30 day topic series: on love

I don’t feel like the most experienced person to talk about love, but who really is? We all see love differently through our own personal lens depending on what we’ve experienced, what we’ve witnessed, or what we want (or what we think we want). The following thoughts come from a place (three freaking years) of reflection and not desperation (I love love, but obviously not just anything will do).

So here are some thoughts on love. A topic so big I’m not quite sure where to start or finish, or what to throw in the middle.

Love seems continually out of my grasp.
Love is all over my Facebook news feed. Can you all stop now? Cool you’re getting married. You are married. You’re at a friends wedding and they have a hashtag. So stoked for you.
Love is trying and failing and trying again.

On loving yourself first.
The cheesiest thing people say about being single and of course, the most frustratingly true (seriously I want to throw things when you say this to me). Look at yourself. Every component of what makes you, you; your passions, your quirks, your successes, and your failures. You’re expecting someone else to love all of that. And do you love it all yourself?

On being lonely.
I’m quite happy to be alone and in my own company. I need it sometimes. I have no problems occupying my mind during these periods (I’m excellent at overthinking), but at times I do get lonely. I tend to flick between two states of loneliness, one so frustratingly expansive and boundless that sometimes I can’t move or breathe; I can only feel right down to my bones that this is the way I’m going to feel and be forever (alone and without love), the second being a state of mind where I have absolute confidence that the universe will not leave me to wither in a hole alone for the rest of my days, and all I need to do is carry on headstrong into the blank canvas of tomorrow and it’ll all be fine.

The trouble is, I never know which one I’m going to wake up and feel (emotional roulette anyone?). Because I never know how I’ll feel it’s led to some interesting and questionable decisions trying to achieve the end goal of ‘not feeling so lonely’. I’m currently trying to live by the below quote from the beautiful book Eat, Pray, Love. It’s harder than you think.

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”
― Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love

On everyone trying to pretend like love’s not important or a thing they want ‘right now’, because they’ll totally be able to find it later when they’re ‘ready’.
Love is not a step that comes along in your life like going to university, your first job (that you will probably be quite terrible at to begin with tbqh), the big O.E, or buying a house. It doesn’t answer to your 5 or 10 year life plan. It’s not going to come along when it’s convenient or when you’re ready for it.

So why say no to that cute person who asked you out? Why not tell that person that you love them and have for months? Why not put yourself out there? That could have been your one big chance and you’re throwing it away because it’s not the next step in the plan? I’m convinced we don’t get unlimited amounts of big love in our lives. It’s actually quite rare and difficult to come across.

I like love and I’m tired of trying hard to pretend that I don’t. Tired of trying to pretend like having real feelings isn’t important to me just to impress some guy. I want it. I want it in a real and crazy way and I don’t see the point in life without it. I think it comes down to not wanting to be alone, wanting to have a person who gets you, still likes you in spite of your bad points (because we all have plenty) and who you know will still be there waiting for you at the end of the day, on your team. And I don’t think that we should disregard how important and rare that is.

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One thought on “30 day topic series: on love

  1. I really love that line, “I like love and I’m tired of trying hard to pretend that I don’t”. I feel that way, too.

    It’s funny that you mention that whole “love’s not something that I want right now”. Guilty of saying that, that’s for sure. I’m certain it’s some kind of defence mechanism. You get so swept up in some self-optimisation spiral, trying to get everything else in your life lined up first before love can happen. And then it gives you some sort of excuse – well, I’m not quite ready, not quite in the right place, I don’t quite have my shit together for love.

    It’s all bullshit in the end because I don’t know if you’re ever really that version of your perfect self and, therefore, this excuse is infinite and paralysing. It shouldn’t go to plan, like you say. It’s messy and there’s probably some beauty in that.

    I worry, from time to time, about whether I think too much about love. It happens when you least expect it, or when you’re not looking – or so they say. Do I agree? I’m not so sure. I’m all for being empowered about singledom and being content with being by yourself but I don’t know, or don’t agree, that we should totally deny the notion of loneliness or the yearning for someone else. So no, I don’t think I overthink love, despite my periodic concerns. I think it’s worth thinking about, even a lot. It’s worth desiring someone you can be vulnerable with and will be vulnerable in return, who makes you a better person and makes your life a better adventure.

    Accepting that hopefully helps to overcome the barriers we put up for ourselves, that prevent us from getting hurt by preventing the opportunity for love altogether. Knowing that love is important, worthy, magnificent, rare, and something we truly want, might help push us to take that chance, say something, even if we’re still not “perfect”, even if it might fail catastrophically. At least, I hope it will for me.

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