“I’ve been in love with love, and the idea of something binding us together. You know that love is strong enough.” (The Mowgli’s – San Francisco)
I am in love with love. I can’t even count how many times I have fantasized about saying the L-word to someone and have it said back. It’s normal, right? This desire to be loved?
“Romeo, save me. I’ve been feeling so alone. I keep waiting for you, but you never come.” (Taylor Swift – Love Story)
I wanted to be loved since the first time I received a harsh comment from a fellow classmate in elementary school. I wanted love when I had no friends for much of my childhood in the United States. I wanted love every time I was bullied for simply being different. I wanted love when I began cutting myself due to my loneliness and depression. I wanted love when I felt like no one understood me. All I wanted was love.
“Be still my heart. This could be a brand new start.” (The Postal Service – Be Still My Heart)
That was my low point. I picked myself up. I knew that if I dug this hole any further, I would never make it out. I chose to change my attitude about life. I smiled on the outside when I wanted to cry on the inside. I laughed more. I talked more. I decided to become someone to be admired. I wasn’t known for being pretty, so I decided to be known for being accomplished and intelligent. With practice and patience, I became strong, confident, and outgoing. But that desire to be loved remained.
It followed me to high school. Every 11:11, I wished to get my first kiss. I would watch those ridiculously flamboyant “prom-posals” on YouTube, and hoped that an attractive boy would ask me to prom and we’d have the night of our lives. But junior prom came and went. So did senior prom. I was never asked. High school ended, and I convinced myself that someone would love me in college. I figured the odds would be in my favor on a campus full of eligible bachelors. High school was a dry spell, but I had faith that it will be raining men in college. Hallelujah!
“Old teenage hopes are alive at your door.” (Feist – 1234)
I came to the Hilltop with high expectations. A few weeks into my first semester, I was seriously worried with my lack of a college romance. I asked myself the real questions: Shouldn’t I be dating a nice, pre-med Indian boy by now? What was I doing wrong? Would I have to resort to an arranged marriage after all? Okay, that one didn’t really freak me out. I’m honestly glad I’m Indian and have the option of making my parents do the work to find me a man.
“When you love someone, it comes back to you.” (Jason Mraz – Love Someone)
I love deeply; I give love whenever I have the chance. I sincerely care for others. Not only do I love loving, but I’m also great at it. I know that I have the ability to make someone feel cared for and understood. I have spent my time at Georgetown giving love because I genuinely want to. But I have also loved others in the hopes of being loved back. I became increasingly frustrated at Georgetown, as I kept loving others without it coming back to me.
“Lean on me when you’re not strong. I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.” (Bill Withers – Lean On Me)
I was so lost in my dreams of being loved that I was blind to the love around me. It wasn’t the romantic kind. It took me a while, but I found love in the forms of family and friendship. My parents have been the greatest source of love in my life — lost in my desire for a romantic love, I took their love for granted. Being far away from them has made me all the more thankful for their support, patience, and of course, unconditional love for me.
My ASB group from last spring and my ESCAPE team are my families at Georgetown. We care for each other, just as family members would. We know each other deeply. We laugh together, and we cry together. These people love me for everything that I am. With them, I feel found. I am extremely grateful for these friendships, and the many others I have been lucky enough to form at the Hilltop.
“Babe, there’s something tragic about you. Something so magic about you. Don’t you agree?” (Hozier – From Eden)
This doesn’t mean I will stop dreaming. Many years ago, dreaming saved me from my harsher reality. Even at my worst, I always hoped. I believed something better would happen in my life. I am proud of my past for making me an optimist. However, I will never again become so engrossed in the prospects of a far-fetched romance that I forget to appreciate the love I have.
“Every question, every answer, too. Ever constant, ever changing you.” (Shiny Toy Guns – Season of Love)
I will continue to love others with all my heart. I will also continue to have expectations of love. After all, I am only human. There will be times where I will surely be disappointed. But I will pick myself back up again, as I have always done. To borrow from The Monkees — empowering hopeless romantics everywhere since 1966 — “I’m a believer.”
And like any cool kid, I made a playlist (with additional songs): Love on the Hilltop