"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

loving recklessly

People often ask me if I've been in love and, honestly, I don't know. We conceptualize love as the happily ever after, even if it fractures. But it never gets there..what is it?

Sometimes I wonder if I fall in love with ideas, instead of people. This is dangerous and stupid and ultimately disrespectful, but I think it happens, anyway, because I'm young and I'm searching for something as much as I would like to find someone. There were people who represented security or safety or adventure or danger, and sometimes I wonder if the thrill was the thing I couldn't live without, but the person was rather interchangeable. It's a horrible thought, huh?

Here's the thing. I think I love big. I have fat love; I can feel it swell. We treat love like a finite resource, or something that is easily spoiled, but I can't see it that way. I love so many people in so many different ways. I loved all the people I've slept with, for example, in my own way. I don't know if you could call any of it 'in love', but it was love.

Love, for me, is the refuge of innocence. It is the place I go to when I am shattered, when the world ends and you feel like an empty shell with everything that you've ever had snatched away from you. The standard narrative is that the angry, bitter, scorned woman becomes hard and cold and closed, but I can't do that. I was not made hard, but I was made strong. Loving recklessly is my last innocence; it is something I cling to even when all is lost. We live in a world where women lose everything when they give up or give in to something or someone; when they first fall in love, or when they first get their heart broken, or when they lose their virginity. But innocence, I think, has to endure all these trivial things.

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