Talking about love always feels like such a cliche.
Working with high schoolers, they tell me about their new loves and their old loves and the loves that they fear they may never have. And their whole lives up until now (and maybe even still now), people have been telling them that these loves don’t count. It’s just high school. You’re only fourteen.
None of this is real.
But I was reflecting on my own high school loves with a good friend this week and I remembered how real they were. I can still remember the heart-stopping panic I felt when the guy from my science class sent me a message on MySpace for the first time.
And I can still remember the heart-stopping panic I felt when he messaged me again a few weeks later telling me that he liked someone else.
All of those first meetings and all of those last talks are so real. Whether they last forever is irrelevant.
You don’t forget them.
We can’t pretend that love is linear.
That it just happens one day and that’s it.
We fall in love all the time.
That same friend and I talked about “sparks.”
Those flashbulb moments in time when that person walks in the room and the lights grow dim and The Smiths start playing loudly in your mind for only you to hear and you catch yourself holding your breath.
And maybe something happens after that.
But also…maybe that’s just it.
Because I believe life can be full of sparks.
With people, but also…just with life.
When you’re driving really late and you finally make it home, but you don’t want to get out of the car just yet because the song is really good.
Even just recently, I started reading this really fantastic book that just broke my heart when I finished it.
Not because it was sad, but because I was sad to see it go.
I didn’t want it to end.
I think the problem is when we start looking for them.
We grow anxious and start shifting around in our seats, wondering when the next event will happen.
We keep swiping right in hopes that maybe…just maybe the next one will give us that heart-stopping panic.
And there’s nothing wrong with that except for when we start putting these uncomfortable expectations on people to constantly give us sparks.
Or we tell people that they can’t possibly experience any sort of spark because they’re too young.
Or because it’s just a book. Just a song.
If you’ve watched Easy on Netflix then you know that love is weird.
No one knows what they’re doing.
The problem is that we think there are these hard and fast rules or guidelines that we all must follow.
Love must happen at a certain age.
And you must meet in a fantastic way.
And The Smiths must be playing.
But maybe none of that happens.
Maybe the two of you just sort of happen and none of it makes sense.
But you’re happy.
No one said you have to get out of the car as soon as you pull up to your house.
If the song is good then let it keep playing.
Because maybe the next one will be too.