“If he were so special, why would it feel so easy to leave this?”
“Love isn’t just a feeling. It’s a choice,” my sister replied.
It’s a choice. Three words that altered everything I thought I had known in a matter of seconds.
From a young age, we are taught that love is the butterflies we feel in our stomachs, the heat in our red cheeks, and the incoherent jumble of words we try to pull out of our brain and untangle in order to figure of our infatuation. But, what we were never told is that love is not only a feeling but it is equally a choice. The dancing of the butterflies and blush tones in our cheeks will fade after the initial stages of lust have passed, but in order to get past the lust and begin treading the daunting territory of love, in order to switch the letters ‘ust’ for ‘ove’, you must choose to love. To love someone can be in the way you kiss them goodbye, in the way you tell them not to forget their lunch, in the way you send them pictures of dogs you met on your commute, or even in the way you change the roll of toilet paper at their house when it has run out. Love can be shown in many ways, but the most profound way to love is to be there. Love is about showing up when you are needed the most, and sometimes that time is inconvenient for you. If you cannot show up for that, that is not love. That is caring out of convenience.
You have a choice.
When the honeymoon phase is long gone,
when the jeans and dresses turn into sweatpants and leggings,
when the words “I love you” sound a lot like “I miss you”,
you can choose to show up.
You can choose to love.