This Time, I Choose Love
My short, young life has already been fraught with plenty of heartaches. From the time I moved in with a boy I did not love to multiple attempts at trying to work it out with exes, one thing remained the same: I always ended up walking away. I was addicted to the thrills, the drama, the pain. I used to not appreciate what I had; I was always looking for the next best thing. And that is no way to live.
During those days, I thought I needed to choose myself. And I still believe that those were the right decisions to make. This time though, everything is different. This time, with him, I choose love. Because in choosing love, I do choose myself.
I am a free spirit, born to roam with a wandering soul. When I first started dating, I was addicted to leaving. I used to yearn for things and people that were not meant for me. One of the top rules of dating is not falling for people who do not want you back, and I broke that rule a few too many times.
I am just now, in my mid-twenties, starting to learn that I can be free yet still have love. That I can live my own life but have love with it-I always thought one day that I would have to choose. That I would have to give up my freedom and independent spirit if I wanted to truly experience love. But now I believe that is not true.
I did not know love could be gentle and kind; it could be fierce and wild, it could be freeing and grounding all at the same time. I did not know love meant I could be my truest self and that it would not fade away, that it would not leave. I did not know that love meant that he would stay.
Choose love. Always. Over your “independence,” over being right, over your ego, over your pride. Love is the only thing in this life that matters. Love and your memories are the only things you can take with you when you leave.
Choose love when it comes to friends, family, any close relationship, really. Operating from a place of love and kindness is the most courageous thing one can do, in my opinion. Humans are social creatures. We are not meant to be lonely. We need human interaction, good friendships, and loving relationships to not only survive but to thrive. Note: this does not apply to abusive or toxic relationships.
But choosing love is hard. The easier path is to run away, to lock your heart uptight, to not let anyone in. It is easier to run when there has been an argument, when you feel the itch to go back to single-hood when you feel like your friend wronged you. But it is time to be brave now. Especially now. I think we are starting to realize that when the world is collapsing into chaos, love is all we have.
And by choosing love, I am choosing to express my truest and most real self. I am choosing not to hide behind a mask, not to hide my feelings. I am letting myself feel every. single. thing. I have been told that I love too hard. No, no. When you choose love, real love (in friendships, romantic relationships) does not run. And that is something that took me a long time to learn.
This time, I choose to love fearlessly and openly. I will never apologize for loving too much. Because in the end, love is all we have.
Originally published on Thought Catalog.