Roses are red, violets are blue, it’s not love that sucks so stop acting like such a tool.
Chad Lords. That was the name of the first boy who broke my heart. No boy rocked a polo and cargo shorts better in the whole first grade class than Chad. He had big brown dreamy eyes and dusty blonde hair that could break any 7-year-old’s heart. Unfortunately for me I went through puberty way too young, shot up to about 5 feet tall in the first grade and looked 30 years old in comparison to my elementary school peers.
So basically what I’m trying to say is I never had much of a chance with the first grade hottie. Of course at the time, I was oblivious to the fact that Chad had his sights set elsewhere, so I patiently awaited the calendar day of love to tell my adolescent heart throb my true feelings.
First-grade Valentine’s Day came. The love notes were not in shortage. I, of course crafted a love note tailored especially for Chad. I believe my boyish penmanship scribbled in red crayon “I like you as more than a friend.” What a romantic I was. Move over Shakespeare. First grade Ali is kicking ass and stealing hearts. Am I right? Wrong.
I experienced my first heartbreak that day. Chad gave an intricate card cut out to Haley Wilson, while I got one from the “smelly kid Thane.” Looking back I am not sure how I didn’t see that one coming. Haley had perfectly groomed blonde hair and only wore Limited too. I wasn’t much competition.
What I didn’t know that day was while the Valentine’s Day cards weren’t in shortage, I would soon come to find out that life’s heartbreaks would not be either.
In my 21 years of life I can confidently say I have had my heart broken as well as broken a few hearts of others. For those who have experienced heartbreak, you know that there are not many things that are worse. When your heart is broken you find yourself in the same sweatpants for one too many days trying to relate every song on the radio to your recent breakup. Chinese takeout becomes the dinner standard and you find you may have a future in the FBI based on your social media stalking skills. It’s not easy. In fact, it sucks.
If you’ve ever truly been in love you know the feeling, there is nothing better in the world. Love heightens all of your senses. It plants a fire in your heart and turns your everyday routine into some sort of cloud dance. You become so smitten you feel as if every love ballad ever written is custom-made for you and your special someone. It’s almost absurd in many ways. Love has a way of making you feel like a little schoolgirl. It can drive you mad and can bring you to do things you would never normally do. Love in its purest form is unexplainable. No matter what anyone says there is nothing more special than sharing life’s most precious moments with another person.
Unfortunately heartbreak has the same sort of effect. It consumes you as well, in different ways of course. It can feel as if it is eating you from the inside out. All of a sudden the background music to your life does a swift shift in mood from “I’m Walking on Sunshine” to some pathetic Adele song. It becomes hard to look out of your car window without feeling like you’re in some sick music video meant to be in black and white. Everything around you transforms into some little reminder of your love lost.
“I can’t do laundry anymore, because I used to do laundry when me and my ex were dating and it just brings back bad memories.” Okay folks save it.
Both love and breakups bring out the most irrational versions of ourselves, trust me I’ve been there.
But the ultimate lesson learned that I hold evident with all my being may be a cheesy one, but valuable nonetheless.
“It is better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all.”
Love is an unexplainable force. And arguably the most important thing we have in this life. We can see this by simply looking at any life trial thrown our way. Whether we look at people’s regrets or deathbed wishes we see a reoccurring theme. Everyone wishes they loved a little more valiantly.
Of course, we cannot love without the inevitable risk of heartbreak, which makes love seem terrifying. To trust another being with your whole self in hopes that they love you back with similar unconditionality.
There are infinite forces working against love at all times to see that it fades, which makes love look like this big scary entity of uncertainty. And in many ways it is.
I have had my heart broken a few times since the first grade and I can’t say it gets easier. There have been days where I resort to binge eating salt and vinegar chips and don’t brush my hair. I’ve had days where I polish off a bottle of wine alone and sing Taylor Swift songs (the country Taylor Swift of course). There’s days where seeing happy couples weaves knots in my stomach.
But as I get older and heartbreaks come and pass I realize the most important lesson of all is to never give up on love. Love is the greatest thing we have. It is consuming, complicated and scary. There is always risk for it to fail and to truly be enamored with love your heart is always on the line. But I can promise there is nothing like being in love. The feeling that no matter how bad your day goes you know you have a shoulder to cry on at the end of the day. Being in love makes the simplest of days feel like you’re walking amongst the stars. It isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.
So this Valentine’s Day change your sentiment. Don’t shoot down the idea of love or revel in envy of those around you who have found something you may have not yet stumbled upon. Stop subtweeting your ex and dwelling on the bad in a relationship. Change out of your sweatpants and stop listening to “I hate my ex” themed love ballads.
Chad Lords may have broken my 7-year-old heart that day, but I learned to love after him (and let me say thank god because cargo shorts are not my forte). The way I look at it it’s simple. Instead of weeping, scheming ways to get back at your ex, loathing those in love or giving up on the idea of love entirely take a second to revel in the fact that there is more love to be felt.
Roses are red, violets are blue being heartbroken might suck now but never being in love is worse, you fool.
Alexandra Schultz studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @AliSchultzzz.