Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
In 2012 my favourite artist, P!nk, released an entire album called ‘The Truth About Love.' While I was still kind of young to fully comprehend the deeper meaning behind each song, some of these truths deeply resonated with the illusions (and disillusions) I had already experienced at this point. I felt every word somewhere deep within me, and as the years have gone by - and so have a few more heartbreaks - I can still feel every word penetrate my soul.
See, no one tells you as you’re growing up that love is not as simple as a red-filled shape you learn how to draw in preschool. Everyone says that love is the ultimate antidote, the cure for all evil, the end-all-be-all of life. And, while I believe it might be so, the nuisances of love are much more complex than what every movie and song lead us to believe.
Love can take your breath away - its true, I've had it happen. I’ve fallen so hard for someone I literally have to turn the manual settings in my brain on because I forget how to breathe, how to move and how to articulate. But, love can also take your breath away when it leaves, when it hurts, when it can’t be… when it won’t be.
Love has a way of hurting like few things in life do, especially the type of love that shouldn’t be… the one your family and friends told you wasn’t for you, the one every article or blog suggested you stay away from, heck the one you knew - no matter how hard you tried to deny it - that wasn’t for you. That kind of love sucks because it hurts whether it stays or whether it goes.
The love that shouldn’t hurts because you know in your mind all the reasons why it’s wrong, you tell yourself every day, every hour, every minute why you should run away, when all you want to do is run towards.
It hurts because it pops up on your screen in the form of a simple text... a text you read and re-read (even though you’ve memorized it) to see if something else magically appears, to see if you can find the love you crave so much somewhere in between the lines.
It hurts because you make excuses for it as you abandon yourself little by little. You give parts of yourself you never thought you would. Yet, here you are, handing them over on a silver platter. You laugh about jokes you know you otherwise wouldn’t. You reshuffle your priorities and you take any scraps you can get.
It hurts because when you think you’ve finally convinced yourself it’s over, a wave hits, again, like a bullet. The tears flow and they don’t discriminate. They come whether you’re at home or at work. They’ll come whether you’re in public or alone. They’ll come during the day and during the night.
It hurts because you try to imagine scenarios in which it could work. You hold on to any slither of hope. You try to hold on to what could be. It hurts because, invariably, in every scenario, the one that ends up hurt is still you.
It hurts because you can’t demand things they haven’t promised. It hurts because you ask yourself what they do and who they’re with, but you can’t know, you won’t know, nor should you know.
But, above all, it hurts because they have no idea. They act like nothing’s wrong and you’re simply left to tag along. It hurts because no matter how many times you repeat your mantra, you know you won’t be able to resist their smile, their voice, their call. It hurts because you realize how it is not until they call or text that you release a breath you didn’t even know you were holding. It hurts because you'll resent them when they start living their life apart from you. You want to be there with them for every bit of it - the highs, the lows, the exceptional and the ordinary… but you can’t, and you won’t.
The ultimate pain comes from knowing that in loving them, you forgot to love yourself.