As per usual, my good friend ECC and I always enjoy having deep, meaningful conversations via text. Today's topic: love. ECC I remember years ago I asked you what it felt like to be IN love. K: What did I say? E: Not much. I asked that question while you were still with R*. If anything, your response, although short, was a little hostile. You mentioned it was difficult to explain and different for everyone, but that was about it. Years later, I'm curious how you would describe being in love, after all these encounters and years after your major relationship. I think I remember this instance so well because I expected some sort of answer full of rainbows and butterflies, but your response caught me off guard.
Normally, when someone poses me a question, I would immediately have a response for that person. I've been trained to think on my toes and over time, I've learned to accurately formulate my response in a simplistic manner. But c'mon. This is love we're talking about and nothing about it is easy, especially when it comes to talking about it. However, I will try my best and take a stab at it anyway. Wish me luck.
So here's my take on the topic; separated in three parts and copied directly from my conversation with ECC.
Part I Falling in love
Falling in love is beautiful. That’s the rainbow and butterflies that people are always talking about. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s addicting. You find yourself at a new place and wanting to share all of these special moments with someone. Falling in love can happen pretty quickly or it can happen through a span of years or for the lucky ones, a lifetime. You hear that saying about couples falling in love with each other everyday.
Part II Being in love
Being in love is a little bit different. You learn about someone’s flaws, their quirks, the good and the bad. Then you make it a choice to love them, despite knowing these things. Being in love is when you truly get to know someone. I believe that it’s one of the most enriching experiences ever. Some people fall, but they never really get the chance to actually “be” with the other person. So then the two of you try to find what works, what doesn't and suddenly you find yourself at a brand new place.
Part III Staying in love
And then there’s staying in love. I would like to say that it is the hardest stage of all. Staying in love requires effort, time, commitment. It requires patience, mutual respect, compassion, trust, and understanding. I honestly feel like this is where your relationship takes a huge twist and turn. This is the part where life starts to throw shit at the both of you, giving you reasons to walk away, but as a couple, you two are fighting together to keep something that’s important to the both of you.
But as always, sometimes it's about finding yourself and who you are, and then realizing that the person you’ve fallen in love with might not actually be the person you should stay with. So once again, you're going to have to make another choice.
And now for my reflection ---
At seventeen years old, I thought something was seriously wrong with me. While my girl friends were dating left and right, I was lucky if the guy that I liked notices or says hi to me. I've never gotten asked to a homecoming dance and I can't even tell you the number of times I watched my crush fall for someone else that wasn't yours truly.
That all changed when I met my first and last boyfriend. Falling in love with him was something completely unexpected, but he made it easy (a little bit too easy if you asked me). He was a gentle, kind, loving, and loyal person. But what separated him from everyone else was that he was my friend and for nearly an entire year, we stayed in touch through a small screen. You know, way back when oovooing and leaving video messages on other people's Facebook walls were the trends.
Being in love with him had its moments, but I loved him everyday. Now, staying in love with him....that was the hard part. It was hard because inspite of everything that we were able to experience together, I knew we were not going to last. We were just too different.
So my dilemma, at the time, was this: how do you stay in love with someone when you can't picture forever with them?
I couldn't do it so naturally things ended. Emily commented on this and said that at the very least, it was a great chapter of my life that propelled me forward instead of holding me back and she was absolutely right. While there's no happy ending to that particular chapter, to this day, I can still talk about my first love with a big smile on my face. Why? He taught me how to love.
I think I'm done with all these cheesy talks for today, but thank you for reading my perspective on something that means a whole lot to me. [: