When I was fourteen, I truly believed that :
Love is the salutation of the angel to the stars.
How sad the soul when it is sad from love!”
– Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
I was young, naive, idealistic. I knew nothing from personal experience of love, in any kind of form. I was too introspective and self-absorbed. I preferred to find my love stories in novels and movies, and my own daydreams. Ah, adolescence. I wondered and worried if I would ever find “love” the way Mr. Hugo described it: all-consuming, self-sacrificing, and poetically tragic.
Half a lifetime later, I would like to go back and visit this insecure girl to tell her, be careful what you wish for…
When you love someone so much that they become your entire universe, you stop seeking out other fulfilling experiences. You stop being a “me” and become a “we”. You don’t go out unless it’s with your “we” companion. You do everything together, and you think that’s sweet, but maybe it’s a little more claustrophobic than you’d like to admit when everything had been “reduced” to that tiny bubble of your “single being.”
When you give one person the power of a deity, you sacrifice your own self to worship them. Their tastes become your tastes. Their wants become your wants. You watch the shows they want to see, eat where they want to eat, attend parties you’d rather not just to please them. Worship isn’t healthy, and surrendering that much power to someone else isn’t healthy because…
When they let you down (because they aren’t a God, they’re only human), you will feel sadness unlike you’ve ever known. Abandoned by your God and shut out of your universe, you are completely adrift. How sad the soul when it is sad from love, indeed!
Little girl, I beseech you: stop looking for “love” in novels. Look inside yourself. It’s already there and once you find it, it will never go away.
Note: for this prompt, I decided it was unfair to write about my ghost tours, the two 2-hour walking tours for which I have memorized seventeen stories each, since those are my job and I have already written about that here.