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Is Love “Socially Accepted Insanity”?

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It’s a balmy Monday evening. The sidewalks are a continuous stream of humanity and the mood is jovial. I’m huddled in the corner of a Blenz Coffee shop, at an intersection where affluence meets grit. My original mission was to chip away at an assignment for school, but a recent screening of my new favourite film (Her) has kept my mind too preoccupied for any academic pursuits. Try as I might, I kept circling back to the same topic, to a commonality the vast majority of us share. Whether we’re in the throws of it, falling out of it, desperately seeking it out, or voluntarily running a million miles away from it, there are no substitutions for what is arguably the most powerful force next to gravity… Love.

The very first time I saw this film, amidst the sea of profound and unnervingly insightful quotes, one embedded itself within the confines of my brain:

“Sometimes I think I have felt everything I’m ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I’m not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I’ve already felt.”

It stayed with me because it articulated the exact feeling I had when my last long term relationship came to an end just over two years ago. If you’ve ever had a first love, you probably remember it like it was yesterday. When a fifteen year old me fell in love with a fresh-faced freckled boy named *Ben, it knocked the wind right out of me. And when his infatuation with me ended five minutes later, he might as well of just ripped my heart out and run over it with his skateboard. My life was over. 

After an extensive mourning period, to my amazement, I didn’t die! But after all these years, despite all the life and love experience we acquire, a broken heart is still a broken heart. Wanna hear the good news? Broken heartedness may slip across time and space, but so too do all those exciting ‘firsts’. The butterflies, the hyperawareness of each other’s presence, the ferocity of a first kiss, the first moments of intimacy, the first public expression of love, the early yearnings in each other’s absence, no matter how haunted we are by the ghosts of relationships’ past, it’s all there…if we’re open to it. 

I’m no expert on love. Frankly, I don’t think anyone is. There’s no universal secret sauce to making love last, and I’m okay with that. Relationships are not mathematical equations, they’re in flux, dynamic, a living, breathing organism, as effected by the individuals who orchestrate it as the environment that enshrouds them. A broken heart or two (or three), to me, is worth diving headfirst into what I always joke is a form of complete chemical dysfunction. And when my heart gets broken, and “the world is on my shitlist”, I know that at the other side of pain, after the seemingly endless boxes of Kleenex, repeat screenings of P.S. I Love You, or in my case, late night runs through questionable neighbourhoods, eventually, I will enthusiastically embrace “socially acceptable insanity.”  

 

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