2018 has been nothing short of pivotal; it brought me to 25 and all its cliche of a quarter life crisis. I’ve been redefining what “love” means to me, finding and losing bits of it in people/places/things until I realized I had to build myself up. I’ve been staring stress directly in the eye, at times having to close my own because I just got tired.
In this very taxing time, I’ve solidified a few friendships. During a routine evening chat with one of my closest friends, I found myself hitting rock bottom. Sitting in all of the things that torment you is one thing, I’m most comfortable battling my demons alone, but speaking them aloud is another.
At the time I found myself attached to a person, or an emotion, honestly, whose timing was both serendipitous and a necessity. It was a quick buildup, but the breakdown took far too long. I was left with a lot to sort out on my own–and hardly any feelings of resentment or hatred existed. We split for very valid reasons.
In my 25 years alive, I’ve only really felt that deeply for someone, on a romantic level, once. Having to pull myself away from that wasn’t easy, and acknowledging the psychological effects that came with it made me want to do things differently. But sometimes things just don’t work out, no matter how much you want them to.
In my 25 years alive, I’ve only really felt heartbreak that deeply from someone, on a romantic level, once. Being back in the same place you’ve made solemn oaths to yourself to never return to feels like a loss. A hard fucking pill to swallow.
Anyway, back to the routine chat. My friend Jose has a way of speaking in stanzas at times. And I listen, because the most beautifully packaged words are often the most honest. Rationalizing the way we view love and how we apply it, he said probably the most brilliant thing to me to date. He says a lot of brilliant things.
LEARN TO LOVE,
AND LEARN TO NOT LOVE,
AND LEARN TO LOVE DESPITE,
AND LEARN TO LOVE BECAUSE.
Almost instantaneously, something clicked. I’d spent a lot of my time feeling misunderstood in relationships, platonic, familial and romantic. It’s only in hindsight do I ever realize how I could’ve probably done things differently to avoid feeling misunderstood. Though sometimes that is the case, and discerning whether or not you’re alone in a connection is important, we really have no choice but to move with life’s ebbs and flows.
I’m in love with serif fonts, like the ones used in editorial. It carries the gravitas of a serious writer, something I’m practicing to become. I love the intricacies and nuances, similarities and differences of each letter, as if to be straight out of a handwritten journal. The ampersand (&) substitution for the word “and” came from my connection to GLAAD and its LGBTQ advocacy work in the media, and the Together Movement.
I’m trying to embody love in its most helpful and honest sense not just through my love life, but my whole life. I’m beginning to understand that even with the run-ins, the heartbreaks, the separations, a lot of us are still misunderstood. For some reason, knowing that prevents me from holding any grudges, and creates a lot more space for positive things to keep for myself and share with those around me. If I can move through my life this way, I’ll always be okay.
We’re all just trying to figure this shit out.