This Thing Called Love: What Does It Mean?
For as long as I can remember, the definition of love has always been lost on me. I have come to realize that love’s ability to be subjective is what makes it so difficult to detect. Personally, when I think of love, I think of the old-school Black movies set in the 90s with the unrealistic plot of best friends or neighbors– yes, Love & Basketball, I’m talking about you– where no matter what happens in the hour and 30-ish minutes of the movie, the main characters still end up together and happily married. Now, imagine my surprise when real life is the total opposite and completely differs. To be different is never a bad thing, but I’d like to think that the disappointment that results from that difference is warranted. I think it’s warranted because here I am, expecting that in my lifetime, someone will be outside my house with a boombox late in the night, just because. THAT, is what I think of when I think of love. Love is a just because, in spite of, kind of emotion. It requires someone sharing all that they are and all that they have, hoping that the person on the receiving end of it, acknowledges the intention of that vulnerability. In some cases, the receiver appreciates that vulnerability and in some cases, they don’t. Now, what does that mean?
Is the idea of love dependent on someone else, other than the person who is willing to give the love, receiving it? Is love something that requires another person to be on the other side? To that question, I do not have the answer. Instead, I think about how self-love exists and how no one needs to be on the other end of that for that love to be felt. Self love is essential. Self love is the basis of growth. But what about other types of love? It is very possible to love yourself and have the room and compassion to love someone else. I would argue that love is an act of selflessness. Love is an intentional choice, because it’s an unprovoked emotion. Love is this uncontrolled, impromptu, and semi-annoying feeling that you feel one day until it is no longer felt. Love is so frustrating because love is in almost every single thing we do. Yet, it is the most sought after and attainable thing available.
Love, to me, is simultaneously everything and nothing. Love can be the determining factor in a lot of decisions. Love can be a sigh of relief. Love can also be insufficient. Love, solely, cannot always be enough. This is why, love is arguably one of the scariest things to feel. Maybe we are all emotional masochists for wanting to experience and feel love in its purest form. We could also just be ignorant optimists. Either way, it’ll find you one way or another.