Question: Do you believe in love? Not just the idea or concept; rather the passionate, all encompassing, beautiful fairytale? And if you do, are you crazy to believe in it?
That is a question that has been plaguing me my whole life – maybe because I grew up a romantic – the thought of living happily ever after with Prince Charming holding my white gloved hand as we rode off into the sunset while we pledged our undying devotion to each other always made my tiny heart flutter. Maybe its the girl from the “broken home” in me – the one who always hoped that she would find someone who could love her as much as she loved him. Or maybe its even the lit geek in me – who read on as Gatsby devoted his life to win the heart of his beloved Daisy, Darcy admitting his deepest affections for his Elizabeth, and of course – looking on as the infamous Romeo and Juliet struggled to find a way to be together without worry. Whatever the case might be, the point is I am in love with the idea of love – and some how obtaining the unobtainable – the elusive”happily ever after”.
Many people think I’m crazy – to believe that such as love can exist and thrive in a world outside of a screen or tattered page – and maybe those naysayers are right. But all my life I have seen the world as “a million little fairytales waiting to come true”, so why stop now when I’m finally at the age to begin the journey?
Which brings me to my next question: Do you believe in destiny? And if you do, Do you believe in Soul-mates?
Because I do. I wholeheartedly believe that things – more often people – come into your life for a reason. Before you ramble off the list of lovers you’ve scorned (or have scorned you) or even the list of loves lost and hearts broken, hear me out. Stop and think: without that first heartbreak, you wouldn’t know what felt like to lose someone you loved, or even that you were capable to have love. Without that lover who scorned you, you wouldn’t have figured out what you want out of a relationship. And without that love lost – that big what if – you wouldn’t understand the regret that comes with not taking the chance on love. These stories, these memories are merely stepping stones that line the pathway leading to the person who is going to be the almighty “one”: the one friend, comedian, lover, aggressor, teacher and most importantly – the one person who will change your life forever.
And maybe I am too optimistic, naive, or simply delusional – but maybe my hope of what love is or should be, is right.
I think at times we are so caught up in images and the petty drama of everyday life that we forget to humanize the people around us – yes even our enemies. We all have problems, we all have good days and bad days, and I think that we all (even me) need to remember that. Let’s be honest – its so much easier to talk badly about someone, to find their faults. That’s why this message is so important – because it reminds us to do the difficult – to look for the good in others, to be kinder, even when we don’t want to or the person might not deserve it. Human dignity – such a powerful thing.
So as you go about your day today, just remember: you are gold, and so is the person next to you on the train, passing you on the sidewalk, or in line at the coffee shop. Be kind, Be golden friends!
Reading Jenny Han’s To all the Boys I have I’ve Ever Loved, I’ve enjoyed seeing the bonds of sisterhood grow and face different challenges, like distance, family responsibilities, personal struggles and love and relationships.
However, this isn’t the problem I’m having with this “fun” read. It’s the fact that it plays into the same cookie cutter storyline that most of these modern “teen” novels do – “He’s not supposed to be with me, he’s supposed to be with her, they’re meant to be.” this idea of people being together by the almighty forces of “destiny” and love is tired and quite honestly ridiculous.
Because let me tell you something – statistically speaking, 1 out of 10 high school relationships last and most of those relationships end within the last the end of graduation through first semester of college. If you are one of the lucky few who are still with your prom queen or homecoming king congratulations! You’re a minority. The rest of us aren’t as statistically gifted as you.
This is what truly upsets me though – authors like Han who buy into the “dream” or ideal romantic situation/relationship bull crap that every girl has been force fed ever since her mom read her a bed time story that ended with “they lived happily ever after”. Life isn’t like movies or fairytales and sometimes not even like Shakespeare (although I wouldn’t mind being Juliet to DiCaprio’s Romeo).
Love in real life isn’t destined or at first glance as so many of us are lead to believe. Hate to be the one to break it to you, but that awkward guy from your psych 101 class – you know the one who you find absolutely annoying – that’s probably the guy you will end up with.
That’s my point. Love is unexpected. It’s something that is give and take; something that struggles and yet can give you the greatest exhilaration.
A real adult loving relationship takes actual work and time to grow – not dismissing that one guy who you went on like two dates with then chase in the rain while pledging undying love to him, as Jenny Han describes in her book. And I’m not saying your first love doesn’t matter – because it does – but that’s just it. It’s your first love, not your last. And if you keep ruminating on it like Han does, then you might close yourself off to potentially meeting your one true life.
The whole point is nothing is definite. Nothing is meant to be. So stop worrying about it. Love will find a way if you let it, not force it.