I never thought I would find lasting love.
I was too broken, I thought.
Men are too cruel, I thought.
I like being alone anyway, I thought.
My story was crafted through trauma and sourced through a series of painful experiences that shook me to the core—and, well, the title would be this—love is impossible.
I imagine it typed out in bold italics, the letters certain of themselves, dripping with hurt.
Roll the credits of mounting reasons not to believe in love, reasons why my heart felt smashed to smithereens, reasons why I wasn’t worthy, reasons to not bother caring too much—all commencing in my growing bitterness. Cue the edginess and envy at others’ happiness.
Real, enduring love was something others could have and enjoy, cozy in their homes, cuddled under soft blankets turned over with luscious kisses from hungry lips—but not me.
I could have other things. My writing. My cats. Maybe a good career. A heart that was hurt, yes, but called me to help others and be with them in darkness, joy, and all the shades in between.
But love? I thought I was cursed.
I never believed I would open my heart again.
It’s too scary, I thought.
It’s way too risky, I thought.
But I couldn’t help it. Our hearts, just as they can be broken, they are so freakin’ resilient. They heal. As humans, we are fragile and so strong at the very same time, those two qualities woven together into a precious rope that feels both silky and substantial.
Before I wax poetic to infinity, this all brings me to last week beneath a sparkly Christmas tree.
Last week, I got engaged to a man whose eyes glimmer with kindness, whose calmness and support make me a better person every day.
A man who looks at me like I’m the only woman in the room.
A man who touches me with reverence, who listens to me, who shows up and cares.
A man who I simply adore.
And it does feel scary sometimes. I’d be lying if I said otherwise—fear jitters and dances while excitement ebbs and flows and doubts echo occasionally.
But what I feel most of all is perhaps what I expected least of all—I feel peace.
Something is settled.
A skin is shed. An old story is put to rest.
Love is not impossible, after all—and it’s not a fairy tale, either.
Love is beautiful. It is messy and healing and hard. It is supportive and shockingly sweet. It is steady and secure.
Love is not a blissed-out rollercoaster ride of romance. It is not the blooming words in a harlequin novel.
It’s fleshy and human and warm and real.
I am learning every day.
Because I am human, I screw up. I get triggered. I say things I don’t mean. I get in sh*tty moods.
And my beloved is there.
Because he is human, he screws up. He gets triggered. He says things he doesn’t mean. He gets in sh*tty moods.
And I am there.
We laugh. We play. We argue about religion and politics. We sip mint tea and share details about our days. We are learning about compromise—and for two stubborn people like us, that’s an art in itself. We meander slowly through gardens, hike up jagged mountaintops, laugh loudly, and smell magnolias in the summer, letting their lusciously fragrant petals cup our faces.
We grow together. What an immense privilege that is.
Through it all, the damp, limiting net of my old beliefs begins to part. I see more clearly, and the lemony sunlight illuminates my eyes as I squint and smile at the same time.
Love is not impossible. Love is not pain. Love is not forever just out of reach.
A skin is shed. That old story is put to rest.
I run my fingers over the storms and scabs formed around those brittle pages, the tough experiences that shaped sentences written in sadness and hollow starless nights.
I return it all to the earth, to the sea, sprinkling ashes into cresting turquoise waves from a sailboat conjured by my imagination.
And to be honest, I appreciate that story. It was my armor when I desperately needed protection. So I let it go with a sort of reverence that feels gentle, both ready and understanding.
But I seek a different sort of safety now—a softer kind.
I breathe in, my lungs expand—and the journey continues.
Our commitment widens and deepens, my dearest.
There are vast parts of the ocean to swim to together.
Landscapes inside to explore. Beauty to unearth.
I re-write my story.
Love is not impossible. Love is healing.
Just as we are hurt in relationships, we heal in relationships.
We grow alongside each other, like two wild vines sprayed with salt and sun and the sultry warmth of ocean air amidst a backdrop of blue mountains.
And the future will always be uncertain. Love doesn’t guarantee perfection.
But in these strange, cold, technology-filled times, love is what we need. We crave the warmth of raw, beating hearts and being surrounded by our dearest ones. We crave touch, connection, and secure attachment, most of all. Contrary to popular belief, this is not codependent; healthy intimacy is what we’re made for.
Love is healing.
It will always be a risk. A leap.
But this is exactly what makes commitment beautiful. It requires faith. We can never be entirely sure what the path before us holds—but we commit anyway.
Because our hearts are wise.
Because we want to keep growing together.
Because when we cultivate a foundation of support, acceptance, and security within ourselves and with our beloved, anything is possible.
I breathe in now, my lungs expand, ready for the thick, delicious pages of this new chapter—and the journey continues.
The adventure spills out before us—an untouched meadow, a winding mountain road, a cerulean sea refracted against the sky at dusk, a juicy kiss, a damn tough day, unexpected bad news—all the beauty and difficulty of life swirled together in our fingertips.
We’ve got each other’s backs.
So we jump.
We jump into our shared future with excitement, curiosity, and the pure, delighted wonder that brought us together in the first place.