Mark Nessia

This is a letter to the one that nearly got away.

I know it will never be read by its intended recipient, but the feelings are there nonetheless and it’s time to bring them to light.

We were introduced to each other in 2005. It wasn’t an ideal situation. A length of 110 miles separated us and most of our time would be spent growing separately, connecting only on days when our schedules aligned. The odds were stacked against us, but infatuation is a powerful feeling that can easily push common sense aside. I did what I could to make it work, but even I had my doubts. The uncertainty took its toll and we had a falling out.

In 2007, we reconnected. It didn’t take long to pick up where we left off and in 2008, I took a leap of faith, packing up my bags and moving to be with you – taking the long distance out of our long-distance relationship.

My decision was heavily questioned.

“Have you thought this through?”

“Don’t you think it’s too soon?”

“What are you going to do if it doesn’t work out?”

When faced with decisions, the choices we make either come from our brains or our hearts – our brains, of course, taking the logical approach and our hearts choosing the emotional route. Using your head typically results in smarter decision-making – the “safer” bet – but doesn’t following your heart make you feel alive with the thrill and excitement that comes with taking a risk?

Amid all the doubts, I chose to live.

We grew and matured together over the years, our past selves almost unrecognizable compared to who we are today. You helped me realize my potential, encouraging me to aim for the moon, knowing that if I miss, I’d find myself among the stars. I found myself faithfully defending your honor against those who dare denounce you.

It’s hard to imagine being anywhere else. Friends, opportunities and passions are some of the things that shape us and I found those and more with you.

Bakersfield, you are the one that nearly got away. You are my home and I love you.

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