Ah, can you smell the love in the air? Well, I mean, I certainly smell SOMETHING…
Anyways, as with many of these posts, this is one I didn’t think I would ever need to write. Even if you had asked me a few months ago whether or not I would be grateful for this, I would respond with a big fat NO. But things change very quickly, and this is no exception.
I dabbled in some romance, probably better defined as dating, but have never had much luck. I always had much different standards than other people my age. I was already thinking long term when others were just hoping for a lucky break for the night. I knew I wanted a relationship. Something meaningful.
So for the most part, I spent a lot of time either waiting and losing hope, or having something great for maybe a few weeks before it goes south. I had gotten to a point where I gave up altogether, that I would just focus all of my energy on my own future and accept anything that might come my way if it ever did.
I’m grateful for that time I spent waiting. I grew up having many hesitations on my relationship status throughout my life because I overthink everything. Ironically, I feared being alone forever, despite my independent and introverted nature. I feared I would never find anybody who could match my ambition or old soul. But in those times, I learned how to become comfortable with just myself, how to build a relationship with myself, which, in my opinion, might be the most important romance of all.
But nonetheless, I still occasionally prayed for that unrealistic equivalent of a soulmate. Even just using that term sounds very drastic, but I’m not here to spew lies. I saw my parents, still married after many years and although having harder moments, I always knew they would be together. I knew it wasn’t easy, but I knew I wanted it.
I expected this year to just be another year of school, and I was very okay with that. I should know how easily plans change. Now I find myself in a relationship that makes me very happy. It provides me a whole new world of opportunities I wasn’t necessarily expecting. Just because I accepted the fact that conquering the world & doing my own thing is an option, but I still think life should be shared with somebody else. For companionship and support.
I’m grateful for the sheer concept of love. That love comes in so many different forms and places, and yet it enriches our lives so deeply. It doesn’t even have to be romantic. It doesn’t have to be a straight forward “I love you.” It’s putting thought into your interactions with others. It’s being vulnerable and open. It’s trusting others and putting your whole heart on the line.
Sometimes it hurts. People don’t reciprocate your feelings. They let you down. They act in ways that are just wrong. In those moments, love can be one of the worst things imaginable. We put our guards up to block emotions and think apathy is the safest way to live. Just because it helps us get by unharmed, are we truly living?
I am beyond grateful for the love that has entered and left my life because those moments that touched me and made me feel alive are too magical to not appreciate. I’m also grateful for the times that I did feel like I got the short end of the stick because they make me appreciate the love in the present moment. And the love surrounding me is indescribable. I created a life for myself that made me content, but love just enhances it further. An everyday moment can turn into a masterpiece.
Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic. That’s okay. Maybe I fall in too easily into situations and overthink things until I have my entire future planned out. That’s just my nature. But if in the end, I get to share a life with somebody I love, even if I can’t picture and plan it all out in my head, I know I will end up where I need to be.
And all the time I spent worrying and stressing over that I was falling behind or failing or unloveable, I now can see that every single one of us is worthy of love. It’s probably not love at first sight. It’s not like a romantic comedy. It’s not a beautifully written sonnet or constant smiling faces on a social media feed. Romance has so much underneath those surface-level ideals, which means it can look different for everyone. I think that’s what makes it so much better.
I thank my boyfriend right now for all that he has done for me. We’ve been together only coming on three months, but we would both tell you that it’s felt like forever. He is one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, strong, caring, goofy, and just wonderful people to have ever crossed my path. He challenges me and wants me to become a better person. We share very similar mentalities, yet we always learn from each other and end up starting drawn out conversations far after we say goodbye. Honestly, it’s my ideal situation. I will be grateful for any amount of time we’re able to share together.
Love is complicated. Relationships aren’t easy. But they are worth it. Every second.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie