You knew me not as I, but rather an illusion of myself. You knew me as a scared girl, crying out for joy and meaning in the world. I saw through the lens of pain, raw open wounds in which I could not stop from bleeding. You knew me when I was often defined by my struggles and sorrow, When tears were my constant through the days. You knew me as I fell deeper into my own despair, As I was drowning in myself. I walked in a mask of fear, Afraid of breaking Hurting, And truly living. But most important You knew my strength And you knew my courage. You knew me when I could not know myself. And as I struggled though those days, slowly, ever so slowly, did fear start to slip away. Then, I became wondrously alive in the world for those few precious moments. As I walked, a desolate soul on a rickety bridge, there came laughter, there came freedom. Those experiences in which my fears momentarily disappeared, in which all walls were broken down. That is what I will remember. The elegant soulful beauty of wonder, connection and kindness. For awhile I used to think the sun would never rise completely. But it did and here I stand, Beginning to know myself now, For who I was, who I am and who I want to be. My puzzle of life is no longer comprised of jagged broken bits. Instead they are smoothed over, still a piece of me, but inhabiting a different part of my being, where they fit just a little bit easier. I am forever defined by the pieces of my experiences, but like water can take the shape of any container, so too can the way we remember and live with our memories. So here I stand, knowing that hurt and sadness are a part of life, But stronger, happier and much more peaceful than I was before With beautiful meaning interspersed throughout my days. Once again, I thank you, For showing me my heart can heal and change, For knowing me when I could not know myself.