure you will find the love you hope for, probably someday soon.

But I don't think that whoever you end up with will much like these letters (which is fine if you're just writing them for yourself, just not if you expect him to read them). That's because they aren't love letters, because they aren't to a particular beloved person. They are letters about you and your ideas of love: they don't have anything to do with your eventual husband.

In fact, he might even find it off-putting to be given these letters (because he might feel that you were trying to fit him into the particular box you had created). I would, if my husband had presented me with these letters when we were first dating. (A certain type of romantic projection, while common in early relationships, is anathema to any genuine love connection.)

I think writing these letters, for yourself, is great (and certainly they are beautifully written). But they shouldn't ever be shared with your future husband, at least except as a curiosity (as in, you are truly not expecting him to find it romantic/touching/meaningful).

Raquel said...

Wonderfully open. Thanks for sharing.

Keiko said...

you know what? i bet his arrival is sooner than you can fathom because things may not seem to be in place for him to come- when are they ever? i look forward to the day your posts are about him because he will be so wonderful- he will! love to you, beautiful girl!

Lottie said...

i love these letters.

and you won't miss him. i believe there isn't just one person for us, there are different people at different times in our lives and none is more important than another because whoever you end up with will be the one you love.

Noelle said...

To Grace, I think you're wrong. If the man she marries has any amount of love and tenderness, which he will, he will treasure these letters.

Alex said...

As usual, profound and beautiful. So many of your words speak right to my heart just when I need it.

Susan S said...

well, i know what it is to love a man who cannot or will not love you back and if there is a desperation, perhaps it stems from this--from this place so intimately acquainted with that soft and numbing thing known as heartache.



ohhhh man. this part, hit me right in the gut. achingly perfectly said. you are so lovely. this is your best yet. incredible.

{Rachelaine} said...

once again, your writing strikes me as most illuminating. thank you.

Sarah McCabe said...

"...what it means to want--to have an appetite for food and life and men and love..."

You know what I find most strange and wonderful about this? That wanting can give you a sense of fullness. That you can lack something and still have everything at the same time.

fillenoire said...

What a wonderful idea and a beautiful letter. I could read it again and again. I just found your site and am definitely going to be following and I have no doubt that you will meet the man worthy of your love.

becky said...

I am speechless. Totally and utterly floored and in love and inspired. And that last line, about being tethered? Oh, I've never seen a more beautiful ending.

AlexandraRS said...

I've seen some of the discourse unfold as a result of your love letters to your future husband. I wanted to let you know that I absolutely LOVE those letters. They were what drew me to your blog in the first place. I have been given advice from a life coach to "spend time visualizing my future partner" and it sounded a bit too new age for me at the time. But I took up the practice of wondering what he might be up to in his corner of the world. And I might just start writing letters like yours because I think putting it on paper is much more powerful.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU GRACE. Thank you. Amen sistah. You are going to be shot down for your comment by all of the Meg Fee sycophants out there, but I just want to be one voice who says thank you. For your voice of absolute psychological truth. My favorite part is below...

"...They are letters about you and your ideas of love: they don't have anything to do with your eventual husband. "

Luka, said...

i would very much buy your book, dear meg. i would even pre-order it. if it existed. just saying. ;)

meg fee said...

@anonymous: i suppose the man i marry will have the final word on all of this. it'll be fun to see what he thinks. and maybe you're right, but maybe you're not.

Stephanie said...

This is spectacular...brings tears to my eyes. So happy I found your blog. :)