The essence of written words and former feelings have the astounding ability to wash waves of nostalgia through your body. Depending on the day, these waves will make you sink or swim - consuming you or cleansing you. Feelings are fluid. Time changes things.
I think it's safe to say that February 14th is a daunting day for the general population. Yet, despite the dread frequently associated with Valentine's, I find the evoked emotions to be perfectly nostalgic. For a measly 24 hours, you're forced confront, if not for a just moment, the thought of your past, present, and future great loves -and perhaps your relationship with your greatest love: yourself.
I've been scribbling notes on life, love, and loss for as long as I can remember. Looking through the pages of old journals has the ability to transport me not only through time but into past perspectives - into former selves. Here, I've condensed for you a decade's worth of journal entries to find my most fascinating notes on love.
May you find the beauty in how you feel today, no matter the madness, despite the depression, or enjoying the euphoria - for tomorrow will be different - you should find beauty in that, too.
Crushing a Crush
A Bonus circa 2003, Written in Yellow Gel Pen in a Journal labeled "My Secret Diary"
I can't believe I liked the kid from Terminator. He's sooooo ugly now.
Finding Love By Giving Love
A Weekend in Ohio, Circa 2016
There's beauty in the diversity of how humans love. Live off of the idea of giving away as much love as you can without expecting anything in return. I see my grandma's memory loss, I see insecure strangers, I see the current state of my love life - or a lack there of. We're all just looking for love, aren't we?
But to love with conditions is to be resentful unconditionally. You cannot rely on receiving love in the same manner by which you give it. Love the way that feels right and embrace the endless manners by which people will love you back. In "it's cold out, don't forget your jacket." In "I got an extra order of fries for you." In "Hey, I know it has been awhile. I've been thinking of you." Listen for love. Find the affection in actions. You'll start seeing it everywhere.
Circa 2011, Written alongside a crisply folded letter thrown between the pages.
We all have letters that we'll never have the strength to send.
The Moth's Infatuation with the Light
Stir crazy in Connecticut, Circa 2014
We can be so desperate for love that the first shiny thing we see - the first thing to give us a gleam of hope - lures is in, however blindly. We reach out to touch the thing that sparkles, however irrational. It's human nature to go blind when staring into a light for too long.
Only when we become the object of infatuation do we begin to question the shallowness of our shine and the depth of their desire. It's only when we become that light that we can illuminate everything, at last seeing clearly.
Twentysomething dating exhaustion, Circa 2015
Dating makes me wanna puke.
The Thirst for Love
Somewhere in Sevilla, 2013
To be loved: an elementary, but lifelong human goal. Beyond just a goal really: a parched thirst, a yearning, a biological need. This need is not dampened to those whom have never had it but rather strengthen - the treat that is always just out of grasp. But for those who have had and lost, it is a drug hunt by an addict looking for a fix. The need to feel high, to feel complete.
The War Within
Circa Summer 2014, Recent-grad
I'm a pendulum swinging between comfort and curiosity. I'm at an unbalanced desire between a need for stability and a want for the unknown. There is something so tempting in new faces, new places.
A Note to Anyone You've Ever Loved, Circa 2014
"I miss you." It's as simple and complex as that.
Circa Spring 2016
There's almost something poetically beautiful in 'losing' someone. For you feel a gaping hole that was previously non-existent. A hole in the place where they used to live. But before them, that hole was simply uninhabited terrain. You made a space in your heart that had already felt whole.
It would seem there truly is no limit on how much the human heart can love.
All It Takes is One
Introduction to Senior Year, circa 2013
One person. One measly person whom you'd once never known existed. You walked different paths, lived separate lives, yet suddenly - shockingly - your lives are intertwined and comfortable and you forget how you survived before them.
But now every waking moment is consumed by the thought of them, hell, every slumbering moment is just the same. All you need now is a second of silence to remember who you were before them.
I think that's what's so terrifying about love - you have to fully surrender control to feel its force.
A Rotting Foundation
Other peoples' lives, other peoples' lies, circa 2014
With enough time, anywhere can feel like home. A dirty place. A poisonous relationship. An unhappy life. It grows to become your very own version of normal. It's not until you break free that you realize that that safety blanket was filthy.
Circa August 2016
One day, when you're least expecting it, the person you've been wanting, wishing, waiting for will walk into your world and flip everything upside down. Waiting for a doctor's appointment, waiting in a grocery line, waiting to get the bartender's attention. Whenever it is that they do arrive, you'll stop and think - damn, was the waiting worth it.
The Anti-Rom Com
Barely eighteen, Circa 2010
How can someone that loves you not want to be with you? It's certainly not the standard love story - but, boy is it certainly more suiting to the real world.
Say What You Feel
A Moment of Frustration, Chicago, Circa Summer 2013
Stand by your word. Tell people when you love them, miss them, need them. And then prove it. But don't you dare spit out those feelings until you are ready to back them up with something real. If all you have are words then shut your mouth and bottle those emotions until they drown - don't drag someone down into the depths with you.
Open your heart. Open your mind. Stop looking as vulnerability as a flaw, as a weakness. Every human soul has something to discover. Put in the time to find it and discover something about yourself along the way. You can only grow when you explore someone else's roots. No more expectations. Live by each moment, each experience, each feeling. Welcome the rawness without requiring anything in return.