Seven years ago, if you had asked me whether or not my first love was worth the heartbreak, I would have shaken my head with ferocity and defiance. No, no, no. No, it absolutely was not.
Love was not worth having my confidence ripped out from beneath me like an ugly carpet. Love was not worth migraines born from a deluge of tears. Love was not worth becoming a jealous bitch. Love was not worth being trampled by lies. Or coming back to the man who ruined me again and again like some dumb cow. Love was not worth feeling guileless, gutless, gritless. Love was not worth becoming a shadow of myself.
Before my first love, forever was a place that existed. And he showed me that place was as real as glass slippers, as likely as a fairy tale.
Seven years ago, I would have said love was not worth it.
If you had asked me seven months ago, if my second love was worth the self-destruction, I would have screamed “Noooo!!!” until my voice gave out to just a whimper.
Love was not worth raising a monster. Love was not worth feeling my blood pressure spike as his tides of anger began to swell. Love was not worth becoming a callous bitch. Or drinking five glasses of wine a day just to settle my racing heart, just to calm my nerves. Love was not worth gaining 40 pounds and hating myself and not knowing why.
Before my second love, I was destined for happiness. And he built clouds around my sunshine. He made life itself a storm.
Seven months ago, I would have said love was not worth it.
But love is a transformative beauty with a feeble memory. She lives in the now, incapable of holding a grudge. She forges forward, head held high, somehow destined for triumph despite herself.
Love conquers all because she’s a fucking champion. And she simply doesn’t know how to accept, admit, or allow for defeat.
So here I am. Following that gallant warrior into battle like a goddamned fool.
And if you asked me today if I would do it all over again, I would nod my head with unquestioning resolve.
I would take every crushing blow and scarred memory and stained love story one hundred times over. I would date ten thousand more Davids. I would watch my self-esteem crumble and rebuild, just to crumble again. I would make all the same wrong choices. I would relive every last mistake.
I would do it all. Every flawed moment.
If the ending were the same.
My broken spirit. My bloated belly. I would embrace it.
If I wound up in this place.
Surrounded and surrendered by this love.
If you asked me today, I would tell you—hopefully, honestly, helplessly—that yes, love is absolutely worth it.
Image Credit: “Gentle Love” a watercolor painting by RoSaLia’s Art via Etsy.