What is love?

Image result for love before sunrise

Love was meant to be

Starry nights and making wishes.

Candlight and silly pictures.

It was meant to be a free fall,

a thrill chase,

it was something else entirely.

Fun drinking game: take a shot every time I use the word ‘love’ in this post, you may not be able to stand, let alone love, you’ve been warned.

Can you really trust your mind?

Can I really trust mine?

They say every time you remember something, your memory of the event slightly shifts.

Our realities are completely shaped by our pasts.

All of our experiences are unique, shaped by our own thoughts, memories, and mind. Two people’s recollection of the same event can’t be identical so how can two people’s idea of a feeling? A feeling like love.

Everyone has a unique idea of what love is, shaped by their own lives so everyone likely feels it differently. Some more strongly than others, some find it to be more important than others.

It’s my single favorite thing to write about. I think I’ve written more stories about people in love than I have any other subject. I never get tired of them because I don’t think two love stories can be the same, I think each time two humans fall in love, it’s genuinely unique.

What an interesting concept, what is love?

Today I was watching Mohabettein, an old Indian movie about three guys falling in love in three different ways. In one movie, there’s a few different love stories and each unique to the characters.

How many movies, shows, books do we read about love? What is it about love that has artists including myself obsessed. Is it the very fact that despite being an overpowering, beautiful emotion, it’s nearly impossible to put into words? There’s paintings, poems, and songs and yet when I ask people around me what love is, it’s the hardest question to answer.

Each time someone falls in love, I like to think it’s a unique experience. Shaped by the personalities of the two people, their timeline, their surroundings, and their own memories. If we all have a different recollection of the same event, how can we have the same idea of love? That’s why I find it absurd when society tries to fit love into a timeline as if it were a television network schedule or a college course sequence.

There’s people who swear they believe in love at first sight while others don’t fall in love until after they’ve been married. Everyone is working on their own timelines chasing a concept we’re completely unable to define.

Love is a fundamental part of human nature that we see in movies, books, and all kinds of arts. It transcends time and language, as prevalent as stories of revenge and anger, emotions no one questions. We can find love stories from centuries ago in hundreds of different languages, and yet to a certain degree each remains unique. If love is really that conceptual and versatile, how can we define it? How can we draw lines to explain it?

On the same note, how can we not believe in it?

I distinctly remember sitting under the stars one night with my cousin, I turned to her and asked “do you believe in love?” She wasn’t sure. I’ve never understood that, for as long as I can remember I’ve believed in love. I have no idea why but I’ve always believed in love. A naïve sort of belief that had many opportunities to be shattered and will likely be tested as my life goes on but something I’ve always believed in.

But what is it that I’m believing in, what is love?

“Love is realizing that you’d endure the weight of the world to see someone else happy”

That’s a sentence I found in my notes, written a while back. Maybe that’s how I’ve always been, ready to give everything to those I love. To a certain degree, I think love is selflessness. It’s finding happiness in someone else’s happiness. It’s willing to make sacrifices to see the other person smile, whether it’s something small like letting someone win an argument or something much bigger.

When I talk to my mom, she feels like love is a risk and she’s right. She feels like investing so much in someone is ridiculous unless there is a sense of security. Probably a sentiment shared by brown mothers everywhere. She doesn’t understand why I’m so willing to give someone the ability to take my heart and crush it into a million pieces. She believes it’s good to keep people at an arms length because the more invested you get, the more you love, the more it’ll hurt if it ends.

Naturally, I disagree with my mother.

I feel that if I take time out of my life for someone, I have to be all in. Maybe it’s the way I’m built, to be blasé or to be completely invested. But life is boring if left in blasé. I want to feel everything, I don’t want any mediocre experiences. I want every moment to be extraordinary, from love to relationships to heartbreak. I want to experience each fully and allow it to build me.

Feeling is what makes us human. Feeling is what makes us alive.

I feel like if it hurts I know my time was well spent.

If it wasn’t a good experience, it was still a good learning opportunity.

I know I can pick my broken pieces back up, maybe not easily as some but I can heal. Some people have the ability to move on so quickly but for people like me, it’s harder. The less people you invest yourself into, the more it hurts when they leave. I don’t think you can be the same after picking up those pieces but you can be better, you can be smarter. You can use it to learn about yourself and what to do right going forward.

That being said, pain is pain and it hurts.

By giving someone the power to cause you that pain, you’re putting a kind of faith in them that’s not easy. When you’re all in, you’re having faith in something that could tear you apart and you’re just believing that it won’t. All this makes me believe that love is faith.

I asked a certain someone what they believed love was and their answer was really interesting. They said love was a bed that wraps you up after a tired day. I laughed a little and naturally asked for an elaboration. They said it was a comfortable feeling, the ability to be yourself, the ability to break down all your walls and be you.

This struck me as beautiful in the strangest way, just being completely comfortable with someone. Maybe that’s the simplest way to describe love.

Maybe love is lying with someone, or sitting against someone, completely secure. Maybe love is aimlessly touching someone or perhaps absentmindedly wanting them closer. Maybe love is that security and comfort.

That comfort that allows to forego the personal space bubble and lie with someone else. The comfort that allows us to say whatever dumb thing our brain wants without worry. The comfort we find with our best friends and our family.

Maybe love is finding a best friend in a partner. Someone you can look forward to talking about your day with, someone supportive, someone you can laugh with, someone who understands. The kind of comfort you have with your best friends found within a romantic interest.

Or maybe love is understanding. Maybe love is a simple “getting it” when someone talks. I always talk about finding people you vibe with and maybe love is finding someone you vibe with and developing that into a deeper understanding.

Beyond anything though, I think love is believing in the connection between two people. I think love might be all the things I talked about, comfort, faith, risk, sacrifice, hope. All of that and more. It’s an experience, the kind of experience that makes life worth living. An experience everyone should feel at some point and try to understand.

If not in a significant other, what makes us love our families and out friends. Is it the shared memories? Is it a connection beyond that? What the hell is this feeling and despite feeling like I’m surrounded by it in all these different forms, why am I so unable to put it into words?

Maybe love is driving half an hour at two in the morning to see someone’s face. Maybe it’s getting reminders of them throughout the day, remembering them when you see a bumper sticker they’ll like or finding bits of them in movies and songs. Maybe it’s sending your best memes to them or maybe it’s smiling when you say their name or finding your cheeks tinted pink by the simple thought of them. It could be all of that or none of that. It could be darker or it could be easy. It could be anything but I find it’s undeniably beautiful in every form.

Last year, I wrote a blog post also about love. I talked about a Netflix movie I had watched. In this slightly subpar romantic comedy, this guy tells the story of two lovers who spend a lifetime trying to get together but they realize in order to stay together, they have to give up everything they know and spend the rest of their life on a boat. Then the narrator asks this, “If you have to give up everything else and spend the rest of your days on a boat, who are the must haves, the ones you can’t live without?”

In the most dramatic fashion, those that we’d take on our boat might be the ones we love. I wrote that last year and I still believe it.

Like I said, I made a blog post last year about love and maybe I’ll make one again next year. I feel like I’ll spend my entire life trying to put this feeling into words like so many writers before me.

I try to channel a little bit of love into everything I do. I can’t imagine it any other way. Every piece on this blog to every conversation. I try to make that my mantra of sorts, I may not be able to describe this feeling but I can channel the positivity it brings me. I spend my life feeling like I’m surrounded by love, trying to give it back in little pieces.

As I said a year ago, I’m a romantic and I love it. Even if I may not be able to explain it.

Image result for love before sunrise

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