November 19, 2012

Are You In Love? Go On, Say It

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I was on the phone with one of my best friends last week, when she asked me if I’d ever been in love.  That was when I realized that none of my relationships have lasted long enough for me to be able to tell. I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied, because I’ll always say, “Oh, this isn’t it yet.” She then said something that made a lot of sense. “I think it’ll be like that… until it’s not like that.”

She went on to say that when you think of love, you attach some sort of inevitability to it. It’s going to happen when it’s supposed to happen and that will be that. While I hope she’s right, I can’t help get that nagging feeling that there’s a very real possibility of me either falling in love and not realizing it until it’s too late, or it never happening and me mistaking comfort for love.

I imagine love to feel like this: I’m standing on a ledge somewhere and there’s a slight breeze. I close my eyes, I fall backwards and time leaves the world. Cue the Giacomo Bondi & AppLE PIES trippy remix of Dear Prudence as I soar softly downwards. I open my arms and I’m still falling and it never stops. But I’m not too afraid, because even though I’m uncertain as to where I am or what’s happening, it feels right. It feels safe, yet dangerous. It feels like it makes sense, even though nothing about it does.

One day a wise friend and I were on the topic of how to be happier and how to find love when she said to me, “Maybe happy is something that you do every second of the day. It’s not something that you can put on your calendar or on your agenda. You don’t say, ‘I’m going to be happy on the 17th of January.’”

That sounds simple, but we don’t always follow that way of thinking. Why waste our time wondering how we can be happier, when we can just work at it every second? If there’s someone in your life who already makes you happy, don’t be afraid to have feelings for that person, even if you keep reiterating to everyone around you that you’re just friends. When we repeat something to ourselves enough times, we start believing it. If we just shut up and stop being so afraid, then maybe we can avoid missing out on something awesome.

If you’re not sure whether your feelings are purely platonic or not, here’s a way to figure it out: Imagine the person you have in mind entering a relationship with someone else. Will you obsessively stalk the adorable photos of them frolicking through meadows and carving their names into benches together while you throw pretzels at your computer screen? If the answer is yes, then you probably have romantic feelings for them. Either that, or you really hate happy people.

So just tell them. Not sure how to tell them? If you’re really timid, do it in an indirect but clever way. Write them a poem: “Roses are red, violets are blue, if someone writes you a poem, that means they like you…or so I’ve heard.” But my friend would tell you to just go for it. What’s the worst that can happen? They say they don’t feel that way about you and you go on with your lives like you had before. Big deal. She made the analogy of taking a prelim and coming to a question you don’t know the answer to. If you leave it blank, you’re not taking a risk, but you’re also ensuring that you get no points. If you give it a shot, something good might come out of it.

Life’s too short to sit around waiting for happiness. I’m afraid of finding it, because I’ve convinced myself that I’ll only mess it up, lose it and live with that regret forever. But I’d regret never going for it when it was right in front of me even more. We only have so much time to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Why not jump to the part where we’ve learned our lesson, and start taking the advice we’d give to our past selves now?

Rachel Ellicott is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She can be reached at rle82@cornell.edu. Her blog appears alternate Tuesdays this semester.

Original Author: Rachel Ellicott