So, finally, just got back from the theatre; went and watched The Fault in our Stars. I know what you’re thinking: you know what is coming next. A review of how the film — just like the novel — pulled at my heartstrings and made my gut wrench; about how it moved my soul and broke my heart; moved me to cry for most of the film, even bawl as I choked back sobs and sniffles, to the point that, thirty minutes later after returning home, my brother is like, “Dude, Nicole, I can tell you have been crying.” You expect that because that is how everyone has (and should have) reacted. And trust me, everything I wrote was true and I agree with.
But that isn’t what this post is about.
I read the book and jumped on the bandwagon once the movie was in production, at the recommendation from a friend who has a fantastic taste in novels. If she said this book was worth reading, then I knew I was in for a treat. That treat turned into starting the book at 11:30 at night and finishing it at 2:30 that morning, with a trip to the bathroom to clean myself up and counting myself lucky that I didn’t wake up my parents from sobbing. It was brilliant. It was beautiful.
Then, the film comes out in theatres and I know I am in for a roller-coaster. I push it off because I just don’t know if I am ready to go through the emotional trauma on screen that I already survived through words. But tonight, I finally caved. Now comes the emotional baggage.
I love this story. I love how, at the moment, I feel solemn. I feel contemplative. I feel like I need to burst into tears. I want to be held. I feel like I need to tell everyone that I love them and why they mean so much to me. But most of all, I feel validated.
That doesn’t make sense, I know. But what I mean is that I feel validated in my belief in what love is and my choices surrounding it; the belief that, in a sense, has lead me to still be alone after almost 22 years of life. The belief that has been the foundation of setting high standards for the man that will one day be the one who I give everything to.
I believe love is the most powerful force in the world. And I will never stop believing that. It is the purest form of emotion, the truest proof that magic exists in this harsh world. I believe that it is what you fight the hardest for and what gives you the most in return. I believe that it can conquer anything and all, and through love, all types of love, you experience the greatest happiness that one could ever feel. And in The Fault in our Stars, Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace experience the exact type of love that I believe is possible in this world, the type of unbreakable, awe-inspiring, gut-wrenching, butterfly-inducing, powerful love that I aspire to find and earn one day.
And it is because I believe in my core that this type of love is achievable that I am alone, because I believe that out of all the things you could chose to settle for, love cannot be one of them. Never.
Am I saying that I expect and will accept nothing less than Price Charming? No. Do I have a checklist that must be filled and completely checked off by a potential boyfriend before I give him the light of day? Absolutely not. Do I have things I want? Of course. Am I willing to compromise? Definitely, on some things. When I say that I am avoiding settling and keeping high standards, I don’t mean perfect. I don’t want perfection. I mean knowing yourself well enough to know the type of person you are and the type of person you want to be with; to know what is important to you and what you are willing to compromise on in a relationship and what not to; where to draw the line and when the line is too extreme. Having high standards is staying honest with everyone involved, recognizing what you want and going after it. Sometimes that means trying with dozens of different people, messing up and learning more about yourself with each broken heart. Sometimes that means waiting. And sometimes it means being alone. And lonely.
But do you know what else it means? It means finding that love that every person deserves to have; that love that every person is meant to have. It means not settling for things you know you don’t want, which hurts both you and the other person involved. It doesn’t mean that you’re settling “for less than you deserve.” I think we all deserve the highest amount of love we can achieve, and that love is different for every person. And in order to find that love, you have to know yourself and know what you want, which will also be different for everyone. And you have to be willing to go after it and not be afraid to say no when you know something is not want you want; doesn’t mean that person you turned down or didn’t “settle for” is any less of a person at all, just not the right person for you. But they will be the perfect person for someone else. Just as you will find that person.
Not gonna lie, I’ve been pretty lonely. I want to find that person I know is out there now. I don’t want to wait for him anymore. And I’ve had people tell me lately that “if I weren’t so picky, I would have found someone by now.” But I don’t believe I am being picky (and it’s not like I have guys lining up my door that I am turning down left and right, either; psh, hardly). I believe that I know myself well enough to know what I want. And I want to wait for a guy who will respect me like I respect myself, not be with a guy for the sake of being with one — no matter how lonely I get sometimes.
So people judge me for that. I accept it. And maybe, in some instances, they are right. But I also know that I am too stubborn to alter the standards I have and I firmly believe that they are acceptable, reasonable standards that anyone should have, and that they shouldn’t be changed in the first place. So I wait. And one day, I will love. And when I do, it will be a love so great, that every moment spent alone will feel like a dream of another lifetime; every moment wishing will be a memory that was worth it, because they also taught me exactly what I want and, in a weird way, gave me the strength to wait and pray for it. Because that is the type of love that is possible in this world, as shown through The Fault in Our Stars. (And yes, I know it is “just” a story, but I also believe that even the most fantastic stories are birthed with some traces of reality, drawn both consciously and unconsciously from our experiences, dreams, desires, ideas, etc.) A love that makes you feel infinite, that gives you a sense of forever, even when your days are numbered.
Because too many things in life are mediocre. Love should not be one of them.