Well hello there, 19-year-old self. You really are such a baby, you know. I know you don’t feel that way – in fact you feel quite like an adult, capable of making life-altering decisions, like about who to love and wed. And I know that the starry-eyed feelings you have for this young man are totally real, and totally not only about being starry-eyed. You are ready to make the commitment and join your soul with his for all of eternity. It’s rare to know it so deeply, like a fire in your bones – like a gut-wrenching truth that that disturbs your consciousness and won’t relent ’til you acknowledge it and agree. I know there are doubters (because you’re “so young!”), but I believe you. I really do.
You also believe that you will be head over heels in love for the rest of your life.
Well, I have to say, on that one, you’re wrong.
You won’t be head over heels in love for the rest of your life. Oh sure, lots of days you will be. There will be days filled with pillow fights and flour fights, romantic fancy dinners out and romantic simple dinners in. Cuddling on the couch with cookies fresh from our oven, and oh, the inside jokes! There will be ample dreaming and planning for a future so ripe with possibilities you’re almost afraid it will burst. Teasing, loving, travelling and experiencing the world together. Mushy gushy lovey-dovey love notes and bending over backwards to make the other feel loved and special. Marking special “firsts” and establishing our own family ways. Candle-light and grown-upness, making breakfast together, naked. Learning the ways of loving each other with our bodies, and enjoying the gift of intimacy with one another in soulful passion. Oh yes, there will be times that will be so, so good.
But there will come a day (sooner than you think) that the fairy tale will have to take a backseat to reality, and you will have to know that not every day will be filled with love notes and mushy feelings.
Some days (seasons) you won’t like him.
Eventually you might wonder “how we got here“.
But again, you will believe that your love for him is so strong, so real, and so fiercely chosen, that it can never be obliterated. Dampened, perhaps. Reignitable? Absolutely. Never, ever forget this, dear one. Never EVER give up on love.
True love is not always pretty.
But it is always fierce and precociously unstoppable.
It is not always fun. It does not always seem like it can survive another lost night of sleep with the teething babe, another misunderstanding piled upon the countless unresolved others, and another day of self-centredness rather than self-sacrifice.
But it can.
And it will.
Because you and him?
You’re the real deal.
Make the choice to love with passion and honesty. Do not falter, do not waver in your commitment to making it work. Make humility, kindness, compassion, and grace your mantras, and you will be on the right track.
It won’t always be easy, but it will always belong to you and him. He will be your beloved, and you will be his, woven throughout the seasons of reality and toughness.
And that, dear young self, is a beautiful thing.