Tag Archives: Love

Searching for Infinity

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.




It Gets Better

We accept the love we think we deserve.

Perks of Being a Wallflower. Great film. Haven’t read the book yet, but I plan to. But that line, first delivered by Charlie’s teacher, portrayed by Paul Rudd, and later repeated by Charlie to Emma Watson’s character, Sam, made such an impact on me. Those eight words are so simple yet are so intricate and challenging, it is crazy. But not as crazy as how much it rings true.

People are caught up in bad or negative relationships all the time. We see it every day. People are abused — physically, sexually, mentally — by those who claim to love them, and who they claim they love in return. You get caught up wondering why anyone would endure some of the horrors that people caught in these relationships experience, but taking this quote into perspective, it reflects a sad reality. People are constantly lowering their standards and going through sad situations, not only because they believe they can’t get out of it or making a wide range of excuses, but because they believe they don’t deserve any better.

Unfortunately, I’m often stuck with the crowd on this one.

I have never been in a relationship. I turn 21 this year. All throughout high school, I believed it was because I wasn’t good enough for anyone. That I didn’t deserve the love that I so badly wanted to feel, the love I dreamed about since I was old enough to read fairy tales, recreating them in my head with dozens of  intensified scenarios that only a writer could dream up. As I got older, I still sat on the sidelines. I sat and watched, as friend after friend found a love so magical, rainbows appeared in the sky as unicorns sprouted out of the ground. And without every having a phrase for it, I silently accepted my fate.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

And I believed I didn’t deserve any.

But, eventually, I got over my self-loathing and told myself that I was wrong; that love is something everyone deserves. And I truly believe that. I believe that love is one of the most powerful things a person can feel, for anything or anyone. To experience love for another person is huge and it can overcome or overpower anything. I believe in this idea so much, that my second tattoo is of the Latin phrase “Omnia Vincit Amor” or, in English, Love Conquers All. And I will forever believe that. I adopted that Latin phrase as a motto, of sorts, after I got out of high school, as I strove to get off the path of self-hatred, low self-esteem weighing down my every step. Every since I graduated, almost two years ago, I have worked on trying to love myself: who I am, what I believe, where I come from, who I want to be, even what I look like (though that has been the hardest battle). I think if I learn to love myself and who I am, then others can love me because who I really am will be able to shine through, without the shadow of doubt and secret, silent hatred hazing my image. And I think I have been pretty successful in completing that goal. I am definitely off the path I was traveling down in high school and I thank God every day for that fact.

But, inevitably, every year around February 14th, I find myself yearning to go back onto that path. Valentine’s Day — or Single Awareness Day, as I like to refer it to — is my least favorite holiday because it is like a giant, flashing neon sign alerting to the whole world that I am alone on the day that is meant to be shared with the one that owns your heart. And every year, I find myself sitting at home alone, eating more chocolate than I have all year while bawling my eyes out to some overplayed romance movie, so I can at least pretend I am crying about the narrative on screen. This year, I think I’ll watch Titanic. And I try to stay optimistic throughout the day, but it becomes hard as literally every step I take, I can see signs and gifts that remind me of my forever alone status. But, after I endure a nice bawling session and the week goes on, I go back to being my positive self, not half as bothered about being alone as I was only a few days before. It is a sad cycle, but one that I seem to repeat and I doubt will end this year. But, I no longer believe that I don’t deserve love, like I used to.

And neither should you.

If anyone reads this, I know some of you may not be in the best place in your relationships. Maybe they hurt you, in ways that no one should ever be hurt. Or maybe you are in the same boat as me, wishing you weren’t alone.

But I want every single person who reads this to know one solid truth: You deserve more than you give yourself credit for. Now, I’m not saying that your relationship should be perfect. I’m not saying that you should be treated like royalty, showered with gifts by the most perfect creation known to man. One of the awesome things about relationships is the struggles it endures and conquers, and how much stronger it becomes because of it.

What I am saying is that love is such a powerful thing. Love has the power to do so much and it is one of the greatest things you will EVER experience in your life: to love and be loved in return. Love is one of the most magical things we have. Why would you allow yourself to half-ass something that has the potential to be so amazing, so brilliant, so powerful, so challenging, so magical? You shouldn’t settle for someone who you know is wrong for you or for someone who treats you badly just because you think you don’t deserve any better, or because you’re afraid of never finding anything better. Life is a grand gift that no one should waste and love is one of the most precious things we are blessed to experience in the short time that we have. Don’t waste it.

So if you love someone, tell them. If you have someone that loves you, appreciate them. If you are single, love the brilliant person you are. Being alone is not a negative thing, though it is often considered in a negative light. Being alone allows you the freedom to discover yourself and who you are. Don’t take that for granted. And you never know who will be waiting in your future. Be ready for them by already loving yourself, so you can love them later on without worrying about you. If you are in a bad situation, do not be afraid to get out of it. Because there is a way out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And stop belittling yourself. Love is too powerful an emotion and experience to short-change in your life. Don’t forget that.

We accept the love we think we deserve. And we deserve more than we give ourselves credit for.