Where is love? There’s no such a thing. Or certainly not in the form it should be. How do I know? Oh, I saw it, on TV, on the big screen, I read about it in all of those books. All those roses, subtle kisses, happy endings. Perfect princesses finding perfect princes. First looks, strong passions, everything looked like a picture from the life without any grey days. I was looking for you, thinking that you’re exactly as perfect as they say you will be, I was looking at school, on a bus and in the cafés, desperately catching the eyes of random passers-by. I had no idea who you were, yet I was getting sick from missing you every single day. I needed you so much that I imagined you. From scratch. I built you from the crumbs of the universe, you were perfect, exactly how I wanted you to be – with a beautiful soul, big heart and wide arms I could always hide in. And that’s how you lasted, no face, no name, quiet and miserable, you were my fragile lover. We looked good only on paper.
Yet I believed so much in you, I couldn’t see anyone else loving me then.
Love makes us blind, especially the one that we long for desperately and there are things that we don’t notice then, even if they lie right under our noses. We walk the same street for five years and one day we’re so surprised to see the blue house here, or these small flowers on the balcony of the neighbourhood lady there. You, the idea of you, made me this blind as well. I had been living in this helpless loneliness for so long because all of my favourite fairy tales were telling me that I need you, the impossible lover, to finally feel full again. So I started throwing myself in each arms that I found open, randomly checking if maybe those are the eyes that you decided to hide in. I was ignoring the red flags, dancing on the burning bridges, letting others hurt me in hope that this is the price to pay for finally getting what I have been always longing for.
Now I know that it has been one of the first lessons that Love wanted to teach me – sometimes we fall in love with the wrong people. Those who make our souls hurt, our eyes smart, our trust and faith disappear. Apparently, some relationships are here to show us what we are actually not looking for in love. And they are as important as much they hurt.
Now I also know that while I was searching for you so desperately, Love has been continuously and with awe-inspiring stubbornness appearing in my life. I wasn’t really noticing her as she was coming in different forms, the ones I have never thought about. For example, she was waking me up in the morning, jumping here and there, hugging me way too tight for this time of the day. She has somehow managed to prove that two such different creatures as me and my sister, were supporting each other in their differences and talking without any words.
And so you taught me then, my dear Love, that sometimes noncomplementary parts can come together and build a chaotically beautiful whole.
And so when I was chasing you so restlessly, I started experiencing feelings no one has ever been talking about when I was young. We brainwashed ourselves into celebrating the romantic, extremely passionate kind of love, placing it on a pedestal of all of the human feelings and then we’re surprised with the general dissatisfaction of our society. And here comes the surprise! Suddenly you realise how the world really works and how many forms loving can take. That you can love someone as a friend and how hard and beautiful that love is. That you can feel intimate without any touch. You can enjoy the touch that is not backed up with romantic love. You can love despite the distance, despite the age, despite any illness. You can love no matter the sex, the skin colour, the things you believe in or not. You can hold your friend’s hand and have crazy holidays with someone who’s not your “second half” or spend a romantic evening just with yourself (and loving oneself is not an easy thing at all nowadays). You can do it all, together or separately. And you can feel really good without your ‘significant other’ stuff.
Maybe if I understood it earlier – that You are not the only one who can make me happy – life would be easier to live?
I’m not saying that You don’t exist. It’s just that I realised that I was looking for you in a wrong way because why would I want a Hollywood-style love if its magic is lost once the screen is turned off? Now I know that I don’t want you to be flawless. I want to know which song calmed you down when life felt unbearable that one Sunday night. Tell me what is going on in your mind when you can’t sleep at 4 AM. Let me sing you to sleep in which you will no longer dream your nightmares. Who knows, maybe your demons will get along with mine? Because all of the souls are broken somehow after all.
Give me this dangerous type of love which begins with the head, with talks, with us exchanging thoughts. Don’t take off my clothes. Take off my sorrows, strip me of my anger, touch my soul instead of my skin. Leave behind everything that you learnt about love from Disney at a young age. There are no happy endings and no one smiles constantly, so I want to cry with you and work together for whatever good can happen to us tomorrow. Love is an operation on an open heart. Will you find the courage to take this risk with me?
Now I know that everything that Love has taught me so far, has taught me so that I could love you, just the way you are.
Love? There is some love in this world, maybe even a bit more. Maybe not always of the kind that I want but definitely in the form that I need. It’s complicated and complex, colourful and dynamic, but beautiful and graceful when it dances in the chaos. And all of my love failures have taught me to be patient. That’s why now I will wait, because I know there’s no point in running into it carelessly and without thinking. Love comes slowly so in the meantime I will learn to appreciate its other forms because no matter what the world tells us, it’s impossible to satisfy a soul with just one kind of love. You have to look carefully, search for it, care for it and fight for it endlessly. Sometimes voluntarily give up a part of yourself so that you make some space for another person. And although it sounds a bit scary, love will return a favour. And no matter what they say, there is no better deal you can make with the universe.