Love Isn’t What You Think It Is — It’s Actually So Much More

Pavel L
Pavel L

I’ve been in love more times than I can count, but I remember that first time.

I was 12 and in the 8th grade. The guy had these brilliant, blue eyes and blonde hair that curled at the ends. I remembered that I would do anything to get beside him. Anything. And it hurt. Because it wasn’t meant to be, and because I wanted him more than I wanted anything else. More than I even wanted myself.

Like most relationships when you’re young, it didn’t work out. I lost myself in him and it was truly one of the worst decisions I ever made; it followed me throughout high school. The next time, I was 14. It was with a girl. She was beautiful inside and out and still is to this day. She’s my best friend. The first time I spent the night at her house we stayed up until four o’clock in the morning talking about everything our teenage hearts were afraid to say out loud. It was one of the first times I ever felt connected to another person in my entire life. It was the first time I realized how connected I was to everyone and everything around me. It was the first time I felt understood. And that’s what love is, being understood.

I think a lot of people overlook how intimate the act of being understood really is. It’s one of those feelings that are hard to put into words but make you feel grateful that connections like that exist in the world. This friendship opened up so many doors for other relationships in my life to fully blossom. And they did. I found myself connecting over and over again with people who seemed to need someone just like me when I needed someone just like them in return.

Not everyone has that, people that they can trust. I’ve been blessed with several, and I’m in love with each and every color of their beautiful souls.

And yes, I mean in love.

There is nothing platonic about love, and I hope my friends know that when I say I love them, I mean that word in a very full way. I am saying that I love their loud goofy laughs and the way they worry too much. I’m saying I love the good times, the confusing times and that I’ll be there in the darkest moments. I love the parts of them that they have trouble loving openly.

Once I had the love of one person under my belt, it made me feel fearless, and that feeling never went away. Because of friendships I’ve been able to conquer more than I ever believed I would be able to. It gave me the freedom to be me in a way that was more complete.

And that’s what love is. It’s anything that makes you feel invincible. Anything that brings you warmth and joy. It’s everything that makes you believe in life and more importantly yourself. I thought that love meant accommodation and it does. Love is accommodating someone’s else’s habits, needs and eccentricities, but it doesn’t equal giving yourself away. It’s allowing yourself to be who are in the most unapologetic way possible.

I’m beginning to find love in everything I see. I fall in love with the way the clouds look and the deep blue of the sky. I fall in love with the sounds of traffic and laughter. I fall in love with thunderstorms and sun rays. I fall in love with music and the way words look on paper. I fall in love with people I will never talk to again. I fall in love with moments that pass, but linger in the back of my mind.

I give myself that freedom, and because of that, I’m never bored. When you find love in every aspect of your life, life itself becomes fun.

I believe the places you look for validation speak the loudest about you. Rather it’s in people, places or yourself. Rather it’s in music or books or art. The people or places you go to feel at peace are the places that matter the most. Those are the things you should always go back to and never neglect.

This time I’m in love and it’s with a boy. And it’s the same type of love I’ve had for everyone else in my past lives.

So many times we “think” we fall in love and then there’s a new love shining brighter than all the other ones before it right around the corner. I think this is my ultimate love story because I have been accepted as myself by someone who wants to stick around. TC mark

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