A Letter to My Future by Shannon Martin

To My Future,

I was asked to write a letter to the man I wanted to marry, or spend the rest of my life with and I lost my breath for a few seconds. I realize I probably don’t even know you yet, but the mere thought that one day you will manifest in the physical makes me nervous. It leaves me hopeful but terrified, astounded at the idea that one day I will sit next to you & know that you are the man my heart has been preserved for.  And oh boy, has it been preserved! ;-)

The easy thing to do would be to describe what type of man I think I’ll marry, who you would be or what you will be like. To go into detail about what I dream about when I drift into thoughts of you. I could write a letter a day for the next 30 days about that if I had to! What I think is most important though, is to make sure that you may fully understand what will belong to you in every way one day, that being my heart.

This big ol lil' heart of mine… It has been battle tested. Has taken a few lickings and kept on ticking. It’s broken on me a couple or few times in the literal and the physical, LOL. It’s been hurt more times than I care to remember. It’s experienced some heart ache I thought I would never recover from. It’s been mistreated and undervalued. It’s been taken for granted, worn out, cheated on, lied to, used and abused. & I have been both the abused and the abuser. For many of my 33 years I have thought of my heart as a burden at times, too soft, too forgiving, too open and willing. I felt like my gifts were my curse. I tried to control it (the “ain’t ish” years) & to quell the roar within me, but it was an impossible task, because my heart was being fashioned to love you. I had to experience for you, endure for you, grow for you.

This big ol lil heart of mine… It has been captured by God Himself, captivated by life, cultivated by love and created to give. I’m sure the moment you encountered me you began to understand how necessary it is for me to love any and everything around me. That as big as my personality is, my heart is bigger. That it means the world to me to exude and embody the love I think everyone should receive in this lifetime. It has been born, broken and rebuilt in order to love you wholly. The good news is, this heart is whole. That as many dark days as I have seen, my heart is still pure. I am complete, Shan 3.0! :-D

This big ol lil heart of mine… Is one you will have to share. I am a mother to dynamic young men, in a Rochelle/Claire/Incredible Hulk type of way. I will have to learn how to love you inside my womanhood and outside my motherhood because I have not done that in many, many moons. I may forget to love you as a man first, and may even require reminders that while some of your needs may be the same, your desires remain different. I am a driven woman with a fervor to fight for the lives of young people. You will need to remind me to remain as dedicated to home, to give to you & ours, the way I give to the world. I am a mother, sister, auntie, niece, cousin, friend to A LOT of folk. You will have to tell me time and time again to SADDOWN some damn where, cook a roast & take care of home. I will irrationally give what we don’t have and beg you to help me make a way. I apologize in advance for giving away all the meat in the freezer cause sometimes I’m too impulsive and somebody else needed it. Can I please have some grocery money?? LMAO

This big ol lil heart of mine… I will challenge you, frustrate you with my stubbornness. I will annoy you with my chattiness, I may even overwhelm you slightly with my personality. I will also support you like none other, encourage you, fight for you, absolutely overwhelm you with my love. I will speak too harshly sometimes, I may react before thinking, I will irritate your soul with my attitude. I will also speak life into you, always have your front and back before you can think twice, and will amplify your life with my attitude. I will bear and rear your children, but will demand that you continue to evolve for their sakes, to constantly and consistently work to be an even greater man as you lead our family.  I will push you, pray for you, for me, for us. I will love you even on the days I don’t like you. I will forgive you a million times, and will probably require your forgiveness just as many times. I will communicate with you, even if I shut down sometimes. I will wear you out with my insatiable appetite for you and everything about you, but on the bright side, I will wear you out with my insatiable appetite for you and everything about you. ;-)

One day, I will sit and write vows to you, reminiscent of the things you read today, but more magnificent than any other words I could ever speak. I value every experience that has lead to you, welcome every heartbreak that has made space in this darkness for your light, & thank God for the fire that refined me for the fire you bring. Thank you for existence on this side of life & in this realm of my dreams. You were right on time. 

All My Love,

Your Future