Love Is

Sometimes…when I’m feeling especially nostalgic (and maybe a tad bit masochistic) I will dive into my book shelf of personal journals, opening & reading the very first one my hands make contact with.

Usually it’s in the middle of the night, when sleep escapes me and I feel an absolute necessity to remember where I’ve been, who I’ve been and who others have been to me. I will sit in too little light, with too little blankets and bury myself in my words. Sometimes it’s wonderful, sometimes it is an emotional beating of the worst kind…most of the time it is both.

Tonight while I was reading a journal from my Freshman year of college…brutally reliving all of my heartbreak and awkwardness….I found myself paused at an almost desperate sentence scrawled at the bottom of an unfinished entry.

“I just want to be in love so I don’t have to hurt anymore.”  


I read the sentence twice before the giggles began bubbling up. I laughed and laughed….and laughed. Alone, in an empty living room. I was absolutely certain I had gone crazy, I mean, really there was nothing funny about this desperately sad, younger version of myself.

The naivety behind that 19-year-old’s belief that love solved everything…I found that entertaining and I guess, a little bit endearing. I was stuck between wanting to go back in time and let her know that she was wrong (as she was about MOST things at that age) and at the same time wishing I could soak myself in that same naivety.

Now, of course, I know…love is not the absence of pain. In fact, even at it’s best, it can be one of the most abundant source. It’s important and it’s fragile and it’s so utterly out of our control…

And yet, so many of us expect love to save us and when it doesn’t we think we must try again, with someone else, somewhere else, at some other time.

It won’t save you, not ever.

The truth is, love – the real kind – will break your heart into tiny pieces and then it will put your heart neatly back together just to do it again, it’s devastating and it’s hard and its worst and brilliant, abundant light at its best.

Sorry this is dark & heavy…but love is dark & heavy. It’s also light & courage & passion & comfort & warmth. It’s worth it. And if it sounds like I’m contradicting myself that’s because love is a contradiction, a battle, a storm…that knowledge – that’s what will save you.

Love is absolute certainty that you would want to die if they died…but also the certainty that you would get out of bed every single morning, and brush your hair and make your coffee and smile at least three times for the sake of their spirit watching over you.