This I Believe

margaret - hopewell junction, New York
Entered on September 5, 2007

I believe in love, perhaps too much at times. I am a bit of I dreamer I suppose. I don’t make a habit of doubting myself, mainly because my instincts are trustworthy; unfortunately, even the best are fooled. As much as it pains me to admit, recent events have forced me to realize that despite my deep and whole hearted love for a certain someone, it is necessary to protect myself, especially from the ones I love. Perfect love does not exist. The closest thing one can manage is trust: a trust that can only stem from a trust in oneself.

For almost three years I’ve had my heart set on attending college in Florida. I have repeatedly spoken to members of importance at the university, and have already visited multiple times. There were no complications or hesitations, that is, until Anthony-my boyfriend of ten months; we are as serious as a high school couple can be. Blinded by love, I always assumed this to be a blessing. We started off so strongly that we were unmatched by the relationships my peers shared. I must reiterate my undying belief in love prior to this, and mention, almost unnecessarily, that my feelings for Anthony did nothing to diminish it.

Well, in accordance with my structured life plan, Anthony agreed to join me in Florida where we would live a picturesque existence for four years. I was suspicious of his support and lack of resistance to follow me. But he loves me, who was I to doubt love’s power? People had done far more questionable things in the name of romance. Everything was set, and for months we spoke about how we would escape together. I am not unhappy, nor would I ever be childish enough to pretend I live a troubled existence, but when given the opportunity to fulfill your goals with the boy you love by your side, an element of impatience and glee is inevitable.

Looking back, I suppose our impatience is what did us in. After being so serious so quickly there was bound to be a bump in the road. And it came in the form of a phone call- he revealed that he didn’t want to go to Florida. After months of promising the contrary, he told me that he just could not bear to leave. Maybe this would not have been such a blow if his timing had been better; a mere four days earlier I had written to the university and was scheduled to visit the softball coach in less than a week, all of which Anthony was aware. I was heartbroken, and ended our high school romance. He simply couldn’t understand why our long thought out plan couldn’t take place closer to home. But love doesn’t work like that- or at least it shouldn’t. Promises cannot be broken because love is used as an excuse for lies and mistakes. A week later, I told him that I was going to Florida, with or without him.

Maybe someone with more experience will tell me that explaining this “problem” was hardly worth the effort it took to write it out, and maybe they’re right. However, I believe that for a sixteen year old girl, any heartbreak story is worth being told, if for nothing but character growth. I love Anthony, and he is reconsidering coming with me to Florida. We haven’t spoken about our future in weeks, and maybe it’s for the better. As deeply as I believe in love and all the happiness that it can bring, my belief in its powers currently falls short. Perhaps this is called the aftermath of misfortune, or that elusive maturity adults always talk about. What I have learned is that love is a pretty story, and it’s comforting to know that it’s attainable. But ultimately, love is impossible without sacrifice; sometimes it means sacrificing your desires, for me it almost meant sacrificing a relationship. My belief in love has fallen second to my belief in wisdom.