I love love. Meghan and Harry’s wedding made me cry both times I watched it. I could recite the entirety of ‘Titanic’ word to word. My dream is for somebody to ‘Say Anything’ me by showing up below my window blasting our song on a boombox. Every new crush, every new somebody, gives the same rush of endorphins as running a really fast mile. I have journals whose pages are filled with love letters addressed to my first crush; the first ever person to break my heart, the biggest “What If?”, the one I never told about my feelings.
Since my teenage years, I have always had something going on in my love life. Anything ranging from a little crush to a bigger life-ruining one, to a casual relationship, to a committed one – my heart has never been given the chance to stay still. I am by no means a serial monogamist or have a long history of serious relationships, but every stage of love, at this point, feels more familiar than anything else.
A while back, I was watching a film in which the protagonist was going through the worst breakup, and I could feel all the pain the character was experiencing as if my heart was aching through muscle memory. I caught myself wondering if heartbreak was worth all the pain; I nearly felt prideful that I had managed to forcefully power through my worst heartbreaks with a brave face.
That is when I realised that for the last half of a decade I had been compulsively moving from person to person. Every time a crush began to fade, or a relationship crumbled, I had begun to look for something else, that new someone, as fast as I possibly could. Even if I was devastated, the thought of being without a butterflies-in-stomach inducing somebody was scarier than anything else. My heart erroneously likened having “nothing going on” to having nobody.
I realised that I am a love-obsessed girl who is thoroughly and fundamentally afraid of love.
In the past years, I determinedly moved from one person to the next meant that in the process, managing to successfully avoid my fear of actually loving and letting myself be loved, but I also completely shut people out. The occasions in which I have actually told somebody about my feelings are rarer than meteors hitting the Earth (according to Google, the likelihood of this happening is 1 in 300,000 which sounds about right in my case too.) It is so much easier to deny somebody who ever meant something to you and just keep on living, keep moving on, than face it and admit to yourself that somebody managed to get under your skin and hurt you.
Fact of life: I may be very young but the one thing I know for sure is that none of us will get through this without getting our hearts broken in one way or another. All we want, as humans, is to love and be loved in return, and getting hurt is, sadly, an inevitable part of the process. It’s only when you begin to mend, that you will grow.
That is why I decided to write this piece. They tell you to write what you know; this is what I know. I know that human beings are complex and paradoxical, and this here is my contradiction. I love love, yet I am fundamentally afraid of it. The question is, where do I go from here?
I am slowly trying to learn how to see everything in a new light. Seeing every past pain and hurt as something that has given, rather than taken from me. Appreciating every crush and relationship for what they were. Embracing the memories and moments; the heated, the happy, and the horrible. Instead of viewing endings as failures, I am trying to see them for what they really are; unique points in time which fit perfectly in the messy, mismatched mosaic of moments that is life.
I am a Love Junkie, and I always will be. Weddings, love songs, and rom-coms will never not make me cry. I will keep writing those love letters in my diary, and I will never stop dancing to Taylor Swift’s greatest hits alone in my room. But I will also try to learn to live with the discomfort of knowing that heartbreak is inevitable in life and I will greet it more readily once it happens. Instead of attempting to escape it with other people, I will let it wash over me. After all, while the true meaning of life is still unknown to all of us, I will bet my life that it’s not avoiding everything bad, but rather, accepting and celebrating its ability to be wonderful, terrible, mundane, and magical – all at the same time.