I think I've had my fair share of hard days in the past. Loss, rejection, disappointment, I have known all of these things probably no more than the next man, but I have known them and they have found me wherever I've chosen to hide. It is with this unfortunate and selfish spirit that I approach what may be one of the most important days of your life. Today you leave, having accomplished much and seen much and (hopefully) learned much, and it should be about you, but I can't help thinking of myself. Myself and tail lights.
I know what will happen tonight, or at least I think I do. We will spend time with your family and we'll celebrate and everyone will laugh and I'll feel just a little bit uncomfortable because I always do when I'm around anyone but you. And when that all fades, it will be you having to let go and me needing to hold on. Just one second, one minute, one lifetime more.
Anyone who's ever met us will admit that we were never perfect. Even I, in my greatest states of delusional love, could say that we never had it easy. We were never promised to. We were only promised what we could find, create, keep together. And today, again, that dynamic must change.
You have a world to discover. Places to go you've never been and people to meet you'll always love. I hope, with all my heart, that you find what it is you've been looking for. I could always see the part of you that was sure you hadn't found it just yet. I hope you do and I hope it's explosively better than anything you wanted. Build it for yourself. Shape whatever you want and never let it go. You deserve nothing less than everything.
I'm so proud of you. You've come so far from the freshman in the blue t-shirt who couldn't figure out how to get her internet to work, but you've never let her wide-eyed innocence get too far from you. Become yourself, even when it's as hard as this. That's the girl people love. The you that you don't even know fully yet. That's the girl I love.
Just don't forget about the boy awash in the red of your tail lights.