• Kali Van Dusen

thank you

Updated: Nov 8

I have said so many things to you

I love you

I’m sorry

I hate you

I miss you

But what I haven’t said is

Thank you

Thank you for teaching me what love feels like, even if I don’t know for sure yet

Thank you for making me laugh so hard my stomach hurts and i cry

Thank you for keeping me so warm

Thank you for teaching me what it’s like to let myself be with you

Thank you for showing me what excitement can be

Thank you for teaching me confidence

Thank you for teaching me what i deserve

And how it wasn’t you

Thank you for teaching me how I deserve a full love, with all the intimacies I crave without apology, fear, restriction, and timelines

Thank you for teaching me how I deserve to receive what I want without begging for it

I have never known self advocacy and intentional self love

You taught me how important it is to have both when I watched my whole self slip away from me when I was with you

Thank you for showing me i deserve so much more than you think I do

Thank you for the way you spoke to me, the way you didn’t wait until my eyes were open, the way you never cared about me, the way you shamed me, the way you put your hands on me, and the way you didn’t ask me if I was okay

I know how what I won’t allow, what I will fight back on, and what I will never let you get away with

Thank you for breaking me in half with how you hurt me, how you made me scared and small, apologetic and shy - how you crafted me into everything you thought i was and I became a stranger to myself. I now know what i will refuse, what i will seek out, and how you are so much weaker than you ever made me

I will love you forever

I will care about you always

But today you take up less of my space

You are no longer in the spaces you shouldn’t be

My lungs are wide open my breath is clear I am weightless

You take up different space, and I love you there

I love you in my mind when we laugh, when we smile, make eye contact across a crowded room

I love you in my mind when I know you so well, like I know myself

I love you when I’m happy without you

I am surrounded by love

Thank you for teaching me the way i want to love

My life is so full, she is bursting with joy and light

You are so much of my joy and light

But you are my shadows and I can’t forget them

Thank you for the honor it is to hold you

But thank you even more for showing me how you should feel honored to hold me too

My life is so full

I cannot hold onto you any longer

You are driving full speed ahead and so am I, our roads run parallel

I will hold you for the rest of forever, even if I know you will never hold me

But this time it’s for me

You say I like things on my terms

Baby, it’s always been yours

I wish it hadn’t been you to teach me these lessons, these hard to swallow prickly lessons I didn’t want to ever learn

How i ache and wish that you had been the person I meet after I learn how to be myself

I won’t fully understand why my teachings come in so big, brash, clear, and intense - perhaps they arrive like I do

I wish wish wish you had been the person I hold after I learned how, i question why over and over

But what a joy it was to have you teach them instead

What a divine gift it was to have been able to love and lose with so much magic all around to catch me

And what a gift it is even more to watch myself thrive in such change, to take on this power and rise even taller

My list of things I wish for, wonder about, and question remains long and endless and painful

It reminds me of you, my lessons, and how I thank you

If anything at all, I thank you for the reason and I thank myself for the growth

You take up less space than before and I ache with emptiness

But I also ache with the excitement of opportunity

What else will fill this room, these spots I want soft love to replace

You are everything to me, but I am all that is beyond

I’m sorry

I miss you

I love you

Thank you

My favorite person, my best friend

Me or you?


And You


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