Wednesday, February 25, 2015

On love.

As a little girl, you grow up reading, watching, listening to, and acting out love stories.
Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the name it. 
Love is that all encompassing dream that makes you blush at the 7th grade Valentine's Dance, cry like a baby during The Notebook, and pin an assortment of wedding dresses and proposal videos despite the fact that you're hopelessly single. 
You dream of the feeling you read about, talk about, and sing about. 

Before you find it, love is a wonderful idea, a kind of elusive reward you're not sure if you'll ever find. I thought falling in love was a stroke of luck--something that came around with Halley's comet or a leap year. Something I'd find if I was in the right place at exactly the right time, and then some fairy godmother would grant me permission to post pictures with sappy captions and sing along with the love songs on the radio. 

But that's not how it happens. It's something that comes where you least expect it and makes you completely disregard what people are telling you. 
It's a dizzying, exhausting, all-encompassing kind of feeling that leaves you breathless and energized in the weirdest kind of contradicting way. They say you "fall" in love because that's the only way to describe the constant sensation of butterflies that gets coupled with this subconscious idea that everything that is happening is too good to be true. But despite the fall that's occurring, this person becomes your "go-to." The first and last person you talk to every day, the deciding factor in your weekend plans, and whether you like to admit it or not, this kind of glue that holds you together. 

And then, all of the sudden, that's gone. 
And the feeling of breathless excitement turns into forgetting how to breathe. 
"Heartbreak" is a funny way to describe it, because it feels like more than your heart is broke.
The parachute that held you while you fell has disappeared and you're free-falling into a world without this person.
There's a never-ending pit in the bottom of your stomach which is weird because your stomach also feels like it has a thousand and a half knots in it.
Every insecurity you've ever had is suddenly glaring right back at you--and somehow, in the middle of all of this, you're supposed to be able to keep on keeping on and be "okay."
Right then, as you're still trying to wrap your head around what just happened, being okay is the furthest thing from what you're trying to accomplish in that second.

Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, these heartbreaks won't mean a lot. But for a minute, your only focus is getting through--not over, because let's be real here, you don't get over these things quickly--this metaphorical pain that has very literal manifestation through tears and shaking hands and gasping breath. But you work through it.

It takes time. You have to give yourself time to be sad, and that's okay. It hurts...but that shows how much you cared. And so you give yourself the time to cry and be upset. You blast some really angry break up songs [ my recommendations? this. this. this. and of course, this].  You spend a lot of time at the gym trying to get rid of some of the emotion. You vent a little--or a lot. And then you move on.
Because as much as you'd like to be able to have a say in everybody else's emotions, you can't make someone's heart feel differently about you.

It hurts. I'm not even going to try and deny that. But it's also not the end of the world. Because when you think about're always better off. And I mean that in the nicest way possible to all the ex-boyfriends out there. Every girl (and boy) deserves somebody who is completely and totally obsessed with them. Somebody who loves the quirks that drive everybody else a little bit crazy. Somebody that finally finishes the string of "you can do better" because they're the best.
Getting your heart broken sucks. But there's a new kind of wholeness that comes on the other side as you teach yourself how to look for love in other places.
Because you've let yourself be vulnerable, this love feels different. You've been hurt, but you'll be okay. In fact:

You're going to fall in love more than once, and that means you'll experience loss more than once. But every time it happens, whether it's with another person, a place, whatever--you learn a little more about yourself. Because even in the midst of what feels like complete failure, the world gives you things like move nights with your mom, midnight drives to the middle of nowhere, and the best kind of distractions to prove that despite your heartache, there are a million more things to love. 

And that love? That love feels different. 
Because once you recognize how surrounded you are by things to love [and things that love you], it makes it easy to believe that love isn't this elusive idea that happens once in a blue moon or follows a wish on a shooting star. It's everywhere, all around you--and even though it may not be right where you want it, it's not hard to find. 
And that's the best kind of love I can imagine. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

My favorite.

Because even though we argue about Girl Scout cookies, we agree on [most] of the important things, 
Because he's accepted the fact that I will never enjoy pizza, milk, or Oreos and only uses that against me on rare occasions,
Because at 12:00 on a Thursday night when I finally had a second to breathe, he didn't argue when I turned on Grey's Anatomy (and even lasted most of the episode before going home),
Because this is the best result of patience and persistence I've ever seen, 
Because he lets me be a nerd after a particularly good class--and then does exactly the same even though I don't understand a word of what he's saying about government regulated water markets, 
Because he drives me absolutely crazy, but in the best way possible,
Because he lets me talk his ear off 98% of the time,
Because I don't think I'll get over people saying "It's about time!" anytime soon,
Because he's the only person who is consistently as loud as I am, and whose laugh is louder than mine,
Because I have the cutest boyfriend west of Tennessee, 
Because despite my inability to make decisions and the fact that I have a hard time choosing where we go to dinner, if you asked me to choose a favorite person, I'd have no problem choosing him. 

Happiest of Valentine's Days, my lovelies! I hope your day was as splendid as mine.