At the age of 17, I was naive. I was gullible. I was trusting. I was a kid. At 17, I thought love was all anyone needed to be happy. I thought love was something that was essential to live a happy life. And to live a fulfilled life.
At 17, I fell in love. And instead of treating myself with love, I gave all of my love and all of my heart to someone else.
At 17, I didn’t know how to love myself. I was awkward. I didn’t know how to be confident in my talents. I was bashful. I didn’t even understand how anyone could love me.
But he loved me. And he loved me wildly and passionately without any sign of stopping. It was big love. It was crazy love. But I don’t think it was healthy love.
You see, I thought that he was all I needed to be happy. I thought his love was all that mattered. I stopped caring about my love for my friends and my family. I stopped caring about love for myself.
And I stopping knowing how to be me, without him.
At 24, I’m happier than I was back then. And I’m single. But I’m not lonely. I’m alone. But I’m not lonely. At 24, I understand that love is not everything. It’s something, yes. Just not everything.
At 24, I now know how to love myself without someone else loving me. I know that being in a relationship isn’t the end all be all. I have learned that being by myself is just as beautiful as being with another human being.
At 24, I have slowly learned how to be whole on my own
And I’ve learned that love is not two halves. Love is not a puzzle piece. Love is not your key to happiness. Love is two whole people who make one another better. Love is building one another up. Love isn’t magic. It isn’t going to fix you.
At 24, I’ve learned that I might as well give everything to myself, before I give it all to someone who won’t appreciate it. At 24, I’ve learned to be patient. I’ve learned to be kind to my ugly parts. And I’ve learned to accept me for me.
At 17, I was hopelessly in love with a boy. Now at 24, I’m in love with just me. And you know? That’s fine by me. That’s more than okay.