Tuesday 23 December 2014

Love is

I know there's different kinds and levels of love. The love for a parent, child, other family member, friend, person of authority, artist, etc.

Although I've never experienced the fairy tale of true love, at least not thus far in my life, I do believe it exists and it is very real. Call me naive or whatever you want, I chose to believe in it and how dramatically people can change when they find it, especially after they've spent so long blocking it out.

I consider myself a hopeless romantic. I love a good romantic comedy, or just a romance in general. I spent most of my teen year reading Mills and Boon novels (much to my parents displeasure), sure some stories were very formulaic and you knew as soon as you started how it was going to finish, but every now and again I'd pick one up and the story would stick with me. It would start predictably and end otherwise or vice versa, either way it kept me hooked.

Having never been in a romantic relationship of my own, it's hard to say if what I've felt towards other people in the past has been the same love that I've heard my friends and others describe. One thing I've been adamant about is that loving someone and being in love with someone are two different things.

I believe that when you love someone it's a natural progression, a choice if you will. Being in love with someone is when it consumes you, you have or feel like you have no choice but to want the best for the person for whom you feel said emotion. You'd do anything, literally anything, for them or just because they asked you to, no questions asked.

I felt these things for one particular person back in high school. From the moment I first saw him I was drawn to him like I'd never been before. A few days into starting high school I'd developed the biggest crush I'd ever had, and it remained throughout my educational career until around the time we graduated, by which time I'd met someone new and better and I was finally getting over him, much to mine and I'm sure his immense relief.

I still remember the moment I realized that I loved him, or decided that the feeling I felt towards him was best labelled as love. I was walking up to the drinking fountain under the shelter shed at school. I was so sure and excited about my feelings that I wanted to tell people, not in a randomly breaking into song kind of way, just when someone asked me if I still liked him (pretty much everyone knew) I'd tell them that I loved him, that was it.

On my 15th birthday I decided I wanted to tell him since it was just too much for me to hold in. I was quite naive enough to do it in person or via note which had become my most favored method of communication in school, I waited until the opportune moment arose on MSN (remember those days!) and attempted to engage in conversation with him. He'd known pretty much since the start that I liked him even though he didn't reciprocate in any way which sucked, but it didn't stop my feelings from growing. I tried to talk to him but he wasn't very engaging so the conversation didn't really go anywhere. I was also getting pep talks and advice from a trust friend at the same time on how to get my message across. Emoticons seemed the best way to do it but before long he'd logged out and nothing had been achieved. I figured I just wasn't meant to tell him that way, or maybe at all, so settled for telling whichever of his friends would listen, even if they didn't care.

A few weeks passed and the intensity of the feeling died a little bit and I knew something had changed. No sooner had that happened then it intensified two-fold and I labelled that as being in love. It was more than what I'd considered love was. I wanted and was absolutely willing to do anything he asked of me, whatever it was. I had no control over it and just wallowed in it albeit simultaneously happy and miserable that he'd never be emotionally mature enough to handle my feelings or reciprocate.

In so many romantic scenes I've watched I've heard 'love' and 'in love' being interchangeable which doesn't seem right to me. Love is a state of being, in love is deeper, much deeper.

By the same token, True Love is a whole other feeling in itself. It could be the ridiculous amount of Hollywoodised romances or just Disney movies I've watched in my life, but I see True Love as the ultimate love, as the name would suggest. It's when the love you feel for another person enables you to withstand everything that comes your way. Or, if by no fault of your own, you're separated from your beloved and later reunited with them, that's True Love. It sounds sappy I know, but I also know there are plenty of people out there who have and are experiencing it.

Simply put, it's magic.

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