Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lost and found.

It's February, and y'all should be able to guess which word is my favorite to define--but it's also still the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around [and in the spirit of transparency, I'm about to get real personal. don't say you weren't warned].

When I was little, there was a day where my little sister Brittany decided that she wanted to take matters into her six-year-old hands and ask my grandparents why they didn't speak to us. One quick search through the phonebook and a sneaky phone call from my great-grandma's guest bedroom later, we found ourselves at my grandparents house for the first time in years. I listened to the adults make small talk around the kids, while I absorbed the feeling in the house [in awe that even after three moves and half a dozen years, grandma's house still smelled just the same], and everybody avoided the elephant in the room. My grandma took this opportunity to show us around their house, and while most of us were in the kitchen, my mom lingered behind and was talking to my grandpa. I don't know the entirety of the conversation, but I distinctly remember hearing him say "I have lost a lot of love for a lot of people."
In the moment, I didn't think much of it. Now, it stings a bit--but then it was mostly confusing.
How do you lose love? It wasn't something tangible that you could simply set down and forget about, and since it wasn't an object the odds of you misplacing it or it walking away were incredibly low.
And even if it wasn't tangible, how on earth do you lose it? What was love if it could be lost like that?

Fast forward roughly 10 years, and I think I'm finally starting to be able to answer my own questions.
Not because I know what love is, but because I know what love is not.
In middle school, you learn about the types of nouns: concrete, collective, compound and abstract.
Abstract nouns were always the most interesting to me, because I remember laughing at my teacher trying to explain to us how to define something that wasn't definitive--and that's a fascination that has never changed.
[try it: ask one of my coworkers how one would define liberty, or ask a panel of parents how they define "grounding," the possibilities are truly endless]
Abstract nouns and concepts have become even more interesting as I've grown up, if only because my definitions are changing faster than I can comprehend them.
Love is forgiveness, and second chances, and apologies and compromise. 
Love is not walking away, no matter how tired or how frustrated you are.
Love is "see you soon," "drive safe," and a quick squeeze when you're about to lose it. 
Love [for me] is pebble ice, tacos, peppermint tea, and a cozy blanket. 
Love [for them] is chocolate donuts, Skittles, spoken-word poetry, long drives, or movie nights. 
Love is not giving up, because quitters never win and everything is worth a little bit more of a fight.
Love is not easy. 
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Nothing about any kind of love is easy. It takes a lot of work, more patience than I have on a regular basis, and lots of compromise. If it were easy, I'd argue with my parents less, they'd roll their eyes at me less, my siblings and I would be less annoyed with each other, I wouldn't feel the need to throw tantrums about boys all the time, and I'd never argue with my best friends.
Love is both the most mind-boggling thing I've ever tried to wrap my head around, and the simplest thing in the world to understand. 
Subconsciously, I think that overheard comment from my grandpa taught me a lot.
I'm 21 years old and I still get emotional pulling out of my culdesac on my way back to Logan, and I have a healthy sense of nostalgia that can be a real problem sometimes.
Some people say I have a hard time letting things/people go [they're right], and I've never been a fan of goodbyes. When I love, I love hard and I love big--and I think that has a lot to do with the idea that I never want to lose love for somebody else, or vice versa. I want to give it my all and do everything possible to make love work before walking away. I'm not about to let my love for anyone get lost.
A year ago, I posted this. 
Love was synonymous with a roller coaster of emotions and confusion. But even then, it wasn't something I felt like I'd truly lost.
It took a lot of work, a couple thousand more tears, and more talk about my feelings that I'd ever like to do again, but a year later,  love has simply changed forms--and I am oh so grateful for the endless amounts of love around me everyday.
Love is only really lost if you let it be--and it's something worth finding again if it goes away.