I realized last Tuesday afternoon, while doing my morning bullet journalling, business planning, and some blog prep, that I listened to James Arthur’s Say You Won’t Let Go nineteen times in a row. NINETEEN. TIMES. IN. A. ROW. It was a pretty rude wake up for me — me, who has spent the last few years convincing myself that I’m not the same hopeless romantic that I was as a teenager. I treated it like it was something that could be changed with the right mindset, and that I could go from the girl who swooned over every romantic movie and book, or each love story I was told, to someone who could shrug rather indifferently and think, Well, that’s nice. Not to the point where I thought love was this totally stupid idea, but where I wasn’t consumed by absolute admiration every time it was brought up.
It began with me deciding that the best way to prevent future heartbreak was to not make my heart vulnerable to be broken in the first place; the only plausible way to do this, I determined, was to stop caring about love all together. To stop getting excited about the thought of it all. I really did feel like — for the past couple of years, at least — that I had developed a solid thing going on for myself, where I genuinely was quite blasé about the notions of romance. But then looking back on it now, as I have come to the realization that maybe it hasn’t been quite as solid as I imagined it to be. Sure, I switched from reading and writing stories with romantic plot lines to ones of a contorted fantasy, vengeful murders, and an overall dystopic setting. Yes, I listened to the same few angsty albums on repeat over and over and over again like there was nothing else to listen to in the world. And it’s true that I spent a hell of a lot of time ruminating on how this seemingly fantastical idea of “love” has never ultimately been in my favour.
Nonetheless, in hindsight, I can admit that I don’t think that it’s 100% possible to extinguish something that is seemingly innate in me (that is, my romantic nature). Every time my best friend Marta‘s mother or father brings up the story of how they met in her mom’s little pizzeria in Poland, I practically beg for them to tell me the whole story (despite hearing it a hundred times). I’ll never skip past those cute Ed Sheeran songs playing when scanning through the radio. And I’ll never be able to stop myself from feeling stupidly happy when I see my closest friends perfectly content with their partners.
In fact, several weeks ago while I was hanging out at Marta’s house in her living room, drinking tea while we chatted (something we’ve come to dub “TheraTea”), she offered me a massive epiphany on my outlook on love. It all boiled down to the fact that I’m just scared of opening up to people who I don’t already have an established relationship with. The friends that I have are all people I’ve known for years: they’re people that I trust, that I know I can turn to. I also have a bad habit of assuming that I don’t need anyone else in my life to be happy. I guess really, I don’t; I’m very happy with the friends that I have and the people who I spend my time with, but this isn’t to say that I should never be open to expanding my circle and spending my time with new people who also have the potential of making me happy, as well. By cutting people off, I was trying to protect myself. It served its purpose for the time that I was learning more about myself and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, but it’s also high time to set those notions aside and move forward with my life.
Needless to say, it’s a good idea to listen to what your closest friends have to say, because sometimes they know you better than you know yourself. 😉