I fall in love often. It happens suddenly and I’m all in. And it’s not just with people. I fall in love with the way my coffee tastes, I fall in love with the way the air smells in the springtime, I fall in love with the first snowfall of winter. I fell in love once with the way a boy smelled and from then on when I smelled that same smell, I thought of him. And I thought of love. I didn’t even love him, at least not at the time, but that’s a story for another day. I fell in love with the feeling of love. Of admiration. Of romanticizing little mundane parts of my day. I think that’s partly how I got over my depression. I fell in love with constants in my life, like the way the sunrise woke me up every morning, or how the rain sounded inside a car while music played softly, or even my own quirks. That was when I learned to love myself, when I learned to love my quirks. The things that made me, me.
And being a writer throughout all this, I would write about falling in love and it was never about another person. It was falling in love with learning to love. It was falling in love with these little, mundane parts of my life that I knew would never leave. It was falling in love with being genuinely happy for the first time since I was twelve.
Sure, I’d fallen in love with people before. But it never felt as pure as falling in love with the way sitting under a tree and reading feels in the middle of summer. It never felt as hopeful as the first warm day of spring. And maybe I’m just saying this now because of what all my exes put me through, but doesn’t that just prove my point?
That my true happiness doesn’t come from another person, it comes from within me. And for so many years, I put all my self-worth into what my boyfriend thought of me and if we were happy and if I was in a relationship at all. And it was miserable. Life is about finding purpose, it’s about finding happiness through all that it throws at us, and I never felt that in a relationship. I always felt like I was drowning, or that I was fighting with some thing that would never see my way and it was miserable.
So, I took a step back and I thought about what makes me happy. Forests make me happy and the ocean and the way the early morning sun looks illuminating the grass in backyards. And I fell in love with all these little things, these constants that would never hurt me. And I realized I was terrified of being hurt and I thought to myself, “That’s a part of life and I know I’ll have to deal with it, but why? Why can’t I just be happy? Why do we have to feel pain, too?” but I knew the answer, I always knew the answer. It was because I had been hurt so many times that I could understand what it was like to truly be happy. It was because I had felt such brutal heartbreak that I could learn to love these little, mundane parts of life.
And then I fell in love with that fact, too.