I fell in love when I was 29. It was the kind of love that brought me back to my 17-year-old self, loving for the very first time.
The six months prior were the hardest times of my life. I remember while going through that period, I kept saying to myself that if I could do one thing…just one thing…it would be to fall in love again. I’d gone through so many flings and romantic nothingness for so long. I just wanted to feel something again. Just fucking anything.
And then I met her.
The Universe answered my prayer and re-energized my tired heart with that forgotten feeling of hope. She gave me a love that brought me right back to my youth. Like a time machine for my heart—taking it back to a time before it had experienced any real pain or loss. Before the years of time eroded it with practicality.
Just two hearts beating wildly in wide open for each other.
Was the love healthy? Oh, hell no! The love and relationship were utterly dysfunctional in every way. But at its center, it was damn real—and pure. And sometimes when love calls, you have to ride the wave. Even when you know that wave is ultimately doomed to break and crash down on you.
Whether love lives or whether it dies, the experience of loving will always leave an imprint on your heart for the better. So love while you can. Even if it ends in pain. The pain you experience as a result of loving is simply the shadow of the light you lived in while you loved.
While that love never lasted. It taught me about how love should make you feel. How I wanted love to make me feel.
I want a love that makes me feel young.
I think that’s what we all want. We grow up our entire lives searching for someone who will make us feel like a kid again. A love that will keep us young.
While I think love in itself has the power to make us feel young. I don’t think every love you experience will do this. But I do think when you experience love in its purest form—when you experience love at its best—it will transport you back to the time before you knew how to guard your heart.
It will be so pure. So raw and real. There will be way no way to defend against it. It will be impenetrable. Like a beautiful storm that barges into our lives and changes everything in an instant.
When love is at its very best, it will make us feel young. It will make us feel alive. Everything that’s dead or stagnant inside of us suddenly blossoms and becomes reborn. Our soul comes out of hiding.
Love can act as a séance to our souls and resurrect them back to a forgotten state of aliveness.
Love at its best is the ultimate equalizer. It can level all of us and plant us in the moment.
I believe that’s part of why love brings us back to our youth. It can stop time. It can alleviate worry about the future. It can put us at peace with our past. And ground us in the moment with the wind at our back, sun on our face, tingles in our toes, and a smile in our heart.
Love makes the hours and minutes of the day longer and more meaningful. It makes nothing more valuable than the moment. Just like when we were kids, before the weight of responsibility and speed of time multi-tasked our focus to every which way but the now.
The problem is that I think some of us forget how to love like this. Or we settle for a love that doesn’t reach the depths our souls. We settle for love that gives us security without changing our lives. When you settle in love, you get old fast. Your soul withers. Your heart tires. You lose hope. You become guarded. Closed off. Life becomes bound full of limits and boundaries.
When you find a love that makes you feel young, it keeps your soul charged with fire, and your heart energized with optimism. It makes possibilities limitless. It makes our greatest self within reach. It gives us permission to be the full shape of who we truly are.
You can see it when you see one half of an elderly couple caring for the other. You see love broken down into its simplest, most beautiful form. They know their bodies have aged but they still feel young. When they look at each other. When they dance with one another. When they hold each other. They still feel young. Their love is what keeps them young. Their connection is what eternally binds their souls to their youth.
You can feel it when you hear a middle-aged couple still making each other laugh like grade schoolers. Who still look at each other like they’re looking across the room at each other for the first time at the winter formal dance. Who still hold hands like it’s the beginning. Who still talk to each other like they’re sacred. Who still have fun together like they’re kids on the run. They may be growing older. But I guarantee when they’re together, in the throes of their love, they still feel like they’re 25 and first setting out into the world at each other’s side.
It’s funny how we grow up our entire lives searching for someone who can make us feel like a kid again. Searching for someone whose love can hold a mirror to the part of our soul that we never want to lose.
But too many people accept mediocre love. There are so many average things in this life. Love should not be one of those things. Love should be the magic among the mundane. The god among the mortal. The most special thing in your life.
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Too many people choose a love for the wrong reasons. Or they choose a love and then stop choosing it and expect it to still be magical. They choose love out of fear. Love out of security. This slows the heart. Dampens the spirit. Kills the soul.
But the choice to love must always be made out of courage.
I’m telling you…when you find the right type of love with the right person, it will make you feel like a kid again.
When you find a great, powerful love it will tear down your walls and rip right through your heart and soul.
Right back to the essence of you before the gauntlet of time and pain dampened your spirit.
Before the heartache.
Before the false promises.
Before the walls.
Before the hurt.
Back to a time when you knew nothing but how to love and live life with an open heart.
We grow up our entire lives trying to become responsible adults functioning in the world, while we continue endlessly pursuing another person who can wash it all away with one look, one touch, one smile. That person who can turn us into that teenage kid who had nothing but the world at their feet and a soul thirsty for adventure.
Before someone betrayed us. Hurt us. Deceived us. Before someone sharpened our view to be pessimistic and jaded.
When you find the right love, it will do this. It will be a love that will allow you to love wildly and freely in spite of your scars.
In fact, the scars will be reminders of the journey you survived to find someone who can finally bring you home again. Home to the very best and truest sense of who you are. Home to a part of you that you may have lost along the way and always been trying to get back to.
When love is right it’s the act of two hearts finding a home in each other. A home that gives us a safe place to be who we truly are and were always meant to be.
Love at its best and purest will do this. It will awaken the inner eternal child. It will make our souls and hearts dance in synchrony.
I lost this for a while. I lost the part of myself who knew how to feel like that. Who desperately wanted to feel like that.
That love I experienced for a shooting star moment did not last. But its mark carved a path home to myself. To that part of my soul that was awakened by its light. To the depths of how much I knew I was capable of feeling, deep down in my soul.
While love can be many things, I know now—for me—I want love to be the thing that keeps me young. I want to find a love with someone that keeps my heart and soul charged and burning with fires of youth. I want to feel innocent in the arms of the one I love. I want to look into their eyes and feel hope that tomorrow can always be new and beautiful.
This is what I consider to be the human dream. A kind of love which I truly hope we all get to experience.
The kind of love with another soul that makes our world a little lighter and brighter, makes the pain of past loves simply turning points and necessary lessons—not regrets. And turns our heart and soul into that eternal child that we grow up our entire lives trying to get back to.
While that love did not last. The love experienced was a reminder and wake up call. A reminder that love should make you feel young. That when love is at its best and purest, it will protect and nourish our innocence. That we grow up our entire lives searching for a love that makes us feel like a kid again. And when we find it, that love can be the thing that keeps us young for the rest of our lives.
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