By Tess, age 15, Florida
Love. What is it exactly? It seems that to everyone it is a different experience, a different feeling. Some run away from it, scared to death that true love might actually be real, while others wait forever to never really know what it means. Skeptics say love is just a delusion we all come to face, that the heart can only "love" for a year, and after that the chemical disappears and the feeling becomes moot.* But skeptics must be wrong. Love cannot just be a chemical imbalance; it is not something that one's body goes through every once in a while. To me, love is a powerful feeling, but I suppose the hardest thing about love is wondering if the feeling is real. Could love be triggered by a sunset, hiding inside the dark abyss they call ocean? Or could love only be triggered by something deeper, by the senses or by a slight touch of the skin? Is love triggered at all? Or does love just ... happen? I suppose I wonder too much. You could call me paranoid; you could call me deep. Whatever you want to call me, I still seem to wonder.
It was that bright summer day, mid-July or maybe mid-June, when I met him. His golden blonde hair was tossed messily under a hat, and his eyes shined a forest green. He extended his hand towards me, our eyes locking, my heart pounding. That's when I knew. Whatever rushed inside my body was something I had never felt before. This boy wasn't just some guy I was being introduced to. I knew from the moment I met him he was going to change my life. And he did, for the better and for the worse - for the better because I loved him, for the worse because he broke my heart.
Ten glorious months of sunsets, laughter, tears, and smiles - the tears were sparse until the end. I collapsed when he spoke those words, my heart fell apart, and I couldn't breathe. The mall food court I was standing in seemed to become my grave. I fell there and lost a piece of my heart that I'm not sure I've ever found again. In all those months of happiness it seemed that my tears had conquered me. After days of locking myself in my room and crying I could cry no more. Months of happiness and days of sorrow meant nothing. My heart was blackened, and in my mind there was no such thing as feelings. There was only nothingness. Don't get me wrong, I laughed and enjoyed my life. But I couldn't help but ache whenever I saw someone happy, someone in love. My heart couldn't help but jump at the sound of his voice or the sight of that golden blonde hair and those electric green eyes.
After almost a year of crying myself to sleep, I found my heart to be healing. The guys that I had lost in my years of nothingness became nothing to me, except his voice still echoed in the back of my mind. Could I ever find love again? That was the question I kept asking myself over and over. After weeks of blaming myself I came to the conclusion that something was wrong with me. It wasn't my fault, but there had to be something wrong with me. I was never pretty enough in my eyes, nor was I ever funny enough or sweet enough. I became someone I wasn't, someone who jumped at the chance to be loved. I slipped into an era of darkness, one that clouded my mind with dark and perverse thoughts. I wanted more than anything to be loved again, to feel the way I felt about my golden prince. And because I wanted anything, I seemed willing to do anything to even get someone to call me beautiful. It wasn't until I had been pulled out of this darkness that I realized how deep I had really fallen in.
Another week of crying myself to sleep followed, which brought more shame to my mind. Later on someone pointed out to me that love wasn't about tears, as I had forced myself to believe. Anyone who made me cry was never worth my tears. So my heart healed, leaving behind a few scars that still sting every once in a blue moon.
That still leaves me to wonder ... what is love? What is it about love that makes someone hurt uncontrollably? Do we make ourselves this way? Do we push ourselves to feel pain, to feel hurt, to feel unwanted? Or does nature come in and make us hurt? Is Mother Nature truly that cruel? Love is something I have never seemed to understand. Why is love not always mutual? Why must everyone want what they can't have and push away what they do have? Is this the flaw in human nature? Or is it the way love works? So many questions seem to swirl in my mind. They seem to never want to leave me alone. In the back of my mind I wonder. I'm always wondering.
I suppose I will never know the answers to these questions, not until I have developed more insight. I suppose that love will always confuse me, always tear me apart. I am just a girl who wonders far too much. I am just someone who loves and hurts. I am nothing special. I am just a girl.
I did not write this to bash the thought of love, nor did I write this to tell everyone my thoughts on love. I wrote this to give a glimpse of hope to anyone who is on their last string. Love is out there, no matter how much you don't want to believe it ... and no matter what, you are not alone. If you have been left with the scars of love, there is someone who has felt the same. Somewhere around the world there is someone crying for the same reason you are. Somewhere around the world there is someone falling in love and someone falling out of love. But no matter what happens, and no matter what you come to believe, love surrounds us all. Never be afraid to laugh, to cry, or to love. Give life your all, and all the good things will come rushing towards you. Don't give up like I did. Don't let the chance pass you by.
* Rone, Katherine. "Is Love Just a Chemical Reaction?" Essortment. 2002. 10 July 2008