Thursday, May 4, 2017

"Three Strikes, You're Out (of Loves)" by Jinxx Clark

We should fall in love three times. I went through these loves in the blink of an eye-- and I remember the details of every one. The thing is, our first love happens once, and our third love happens once, but the second one is tricky. The second one can repeat a million times over, and each time you'll say it’s different. It never is.

I was lucky, however. I really only fell in love three times.

The first love is the real zinger. It’s your idealistic love; your fairytale. It feels like a dream. At the time it feels like the only love you'll ever have. You intended for it to happen, you go into it with so much energy and passion, and you can't imagine it ever ending. The first love taste like cotton candy. It is light and sweet. It melts. It coats your tongue and stays there. This is the true heartbreak-love. Because when that cotton candy is gone you are like a four-year-old all over again, you just cry for more. It isn't coming back, sadly. You'll sob. You'll want to break down, but you'll get up. You'll understand that while cotton candy is delicious, you can't survive off of it. You can't eat it forever.

The second love is complicated, it’s the hard love. You learn from it. You realize who you are, what you need and want, but that lesson doesn't come easy. This love is like a splinter. It usually starts when you just want to feel like you belong somewhere again, when you were sad and you thought love could fix you. When you first look at this love, its a polished wood countertop. It could never hurt you, it will do anything for you. Truth is, it won't. It hurts you in ways you don't see. This love is selfish, from both sides. You see this smooth, perfect surface, and you use it to put your plates on, and stack your books. The thing is nobody's perfect, no one is polished. There are rough spots and broken off edges. You can't fix people the way you fix countertops. People are more like bones, they have to heal. Oh, you'll try to fix them, though. That's when you get the splinter. That's when you get stuck. It hurts so bad but you can't just pull it out. This love is sometimes toxic. Sometimes you feel like you drank the wood flavored polisher. In your defense, the polisher smelt like orange juice.

The final love is the one that matters. This is the love that you least expected, and it’s the love that stays with you. It’s the love that's right. Usually, we start out not wanting this love. It’s someone we find annoying, or, as in my case, someone you thought hated you. This is the love where you remember the childhood saying don't judge a book by its cover. Because once you open up those pages, you can never unread them. This is the love that accepts you, understands you, that you never could've imagined. This love almost doesn't feel real. It is sweet but salty, like dark chocolate covered pretzels. It’s warm too, and it fills your chest with a feeling you can't explain. It’s taking that first sip of coffee on a chilly morning, you feel it run through you. You may have your disagreements in this type of love, but it never hurts the way the second love does; you may have a world of sweetness, but you can allow yourself to breathe and you cherish it in a way you just weren't capable of doing yet with the first love. The third love is true love. It can't be fully described or explained, but you'll know when you’ve found it. You'll recognize the taste, you'll drown in the smell, you'll be filled up by the sound, you'll be comforted by the touch, and you will struggle to tear your eyes away. It’s the love that once you sleep surrounded by its smell, and its feel, and its sound you'll hate sleeping without it again. You can, but you hate too. It’s the love that inspires you. It is the best feeling in the world.

So, if you find yourself heartbroken after the first love, or stuck in the vicious cycle of the second, know that you will reach the third. It can take a lifetime to go through these loves, or it could simply take years. Some people don't fall in love all three times. Some experience their first love and stay with them until the day they can't anymore. A lot of people think these are the “lucky ones”. I don't agree with that.

Others, well… Others aren't ready for love. The thing is love is always ready for us. Love will take us through these different stages, it will stay with us. It doesn't choose where we go, but it helps. That's what's so great about finding the third love. You end up with someone that sends you over the top. You're a full dinner, but with them you gain a surprise desert. Your heart goes from full, to fuller.

At the end of the day, you can stop or start at any stage of love. At the end of the day, the key to love is patience. Don't go searching. The harder you look for something the harder is to find. You'll learn that after your first and second loves. If you believe any of this now, well, that’s all up to you.

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