I had waited 23 years for it. That romanticizing everything kind of love. The kind of love that made you forget that you could even get your heartbroken. I had waited 23 years for it, and I stopped believing it was real.
When I first met him, there was no reason for me to believe that anything would bloom. As far as I was concerned, Love had locked me in the closet at the party because I got too drunk on possibility and then Love forgot I was there. I had been pushed away, and I had pushed. I had been broken, and I had broke. I was the relationship advice expert with no prior experience, and while I sat on that therapist couch giving my friends the best advice I could, it was never lost on me that I never had to use the advice. But my mom raised me to be be friends with my pride. She raised me to walk away when I was left and not to chase after what was already gone. The greatest advice she had ever given me was “when you meet the right person, there will be nothing you can ever do or say to push them away,” but even so, my anxiety stricken brain was cursing words I said that might have made the boys leave… what I failed to see was it was making the wrong boys leave.
It was love at first sight, it just took me awhile to open my eyes. I used to hate when people would tell me to wait for the right love as if it were as sudden and mystical as pulling a bunny from a hat. I had too much anxiety to sit back and wait for what may never come and I was never comfortable without at least a little control. I liked guiding things. Being the first one to be able to leave, but everything was different with him. It took meeting him 4 times for me to open my heart enough to let a tiny bit of light through. It took 23 years for me to love myself enough to let someone else love me.
I used to think that healing myself would magically happen when someone else decided to love me. Looking back, who I was 3 years ago would never have been able to accept this love. Love had to save me, yes, but it was the love I found in myself. And in loving him, I had found a way to love myself even more. I waited for this love, and it came.
The journey was seldom easy, there were arguments, and nights gone to bed angry. There were amazing sunrises that ended in dark storms, but there were also ordinary moments that became a fairytale and that’s how love should be. He loved me like I always dreamed and that journey to get me there was so heartbreaking and so discouraging, I swore love away. I talked myself out of it. But what a disservice I had done to myself, because what I know now is that beyond a shadow of a doubt, this love is true.
This love made me realize that settling and compromising and one-sided trying are not love. The way we all deserve to be loved is so big that you never doubt it. They should pull you in and make you feel like the prettiest human who ever walked the earth. They should make you forget that your scars are visible, and paint over them with the most beautiful colors, encouraging you to love all that had brought you here, all that had brought you to them.
That is why we wait. No matter the amount of time that passes, minutes or days or years or lifetimes, it will come, never too late and always on time. It will not leave with the slightest wind. It will be rooted inside you so strongly it does not falter. It will make you understand what the time and the tears and the worries were for. We wait because the waiting and the heartbreaks and the problems left unsolved make us the greatest version of ourselves, just in time for fate to send us the greatest version of them.