I feel like I’m always being told I don’t know what love is, I couldn’t possibly. I’m told I’m too young, too naive, too innocent. It’s not possible for me to have already “learned” what love really is. But love is all I’ve “learned” my entire life, it’s all I know. I’m not yet worried about commitment or bills or a family to raise, simply the core to all those things: love.
A child does not have to learn to love her mother. She just does, because she was born with the innate ability to love unconditionally. She does not question why, she does not fear it, she simply loves her mother from the moment she sets eyes on her. Love is something you are born understanding, and doing. It is not a thing you must learn, not a talent you must develop. It’s not like learning to walk, for you walk only towards those you love. It’s not like learning to talk, for talking only allows you to verbally express your love for another. Love is only like the air; something that is always there.
The thing about teenage love is that when we fall, we fall hard. We don’t know how or when to catch ourselves, so we allow ourselves to fall deep into love until we finally hit the ground. Hard. What we have to learn, what our experienced and older friends and family members can teach us, is how to mend the hurt, how to ease the pain after we have fallen so hard. I don’t want to be told that I wasn’t truly in love, that I don’t understand what I really felt, but rather that it’s okay; that even though I was in love, I can survive and move on.
After years of falling in love and getting their hearts broken, many adults block themselves off from love. They think love rare, because they never trust their hearts and throw themselves fully and completely into love. They build a wall to protect themselves from the hurt of those people they love and care for the most. This wall prevents them from trusting themselves and their hearts when they find love, so they call us foolish because we claim to find love more than once.
I believe I can, and do, know and fully understand what love is. I believe I can fall in love, even if I am only a junior in high school. I believe that because of my innocence, I know what love is possibly more so than someone three times my age. And I believe I have love to give. I believe that because I am young, I am more capable of loving with my whole heart and soul; I have not yet built up the wall many adults have to protect themselves from the hurt of the ones they love. So I believe that yes, I am young, I am naive, and I am innocent. But I also believe that rather than hindering my ability to love, these characteristics only help me to love. I can love; this I believe.