Even before you start identifying human emotions, you know love. Or rather, you’ve experienced it.
Firstly, it’s the love of your mother when she holds you in her arms, for the very first time. And then, as you learn to make some sense of the world around you, it’s the love you have for yourself. Unfortunately, it’s the same love that you quickly forget the moment you fall in love with a certain someone.
It happens to everyone. And it happened with me. I was 19 and so was he. Actually, 6 months younger than me.
He was young, rich, good-looking and intelligent but somehow, my eyes were always glued to his smile and the way they lit up his eyes. He had the most beautiful eyelashes ever! Back then, we weren’t aware of the concept of dating, especially me, kind of a traditionalist in that sense. But what does a teenager know, right? What followed were a number of dates, bunking college and watching movies together.
“What will you have?“, he asked. “Anything you like!” was my response. Without me knowing, his favorites had became mine too.
It was my second year of graduation. I was meeting new people, everyday, getting exposed to the norms of Delhi University and loving every bit of it. Yet, a glimpse of him after college was the best part of my day.
In the initial years of our relationship, I mastered the art of loving him. I knew I could never let him go. Sadly, he figured that out too!
He did love me like crazy, pampered me with gifts, took care of me like a baby and supported me throughout. His love for his dreams and my love for him was equivalent. Somehow, he became an indispensable part of my life. Even his flirting with other girls never really bothered me much.
However, it never clicked me that amidst all those feelings, I never gave time to myself.
Every time I asked myself, “Who am I?“, the response was nothing but a blurred picture in my head. I never had a dream to chase like most people my age.
Was I just someone’s girlfriend? Did I take someone’s responsibility when discovering my own self should have been a priority? Was I so influenced by my love for him that I had no identity of my own left anymore? Was it so obvious that even he started to point it out?
But I was in love, and for me, that was the right thing to do.
I grew up as a person when he left for Bengaluru.
Back home, there wasn’t a single night when I didn’t howl myself to sleep. As we all know, the worst thoughts usually strike in the dead of the night. It wasn’t just the physical distance that hurt though. I got to know something which broke me into pieces, pieces I’m still not done collecting.
He slept with another girl. And when I confronted him, he denied. He still does. He lies with perfection. I walked away. I didn’t know what was happening.
When you are that young, you don’t expect such things to come your way. Especially when you’ve been with someone for a while. That day, reality hit me and something in me died.
I lost him but I figured out myself.
I’d lost friends defending him. My equation with my mother had suffered. Standing up on my feet was the only option. Chin up, no slouching. The fear of never being able to love anyone was looming but I knew I had to fight it.
Entering my 20s taught me that things change, people change and so do you. It’s completely normal. And knowing yourself is the most important thing.
It took me 4 years to know who I am. Now, I appreciate myself everyday for all the things I do on my own, things I would’ve never been able to do if I was with him.
No matter how important or relevant, someone else can’t define who you are. Get to know yourself before you fall in love with someone else. Love will happen when it has to. Take out time to figure yourself out first. And before you know, love will knock your door.