Everywhere I look, I see engagements. I see marriage.
I must admit, sometimes I mock them. How naïve can they possibly be? Claiming, at the age of twenty-one, to be so in love with someone that they want to die with them. Oh, so blatantly credulous and inexperienced. They must not know the things that I know.
But when I’m honest with myself, I know that I could have been them. In fact, only but a few years ago, I wanted to be them. Oh my God, the blissful ignorance of being in love at the age of eighteen is so fantastically hypnotizing that I cannot blame them for never glancing away. Their view, so immersed in the eyes of their lover, that the rest of the world seems nothing but a blur. Why look away?
It’s a love that you cannot fathom falling apart. Imagining this love ending, is like being blind and attempting to imagine the color blue. It cannot be done.
I remember myself back then. Innocently ignoring the idea of the color blue as I told her I’d love her forever. Another meaningless one-liner to be tossed into our secret box of impossible promises. It’s not that we were lying, it’s that we were blind. And it’s not that we weren’t feeling love, it’s that we were describing colors we had never seen.
The only reason I am not one of these people posting photos of engagement rings on Facebook is because of the following: I was knocked off of my path. I cannot express the massive importance of being knocked the fuck off of your path. Of being destroyed. Of how vital it is to completely fuck up. To drop the fucking ball and lose all hope. This, my friends, is the key.
When you get knocked off your path, it will seem disastrous at first. Oh, it’s the worst. It’s that depressing realization that you must start from scratch and rebuild your life. All of your illusions shatter to a million pieces as they hit the ground. But it’s in this moment, as you grab your broom and sweep up the tiny pieces of your shattered misconceptions, that you discover who you really are.
After sweeping your floor and placing your broken fantasies into the kitchen trash, you’ll begin searching. Searching for something, for anything, really. You’ll yearn for something to give your life meaning again, something to identify with. You’ll look high and low for something to replace her love: material things, revenge, new love, hobbies, books, self-improvement, travel. But none of it will complete you.
And after months and months of desperately searching the planet for something to complete you, you will have a moment. This moment, this epiphany, will hit you like a ton of bricks. You will finally understand. You will finally see the color blue. You’ll see the whole spectrum of colors, you’ll see it all. Patterns in the carpet will suddenly amaze you, trees will fill you with wonder, and the night sky will captivate you with its mystery. You’ll sit on benches and watch people, amazed at the fact that each of them have their own stories; their own worries and their own fears.
And though it may take months or even years for you to experience this moment, it will happen. This, I promise you. But do not search for this moment and do not anticipate its arrival. You will only find this moment of fulfillment, when you stop looking. When you realize that you are enough.
So, fall in love. But know, first loves do not exist to fulfill you. They exist to destroy you. First loves do not exist to complete you, but to teach you that you are enough.