i've always been a girl who loves love. this is no big surprise— i'm a cancerian after all. and in all my years of writing, as much as people have the (strong) tendency to deduce that my writer voice is incredibly dark and depressed, on the contrary; i've often written very heartfelt things in the times i've been in love and during these times, my posts, too have (sometimes heavily) featured my significant other. seeing as how, at this time of writing, i am a total single pringle not up to mingle— and fully intend on staying as such, i was struck with this inspiration to craft my own sort of tribute to all of the boys i've loved before. now i know that it's a real silly thing to say that if i could have a word with my younger self, this would be all the things i'd share with her because there's no such thing as a time machine and the time for warning that younger me will never materialise but hopefully, who'll ever know, this could save some other younger somebody who, if she's anything like me, has the incredible knack for so openly wearing her heart on her sleeve and for finding herself head over heart in love with the real unconventional (read: un-easy) types.

so here you go, rebel heart.

this one's for you.

you thought this was everything. everything the books told you. everything the songs sang about. everything the movies were of. you thought that this was love. late night long drives. spontaneous suppers. the one thing that motivated you to steel your nerves and be brave enough to sneak out. you remember nothing but the sound of your heart pounding. holding your breath. hands trembling. and running, running, running the moment you'd cleared over the gate. 13 was the reason. 13 always was. and at some point, laying in his bed one random afternoon, watching him sleep, tracing his face with only your fingertips, you swore that it would always be him. that everything could try and pull you away but nothing could ever keep you apart. and you were happy. but you were scared. and it was sad. and you didn't know why. but time showed you why. and it was like you'd always known— that the only thing this love would ever do is hurt you. over, and over, and over again. relentless. unending. and even though you'd have given anything to have been his choice, he never chose you.

and ultimately, you learnt this: everything you thought you knew was a lie. real love, good love, true love doesn't hurt.

love never needs to hurt.

then you'd hoped and you had prayed to have had the chance to find somebody like you. and along he came: 68. he'd found you exactly the way you'd wanted him to. there was something so odd about it all but with him, you wouldn't ever stop laughing and so one random meet turned into another. and another. and suddenly, you were both walking home on the street— buzzed and happy. singing deliberately off-key. now here's the thing you'd come to know about being with the person like you (essentially, yourself): you share all the same demons. and sometimes, those demons you triumph over in yourself but sometimes, you don't get to replicate that same success in the other person. even though you've synchronised heartbeats and feel everything the same. you come to realise that the best thing and the worst thing can be one and the same.

you didn't think it would but it hurt like hell to learn this: two people broken in all the same ways just won't fit. and the thing about Forever is that people have different interpretations of it and that place, how you've pictured it, it doesn't always look the same from one person to the next— even though you could very well be one and the same on paper.

one slow day at work, you'd passed the time combing through this particular blog reading all there was to read on her love story. then you'd begun wishing with all your heart for the same— a fairytale love. and the thing about wishes is that you were warned to be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. and got it, you did. it was a whirlwind from the get go. mainly because you couldn't believe it yourself how it was all unfolding. this boy from 6,502 miles away (so google tells you) had wished you good morning every day and good night every night pretty much without fail for an entire six months and y'all hadn't even met. and you'd talked about everything two people could possibly talk about— love. sex. religion. dreams. fears. hopes. scars. the past. the present. he'd been the first to let slip the words and you had smiled to yourself holding on to that phone, secretly rejoicing. victorious because you'd won the secret competition to not being the first to admit your guard was down. and this may have been the fairytale you'd desperately wanted but all of the challenges were also the most difficult yet because for the first time ever, you had to experience what it was like not being in the same room, not breathing the same air, not simply a 10 or 15 minute drive away.

there was no hopping the gate. there was no jumping in a car. there were time differences and broken phonelines— entire oceans keeping you both apart.

and it was always a fight. even when there technically shouldn't have been anything to fight about. and from all of the struggle, you learnt this: love isn't difficult. love must never be.

you had been at the end of hope— then 23 came. and for a while, everything held real promise again. you were overjoyed, overwhelmed— because for one split moment in time, you had really started to cave in to that darkness within. that belief that there was no one coming, nothing more for you. that you were truly destined to be alone. finding 23 was like breaking the surface and breathing again after having been underwater for so long. but there was something about him that felt so surreal. being with him was like moving within a dream. maybe, deep down, some part of you just always knew that the end with him would only ever be right round the corner.

and maybe it had felt all too familiar once you felt it slipping. maybe you'd come to apprehend second time around that you can't always be the only one fighting to hold on. 23 had been that sudden spark of light you'd so badly wanted in the darkness but it hadn't been a flame he'd wanted to feed. and so with this final heartbreak, you have learnt this: love is not the million excuses not to do something. love is the one reason to do it— and to keep doing.

love is a conscious choice. love is a will. and real love, good love, true love will always, always find a way.