ASU Attempts: Journaling About Love for a Week

I’m uncomfortable with a lot of things. Bowling, hugs, awkward pauses, people that only say nice things, and well, the list can go on for a little too long. It’s probably a bit worrisome but because of it all, I’ve become very good at avoiding things that make me uncomfortable.

But then there’s love. With the rom-coms, the hormones, and the awful awful dating apps, it’s nauseating—at least for moi. For some reason I always feel weird around lovey-dovey couples with their loud kisses and touching, god, the touching. Even hugs from friends leave me feeling awkward but not in the “stay away from me!” way, just in a way that leaves me feeling...uncomfortable. It’s weird honestly, and I can’t really name it good or bad because it could just be the awkwardness in me or some feeling my one brain cell can’t figure out. For all I know, I could actually like this love stuff if I gave it a chance but it’s me so, of course I won’t. I’ve learned to sort of roll with it because well what else am I going to do?

a hand holds a pen writing on sheets of paper on a wooden desk. there's a coffee cup and a notebook in front of it. Free-Photos | Pixabay Journal about love for a week, even though I’m totally clueless about literally everything? Apparently—yes. Let me explain.

For seven days, I had to jot down any love-related thoughts on paper whether it was confusion, random questions, or crazy realizations, it all had to go down at least once every day. Surprisingly (not really, I’m a writing nerd) I wrote quite a bit throughout the time period. At one point, I got to two pages because one, I’m a rambler, and two, I was questioning myself so much that even my questions had questions.

I’ll be honest, at first, I thought it was sort of-kind of-definitely ridiculous. I mean, writing about love? From the girl who last year barely learned hugging her siblings isn’t actually so bad? I just thought most of the writing would be me randomly pointing at something as love and calling it a day...and it kind of was. BUT... I learned something.

I did have a lot of moments when I would stare at the wall and think, what the heck, or stare at something and hoped it would be all the answers to love or at least resemble something like that. I ended up asking A LOT about love when I was working or when I was around friends because well...I was really desperate to write down anything at that point, even if it meant random love rants about their exes. Did I ever end up with an official answer? No. And yes.

Love neon sign Shaira Dela Peña on Unsplash I learned that love is the wave of a smiling stranger. It’s the angry call of a worried mother and the bright eyes of someone who’s talking about their favorite song. It’s the sweaty palms and frazzled nerves every time that one person you can’t help but think about laughs at your jokes. It’s even the girl who doesn’t like hugs but takes every one that’s headed her way.

That’s the thing about writing about something—you pay more attention to it. Suddenly, you see it everywhere and your tongue refuses to stop asking what everyone else thinks about it. So I guess avoiding love isn’t really much of a thing. It’s everywhere, if you look hard enough. There’s the small little loves, the medium ones that are just a tad bit more noticeable, and of course the huge ones that take all the credit. But liking someone and talking about a passion is its own love. A worried parent is definitely caring at its best and a smiling stranger waving back can feel pretty good. In all those, someone felt like they mattered whether it was you or not.

Maybe that’s love at its core or maybe it’s a thousand other possibilities that I probably wrote half of during the week. Either way, it’s there. It’s a damn rollercoaster in our life and we all eventually have to hop on it. That’s actually what made me realize the most important lesson of all, both terrifying and unsurprisingly true—you gotta live it to learn it. Love is no different. You won’t know whether a rollercoaster was worth it until you take it for a ride.