To my ever after, with love

As young girls we develop the fantasy in our minds that we are one day going to meet our Prince Charming and in a split second everything will change. It will be that moment when the cosmos shifts and all of the stars align, forming a bright and shining arrow that points to our future. Maybe it will be at a party, maybe in class, maybe in a coffee shop. No matter where the place our eyes will meet from across the room and suddenly the haze that enveloped us our entire lives will be lifted. We will know, right there in that coffee shop, that we have found the one. You will get up out of your chair, walk over with a dashing smile, and say something so witty and charming that I will have no choice but to love you. We will have a first date, a second, a third. We will become engaged and married and have a family. It will be our happily ever after. You, my Knight in shining armor. Me, your Damsel. Most of us have had this fantasy in some capacity, yes?

How silly to think love worked that way.

Do I believe in love at first sight? Yes, to a point. Do I believe in soul mates? Yes, in some way. Do I believe that love is really that easy? No, not in the slightest. It’s actually a shame when you really think about it, that our childhood imagination can be so easily demolished by learning the reality of things. The day I realized that love wouldn’t be so easy it nearly ruined me. It is so hard to stay positive when there is an emptiness in your heart that tells you every day that you are ready to love and care for someone, and to be loved and cared for in return. Now here I am, several years later and still inexperienced in its ways. One thing that has changed, though, is that where originally it felt hopeless it no longer does. No, it won’t be easy. I may not fall in love for a year, or two, or ten, but I can anxiously await the day you walk into my life. That one day, that one moment, when our lives will change forever before we’ve even noticed. However, I’m not going to lie, some days that emptiness in my heart burns a little more than usual. Some days I miss you so much and I don’t even know you yet.

The day I find you, my ever after, will be the happiest day of my life. I may not know it for a year, or two, or ten, but the first moment that I see you will be forever imprinted on my heart. And that moment when we finally look at each other with smiles full of love is what keeps me going. I can’t wait to meet you, my ever after. I can’t wait to hear your voice, touch your hair, and feel your arms around me. I can’t wait to wake up early to surprise you with breakfast, cuddle with you on the couch when you’ve had a bad day, and find new and wonderful places for us by going on drives to nowhere. I can’t wait for you to tease me, push my buttons, and drive me crazy. Most of all, I can’t wait to love you.

Until that day comes, I am trying so hard to become the woman you deserve. Through my pursuit of love I have already learned so much, but I know that there is always room to learn more. I’m not going to be perfect, not like you. I might be angry sometimes over things that aren’t your fault. I might silently cry and let my stubbornness prevent me from telling you what is wrong. I might become jealous when I shouldn’t be or expect more from you than is fair when life is weighing me down. I just pray that through all of this you will still have a place in your heart for me, and know that if you have a place in mine then you will have it forever. I promise, my love for you will burn more passionately than you can imagine. I won’t love you to the moon and back. No, I will love you to every star in the universe, until the end of days when the last one fades to dust. And when I fade, when my life is extinguished, I will lay my hands over my heart so you know that even though I am gone my love for you will live forever. I promise that if you are good to me, I will be just as good to you. I will love you when you are angry at me for things that aren’t my fault. I will love you when your stubbornness prevents you from telling me what is wrong. I will love you when you have no reason to be jealous, and I will love you when life is weighing you down and you expect more from me than I can give. I know our love will be hard. Some days we might want to quit. Some days I may push you to the edge or you may push me. Knowing this, most of all I promise that I will never give up on you. If I give you my love, it is yours until the end of time.

My ever after. I await the day I can finally know you. Or maybe I already do…

Three words, Eight letters

For lack of time it has been several weeks since my last post, and for that I apologize. Today, however, I sit in my room with a blizzard whiting out the world on the other side of my window and find myself pondering three words:  I love you. It may be fitting with Valentine’s Day on our doorstep – a holiday for which I, admittedly, grow a little more disdain for each year that I am forced to stay inside and examine my flaws.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one you can find who will say that these words have lost their meaning. I have always been a firm believer in telling someone that you love them, but only if you are speaking honestly and not hoping for the allowance of sex or money. This concept – loving someone honestly – seems to be a rare find anymore. People say “I love you” because they think they are supposed to, because they want something, to make someone happy, etc., and because of this the purest and most innocent definition of love has been somewhat lost to our generation. I have spent a lot of time the past several years trying to understand what love really means, and here is what I have come to believe:

There are two kinds of love. The first kind is one that I don’t actually think is lost on us, but I want to talk about it anyway. It is the unconditional affection you feel toward someone close to you:  a parent, a sibling, a friend, the guy who brings you your morning coffee, whoever. This kind of love lacks desire, but it is just as important as the second kind of love that I will talk about later. This kind of love is a basic human right, one that I hope everyone has in their life. It is caring and being cared for, for no other reason than wanting to. Is is getting into a huge fight and knowing that at the end of it you will still be the same people you were before, and for better or worse you will always be there for each other.

This kind of love is one that I took for granted until I was 20 years old. I had believed in telling the people you loved that you love them at this point, but every time I tried to it felt forced and awkward even though I meant it because I wasn’t used to expressing myself in that way (I’m much more open with my emotions now than I used to be, there was a time that I was so stubborn I even annoyed myself). But there was one night, the night before my mother passed away. I went into the back room to sit with her for a few minutes before going to bed. I held her hand carefully, because it felt so frail and weak, and sat in silence as she rambled things I didn’t understand. Her mind was gone then. It had been a few weeks since she had said anything coherent and I wasn’t even sure that she could understand us. When my dad came back into the room I stood to leave, but not before quietly saying to my mom “I love you.” Without hesitation my mom replied, “I love you, too.” That was the moment I understood the strength of this kind of love. My mother was gone at that point, we all knew it, but she still had it in her to understand those words. The next morning I was woken up to my dad wrapping his arms around me in tears, apologizing and saying that mom had passed. My mind shut off, I was uncomprehending, and after he left I jumped out of bed and ran to my mom’s room to see for myself. I stood there lifeless and pale, not thinking or feeling anything, and only thanking God that the last words we had ever said to each other were those. My mother drove me crazy, as I’m sure I did to her. We argued and fought like any mother and daughter would, but when it came down to it she was still one of my best friends. I would give anything to talk to her one more time, but at the same time I don’t want to take away that last moment we had when I said “I love you” and I really meant it.

The second kind of love is the one we all dream of being able to share in – the intense passion that causes you to look at someone so flawed and human and see nothing but absolute perfection. Years ago I thought I understood this love, but now I know that it is something I am still discovering. I don’t know much about it, but I can tell you in its most innocent form it requires nothing more than the desire to be near the person. It is a kind of love that is terrifying, and at the same time completely wonderful. It is both debilitating and uplifting, greedy and unselfish, and confusing yet so very clear. All you want is the privilege of being a part of the person’s life. Not to change or shape them in any way, but to have them look on you every day with that smile that slows your heart. You crave their attention and desire to be their perfection as they are yours, but knowing it’s impossible because how could you live up to the standards of someone so amazing? This is the kind of love I fear our world is missing and is mistaken for infatuation. I’m not even sure if this definition of love is correct, since as I said I am still learning about it. I hope to one day understand what it is more completely.

Unfortunately I can’t go into much more detail about the second kind of love, because for the most part it is still a mystery to me. Instead I want to bring everything full circle and come back to the original point that I feel I may have strayed from a bit. Love, in any form, is the most important feeling you can experience. You grow and learn about yourself through love and through your love of others. Since it is so important, it is not something that you want to keep to yourself. If you love someone, honestly, tell them. I tell my family and my friends I love them and with my entire heart I mean it, because if today is my last day on Earth then I want to make sure they know.

Any and all feelings for the holiday aside, Happy Valentine’s Day. Make it a meaningful one this year 🙂