Love is such a strange idea.
I used to think that love was a mere falsity created by the media that gave people something to yearn for and ache for, but never truly achieve. For it did not exist, or so I thought. I was so troubled with concept that something couldn’t be defined in words. What do you mean “You just feel it?” That always struck me as too abstract or just too unrealistic. Everything has to be able to be put into words … right?
I remember when I “fell in love” for the first time. I was eighteen years old, and I was whisked off my feet. I became so whisked that my feet were no longer planted firmly on the ground and my head was no longer fastened on tight, but loose and in the clouds. I paid no witness to all the times he told me “change this,” “don’t do that,” “just look at yourself,” etc. I thought that he was looking out for me by making little changes to me. He forced me to become more productive, more type A, and less creative … less me. While he literally pulled the whiskey away from my lips and said “no,” what he was really doing was pressing the whiskey bottle against my lips and saying “drink until you can’t think for yourself anymore.” I was intoxicated under his control, his demands and his lack of mercy. He morphed me into a version of myself that I am still, to this day, ashamed of. A person with no voice, is not a person at all. He took away my voice, and my ability to speak for myself. In my head I would always asked myself why love was so hard, and why love was so demanding, exhausting and physically harming. I asked myself everyday “Why do people want this?”
For two years after that relationship I took time for myself. I had to relearn who I was, because he had taken it with him. Every morning I would wake up, walk to my desk and journal my one goal for that day. Sometimes it was as simple as smile or listen to your favorite song. It seems so silly, looking back, that those were feats for me. But, over time I figured it out. I figured out me. I became an avid yogi, I studied harder than I ever had, I transferred schools, I made new friends, I wrote new music …
… I started over.
All of this brings me to the person that I am today. And also, the person that I am with today. While my first run-in with this undefinable feeling left me face first and ass up in the dirt, this is different. Oh, so very different. He looks at me in a way that I have never been looked at. Even when I look at him from across the room, it’s just us. He has not once asked me to change anything about myself. He embraces me for me, quirks included. And, I hope that he knows that I would do just about anything for him.
I’ve realized that love is not an undefinable feeling, but an act. Every day, we both have to work, reach out to one another and let them know we care. Love is an unconditional act of care, compassion and adoration for another person. It doesn’t cease to exist the moment they frustrate you or test your temper. The underpinnings of love can never fade. I’m happy to say that my feet, with him, are firmly on the ground, my head is fastened and I’m thinking clearly. For I know that everything about this is right. I’m terrified of realizing how open my heart is to him. But there it is.
I know why people want this. It’s intoxicating in the best way possible: a little bit numbing, refreshingly genuine and extremely exhilarating.
Love is strange.