Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sorry, I Gotta Go See About A Boy

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

Love is in the air…or pollution. Our planet is languishing before our very eyes! Get your priorities in order, simple humans!

*cough* Anyway.

I am an academic. I am an artist. I am a feminist. I am a sister, a daughter, a student, a counselor, a friend.

But I'm also…a teenager. And even though I pride myself on my strength, my maturity, my wisdom, and my talent, I am also ashamed of my less shining characteristics--specifically, in this case, my romantic naiveté.

Basically, I put every boy I like on a pedestal and, in turn, rob them of their humanness. I set them up to fail me. If he doesn't like me, it's earth-shatteringly disappointing. If he does like me, it's…also earth-shatteringly disappointing, because let's face it, most teenage boys have yet to master the whole Prince Charming thing.

In reflecting on my tendency to Alaska-ize or Margo-ize the boys I like (to borrow a phrase from an an author I like), I have started to see the validity of the other extreme. I literally have a note on my phone containing song lyrics that read, "Love is a lie, God's not alive, and I can't trust a soul." Now, that's not particularly helpful, either. Saying "screw relationships" and giving up on the possibility of romantic love because of a few isolated incidents of heartbreak is equally problematic.

I've spent a lot of my life believing that having a boyfriend would solve all my problems. (Super, hopelessly, unbelievably false.) And in the moment of being rejected or heartbroken--which has happened more often than I would like--I retreat into solitude, believing that there is no point in pursuing romantic fulfillment at all. (Also super duper ridiculously untrue.) Neither of those attitudes is healthy.

If having a romantic relationship is something you want, you shouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed or naive. Cynicism is the enemy of joy. Even though I have experienced more setbacks than set-forwards (yeah, Jensen, keep telling yourself that's a word), I still believe love is real. But as I get older, I'm starting to see--or at least acknowledge that I should see--that love is real. And by that I mean, love is not a fantasy or a movie plot. Love is fulfilling and euphoric sometimes, but love is also frustrating and disappointing, and love is also just average. Love is like life, in that it cycles through periods of ups and downs like anything else.

You might be thinking, who is this 17-year-old girl who's never had a real relationship to lecture me on the nature of love? To that I say…nobody, I guess. But in case you didn't know this already, I'm a reader, and a writer. And being a reader and a writer means going inside of yourself for the stuff you feel and the stuff you have yet even to fathom. I have used the word "love" liberally because I don't think love is restricted to 30-year-olds who built their relationships like houses. I have felt pain and longing and joy and attraction. So maybe I haven't been in love to your satisfaction, but I have been in love to mine. I happen to really like Valentine's Day, because celebrating love, in whatever form it comes, is a thing I think we should do a heck of a lot more often.

Here's my point: you can't let your search for love rule your life. But that doesn't mean you should stop searching. Now if you'll excuse me, I've gotta go see about a boy.

(Just kidding. But I probably will go watch Good Will Hunting.)

No comments:

Post a Comment