When I was young, I was dumb as a box of cocks. I often confused love with irresistible lust. I thought love was wanting someone so badly that it caused physical pain. I thought love was seeing the world burst with exquisite color when you were with someone, and fade to dull grey when they left. I thought love was sweaty palms, and tummy butterflies, and itchy skin. I thought love was watching the world’s biggest fireworks show, from the back of an eagle, in outer space.
What I am describing is not love. What I am describing is being high on crack fucking cocaine. And just like crack cocaine, a relationship like that isn’t sustainable. It’s unhealthy and toxic and sad.
Now that i’m older, and wiser, and more beautiful to behold, I know better. Love, True Love, isn’t fancy. It isn’t painful. True Love is comfortable. Almost too comfortable.
Lets be honest. True Love is a Snuggie blanket with sleeves. And it probably has mustard stains on it. Or wine stains. Whatever. It’s embarrassing and so hideous that you don’t even want to acknowledge it in public, but once you get home, you know damn well you’ll be stripping down to your birthday suit and wrapping that fuzzy monstrosity around yourself as you binge watch Orange is The New Black on the couch. And eat more hot dogs. Or drink more wine. Whatever. Because that’s your Snuggie. You’ve slept in it, and farted in it, and during that one week off from work, you wore it non-stop for 168 hours. That Snuggie feels just right, and smells just right, and looks just right, because to you, it is just right. It’s been worn so often that it fits to your body like a second skin. It IS your second skin. When you’re wrapped up in your Snuggie, you know that you’re safe, and nothing can ever harm you. When you’re wrapped up in your Snuggie, the real world fades away, until it’s just you, floating in a tranquil void. With your Snuggie. Which is you. And you are the Snuggie. And the void is everything, and nothing.
That is True Love.
True Love is not exciting. It isn’t the pinnacle of your life experience. It’s not the anticipation before a lightning strike. It’s not a perfect snowflake in a cloudless sky. It’s not a series of moving and powerful moments. True Love is not a beautiful garden of vibrant color and verdant blooms.
True love is the humble mud your garden grows from. It’s the fertile base which nourishes the roots of everything you do. If your life is a garden, True Love is what’s left when everything else is stripped away.
I know it’s romantic to think of True Love as dramatic, passionate gestures, but real life isn’t a Hollywood Movie. It’s not a Shakespearean play. Romeo and Juliet didn’t have True Love. They had a childish infatuation. And then they both died.
True Love is being with the one person who you can completely and shamelessly be yourself with, and they can be the same way with you, and even though you’re both horrible and disgusting, somehow you’re still not completely grossed out by each other. To each other you are, in fact, beautiful.
If you have that, hold on to it. Hold on tight. Because True Love is rare. If you’ve never found it, keep looking. It’s worth it.