You deserve a love that researches deodorants.
If I could go back to my younger self, I would be patient with them, first of all. They don’t yet know what I know. They haven’t yet lived what I’ve lived. They will be easily fooled by pretty eyes and a contagious laugh. But they’ll deserve more than that. Younger self, I’d like you to know that.
I’d like you to know that you shouldn’t be with someone who is unsure of you. Or someone who is heaping love today and absent tomorrow. It is a certain type of exhausting: forcing yourself to stay awake, waiting for the call that doesn’t come.
I’d like you to know that you shouldn’t be with someone who speaks poorly to you. Or someone who is condescending for fun. It is a certain type of cruel to push someone to the point of doubting themselves so that you can feel like you won.
I’d like you to know that you shouldn’t be with someone who intentionally harms you in any way. Or someone who is content to manipulate the offense onto your faultless heart. It is a certain type of despair to be caught in a cycle such as this.
That’s why I’m recalibrating my body on what love feels like. It feels like security and trust in ourselves and each other. Feels like knowing that a thing is real. It is a certain type of peace in not needing nor wanting an exit plan.
It feels like genuine support and active care. Feels like being invested in someone else’s success and someone else’s joy just as much as you are in your own. It is a certain type of excitement, this sincerely cheering for another.
It feels like dancing in the snow in January, the first time the powder piles up on the sidewalk, when you haven’t committed to winter jackets or practical shoes but no matter. Feels like spinning in circles and the first snowman made with ungloved hands because the thrill of a changing season is enough warmth for all of it. It is a certain type of effortless play-along, this falling in love thing.
So perhaps there was a love that you didn’t deserve. But hardly does that matter. Because now you have a love that, when handed cash and a mission of “any deodorant that feels cruelty free and non-toxic and all that,” will silently do the research and come back with an A+ product.
You deserve a steady love. A supportive love. A love that holds space for all the seasons. You deserve to take your time in finding it. And to relish in every sweet moment it gifts you.