Love.

I used to think love had very rigid definition, that it could only exist between people in a romantic definition. (I know, I'm stupid sometimes.)

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So I used to think that love was for the couples laughing together, for the pretty girl walking down the aisle in a white dress to her handsome groom, for the older couple who still holds hands when they walk down the streets. For those with cute engagement stories, or with cute couple inside jokes.

I am a romantic, and I would be a hopeless romantic if I didn't hold out every hope in the world that I'd get to experience that kind of love one day.

I used to chase love, and it'd leave me panting, and if you know me at all, you know I hate running, so the fact I was chasing and running after something was admirable in itself. I also had some horse blinders on, and I just saw everyone else IN THE ENTIRE KNOWN UNIVERSE being in love and getting married (and again, I know, I'm stupid sometimes). But I wanted it so bad.

Because I refused to see the definition of love being any more open than the romantic definition I had trapped it to.

I used to think love wasn't for me. Then I realized my definition of love was wrong. Or at least, missing a whole bunch of things.

To love at all

I still think of love in romantic ways, and I still am a romantic who loves those adorable couple stories, a romantic who is full of hope.

When I told myself that the only love worth having was in a romantic relationship, I devalued a lot of the love I had around me. I don't know why I'm talking about this in past tense - I still do this.

But love looks very different now than it did a year ago, six months ago, three months ago, two weeks ago.

Right now, I think love looks and feels and smells and tastes and sounds like this:

  • My mom, holding me a little bit tighter before I get on the train to go home, telling me she loves me in an exasperated tone (because I yelled at her for saying "I love you" to my sister and not to me).
  • A 9 year old boy, singing his heart out about how awesome his God is.
  • Mel coming into my room if my light is on. No matter what time, no matter when - if my light is on, she's there, filling me in on her day. I like that.
  • Random check in's from people you don't communicate with frequently, but who still care about you immensely and want to make sure you're doing alright.
  • Texts or phone calls from my sisters.
  • Steeped teas with two creams and two sugars.
  • When people know your coffee order.
  • When people give you space because they know you need your introverted time.
  • It feels like a 12 year old girl still thinking you're cool (she has clearly missed a memo) and you're so scared of the day she wakes up and finds out you aren't cool, but for now, you hope she likes tea dates and laughter and chatting.
  • Singing "When Peace Like a River" with minimal instruments and so many voices and harmony.
  • It sounds like "Happy Birthday" when everyone is actually happy and ridiculous and singing in harmony.
  • Love for sure tastes like two plates of dessert.
  • It sounds like hearing, "CHOCALA!!!" being yelled from the other side of the hill.
  • Laughing out loud at #cyHonduras jokes.
  • My cousin chatting with me at work and making me laugh so hard about all kinds of ridiculous things and memories.
  •  Text messages before bed from my stepdad, just letting us know he's going to bed but he's excited to see us!
  • Beach nights where it's just your journal and you and your grateful heart and Jesus just whispering things into your heart.
  • Jesus, dying on the cross, and then whispering where he wants you to go next, what plans he has up his sleeve, where the story is going to curve next.
  • Love feels like everyone knowing you're going to be at the Ryerson Rams games on any given weekend.
  • When you just say, "Hey I'd like to come to Calvary" and no one asks why, they just ask what time you need to be picked up and when you need to be dropped off.
  • And a million other little things.

Love is for sure for me, and I don't even have to chase these loves, because they're in every part of my life.

One hundred percent, this is how I want to define love these days.