This I Believe

Ashley - Allendale, Michigan
Entered on January 12, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: love
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I believe in that can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series kind of love.

I first heard this phrase around the age of ten in the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie “It Takes Two.” These were the days following the finale of “Full House,” and I was forced to get my Olsen twin fix from the cheesy movies that drove their careers. At the time, I struggled to remember this phrase because it contained too many words, but even at the age of 10 I knew that it was a pretty powerful statement. I didn’t exactly understand the kind of romantic love that was being described, but everything else in my life had told me that some form of wild and crazy passionate love existed. It came from the Disney movies that I had been watching since I was practically out of the womb, and from the fairy-tale stories where the princess was sought out by her prince. Observing this common assertion from all angles of my pre-teen life was proof enough that I, too, would one day be whisked off my feet by the most extraordinary of men, to experience first-handedly that “can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series” kind of love.

Upon my entrance into middle school, I was convinced that my prince would find me – and hopefully by the end of high school. Perhaps I was a little eager with my desires to fall madly in love at such a young age, but certainly Cinderella, Jasmine, and Snow White were no older than eighteen. But after a series of one-sided crushes and the awkwardness that is to befall every young middle school girl, I began to reassess my belief in love. I chose to favor logic and its triumph over any kind of “World Series” emotion. I wasn’t rebelling, nor did I harbor feelings of jealousy to those beautiful Disney characters – I simply became successfully independent. High school came and went, college began, and the love bug had only made brief visits in my direction. During my third year of college, I chose to follow my independent heart and study abroad for almost six months. While in France, my life became a fairy-tale straight from Disney that confirmed my long-lost belief in an inexplicable love.

I met Gustav in an elevator – his looks alone made me want to reach for the stars, and I quickly discovered his appealing personality and found myself just as the Olsen twins said – amidst a “World Series” kind of love. He swept me off my feet and kept me floating for my remaining three months abroad. Through him, I discovered a new culture, a new language, desire, drive, and passion.

The day came, however, where we had to go our separate ways in the airport – in the same style as one of those sappy films where an entire box of Kleenex is needed to make it to the rolling credits. I wish I could tell you that my story ends in the traditional way – with my prince by my side – but it doesn’t. I haven’t seen Gustav since December 19th of that year, but my story does end with a happily ever after. It ends with me having experienced and believing in that can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series kind of love.