Love is an intense feeling of deep affection towards someone or something. You can have love for or towards anything, but love is so much more than an emotion. Love can become a way of life, altering your everyday routine just because of one person or thing. What makes love complicated, is that it is so unpredictable and scary but amazing and life changing all at the same time and that no matter what, we as human beings continue to search for it.
Coming from a broken house and mostly divorced family, I have seen the worst sides of love. I’ve seen the betrayal, tears, and regret. I’ve seen the sad eyes, broken hearts, and the forever imprint of trust issues prevailing through my family. However, since I was seven years old my perception on love has stayed the same, find it and hold onto it.
Being young, you often hear that young love isn’t real. You get told that the love that you experience as a teenager is all a figment of my imagination and a cliche. Your elders, teachers, and parents dismiss you with a laugh at any and every mention of “love”, inevitably making those words become like a tape recording stuck on replay in your head, so you begin to think, when he says “I love you” is it real?
I have pondered whether what I felt for him was real or not, whether what we had was real or not. He became everything I thought about, he became the thoughts that filled my head on those restless nights. My life changed when I realized that boy next door was anything and everything I ever wanted. My days spent sitting at home listening to pointless lyrics changed to every word reminding me of him. The extra free time I had every day after school changed to afternoons spent binge watching movies, or the what felt like endless conversations laying on the trampoline in his backyard. In the blink of an eye my life began to go in a different direction, it pointed towards him full speed, and there was no slowing down.
I thought I finally found what I had been dreaming about ever since I knew who “Prince Charming” was, and I could finally see the good side of love first hand, someone really loved me. This was the case until I was told I was moving at the end of summer. My heart felt like it was going to burst. I began to shut down, pushing everyone I had cared about out of my life- especially him. I knew he was hurting and even worse I knew I was the one hurting him. We spent my last few days together, painfully saying our goodbye for nows and savoring the goodbye kisses we shared until my final day living a few houses down from him, August 9th.
As a kid I witnessed heartbreak and brokenness and I was going to do anything and everything to keep myself from feeling that way. I came to a decision that it would be best if we broke up then instead of experiencing worse heartbreak in the future. I pushed him away, I pushed him out of my life. Still he stayed, he reminded me that he would wait for me and he continued loving me as he had since that warm summer night that we first met. This stung my heart, making already restless nights worse and making the transition to a new city, a new school so much harder. Months passed and my love for him didn’t change, and I do not know why I ever thought it would.
Almost four years have passed, and the hurt is still there. We have moved on but he will forever be my first love. He was the first person I ever trusted with my heart. He was the first guy I ever opened up to, and coming from a broken family that is saying a lot. We still talk, he still has his own ringtone, our song comes on in the car and I pause, I pause because if I continue to skip it then my memory of him will begin to fade. He knows I will go to any extent to make sure he is happy. I won't sleep knowing he is troubled or something is on his mind, so I allow the random 2am texts seeking for advice because I still care about him and I always will. I finally realized that we work better this way and that still having him in my life is not hurting me anymore. We always joke that fate one day will somehow bring us back together like it has done in the past, but all that matters now is that we are happy, we are stable, and best of all we are friends.
So next time you’re told that you are too young to love or that your feelings are false, remember that you are capable of falling in love at any given time in your life. Love is unpredictable and will show up when you are least expecting it. If you are lucky enough to find someone or something you love and they love you back, hold onto it and never let go. If you are still waiting for your movie-like relationship don’t give up on it because even if it's not just like the movies it will still feel picture perfect.