Learning How To Love
I have a real odd relationship with love, I think I have always had one. Some might argue its because I never saw my parents in love. Others would argue, I run away from my emotions and anything that even remotely resembles falling for someone. Today, I tackle that and I will share my feelings about love. It’s not all encompassing and there are several stories that will be left untold in this post. But I think its time I began to write my thoughts on this down, so get ready. Grab some popcorn and settle down with some wine, this is going to be a good one ;)
If you know me well, you know I always say that I have never been in love. Love as an emotion as always felt foreign, like I was not doing it right. Its that one feeling I constantly say I simply don’t have the time for. I didn’t have a lot to inspire me growing up when it came to loving someone that wasn’t family. I think the closest I ever got to seeing real love was my brother and his relationships. I remember growing up though, nose deep in romance novels and wondering if I would ever get that. If I would ever find my Prince Charming and ride away on our horse into the sunset.
And I did. I found my first love pretty early on in life after a lot and I mean a lot of trials. I will say I was practicing for what love would look like. So I would “date” anyone. If you said you liked me, I sure as heck definitely liked you too I thought. I was whisked away in fantasies of what I believed I should be doing when it came to loving someone and sometimes I hurt people and other times, most times, they hurt me.
But, I finally began to learn. I began to learn how to love and till this day, he would always have a piece of me. He was my first love, and the first guy I truly purposefully learned how to love. We met in high school and He was over 6-feet tall and was the guy of my dreams. He made my tummy dance with butterflies and listened intently whenever I spoke. He is my first memory of feeling that type of emotion for a guy. You know the one? When your heart literally aches when they stare at you. That emotion that makes your tummy do summersaults when they hold your hands. Oh boy how hard I fell. As I type this I still feel it. I feel how happy he made me then, and every time with us felt like I was in my own romance novel.
And yes, thats love. To me it was and as a 21year old its odd when older people argue that you cannot possibly find love at this age. You hear that you’re too young to have strong feelings for someone or that true relationships aren’t real till around 23. I never understood if there was some magical age that brought in the feeling of love. Well, I never listened and I still believe that you find love with people no matter how old you are. That high school love was real to me. And, I will never let anyone discount my feelings on that.
With all that said, I want to be honest. I don’t know how I learned to love and I think thats why I really wanted to share this post. It’s still an emotion that time and time again drives me crazy with its unpredictability. Is it something I am doing wrong? Are there books on falling in love I should be reading? How do we do that as humans? How do we love?
Welp. After him, there have been a few others and those experiences can be described as nothing short of crazy haha. I have learnt one thing and that is that although loving another person is one of the best experiences that life has to offer, learning to love them — isn’t as fun, especially in the real world. When I think of loving someone now, it’s different. It’s not as easy as my high school boo. I now have to worry about reciprocation. I have to worry about exes and old flames. I have to worry about distance and the future. Learning to love now isn’t as clear cut as its supposed to be. It’s not like the movies and for this odd girl who hasn’t still learnt how to navigate that… sh*t sucks.
But, I have learnt a few things.
I learned that to find love, I had to find myself and thats the journey I am on right now. Its a journey for me and it’s a very selfish one. Its a journey I am chasing to embark on in hopes that when I fall in love with myself, I am whole enough to fall in love with someone else and grow with someone else. So till then, I am learning and I am growing.
Because what you don’t learn quickly is that — being in love can be both beautiful and burdensome. It is a confusing and messy thing. Loving will gift you the kinds of lessons that grow you and build you and help you to bloom into the person you have always hoped to be, but it will also carry within it the type of hurt that will stay with you, that will change you and mould you in uncomfortable ways. It will demand for you to work at it, for you to have strength to heal and for you to be brave. And you can’t do that if you haven’t learned what it means to wholly love yourself.
So here’s what I’ll say, to all the boys I have ever loved, Thank you. I gave you pieces of my heart that some of you held dearly and others tore apart. But, you have taught me lessons on love that I would have never been able to learn without you.
I am still on this journey of self-love but I think now, I am open to learning to love someone again.