My mid-twenties have me feeling philosophical. Which, if you know the kind of person I am and the writing that I tend to create, this is nothing of a surprise. After spending most of my teenage and college years as a serial monogamist, life in my early twenties has been vastly different. My generation has been bombarded with dating apps, hook up culture, and just general garbage behavior that has formed us into believing that this will be how we find love.
My dating experiences in my early twenties can only be described as clueless. Completely clueless. So needless to say, I learned a whole bunch of lessons within my first year of being single out of college, and it didn’t come easy. I couldn’t understand why if two people liked each other, they didn’t just “date” already. No committing, no dating. They were just “talking” or “seeing.” I couldn’t stand seeing my friends falling into these weird three to six month long hook up situations in which they were sorely disappointed when the other person said they “weren’t looking for a relationship.” Which is all good and fine. If you’re a hook up kind of person, good for you. Go off and find other hook up folks to hook up with instead of stringing along someone who picks you up coffee and goes as your “friend” to your cousin’s wedding with you, only for you to say, “Nah, not interested” six months into daily shower sex. That’s just cruel, but I digress.
Anyway, becoming the person that I am now took some time. Learning all of those lessons and learning how to navigate the kinds of people that are out there in the dating scene was necessary. Would I do things differently? Hell no. Because those weird, awkward, and sometimes painful lessons I had to learn after getting out of a three-year college relationship had to happen. They had to happen for me to understand who I was, what I wanted, what my view on love was.
There’s a sense of clarity when you know who you are and what you want. It’s a sense of self awareness that brings you comfort when shit hits the fan and you’re not sure how to react. And while there are aspects of my life that I question every day, it’s only to ensure that I am not being complacent. But I’ve learned my values, I’ve learned my worth. I’ve learned my goals. I’ve learned what kind of person I can be, on both good and bad days.
Oh, but love? Oh, love. Have I experienced it? Sure. Do I know quite what it is? Maybe. Will I ever be sure? No.
To me, love is not something that you can ask for. It’s not something that you can demand. Love is not something that can be forced. Love can be wished for, but it might not be granted.
Love has no bounds. Love creeps up on you like the sun peeking through the clouds on an overcast day when you least expect it. Not everyone will see it, but you will. You’ll see it and you’ll bask in the love even after it decides to hide itself away because you know that it will be back again. Love is like the sun. It’s always there, but on some days, it just burns brighter.
Love takes you down deeper than the bottom of the ocean. It feels like a mix of heaven and hell that swirls between your head and your heart. It swirls and swirls and makes you dizzy with disbelief. Disbelief that you could somehow feel both the best and the worst at the same time, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Love keeps you on your toes, forming wounds as if you were a trained ballerina. Love doesn’t care if you break your balance and you fall. Love survives on the idea of you falling over and over and over again.
Love, my friends, is a pain that hurts to heal you. It’s a struggle, a battle. It’s something that we all fight for because we have hope and we have trust that it will work itself out. Love is beyond us, because if real, genuine love were something that could be created and manufactured, perhaps we’d all buy in to it.
Am I right about any of this? I don’t know. I’m not to sure that I have experienced a love that deep before, but I hope I do, and I hope you do, too. There really isn’t a definite answer to what love is, because no one really knows what kind of love they have until they have it. We can conspire to think that we know what it is, but we will never know until it’s been experienced. And even then, isn’t it different with each person we love? That’s the beauty of it. Each love is different. Each love is brought to you as a catalyst to change the way you look at life. You just have to ask yourself if you’re ready to accept looking at life through a different lens.