Love is easier when you’re young, when there are specific ways of being hurt that you haven’t experienced yet, and you feel above the pain because you don’t know how far down it can drag you.
When you’re young, you believe that your heart won’t be broken, because that one soul, the one you’re trusting, is the one you’re meant to spend your life with. You believe that your best friends won’t leave, or change, or pass, because you’re all fucking invincible.
And then it all changes.
It happens with age, or it happens with an accumulation of spare socks that used to belong to people who loved you, or it happens with a Facebook memory that pops up on a Tuesday afternoon when you’re trying to eat a sad frozen pizza for lunch, and all of a sudden you’re jolted back into a world of hurt.
You wake up one day, and you are tired, and wounded, and you don’t want to let anyone else in.
Not this time.
Not another time.
When that happens, all you want is to stop loving people who can find new and innovative ways of severely altering your personality through the adventurous application of emotional distress and disappointment.
You want to lock the door, and sit in the darkness with the windows nailed shut, and turn your phone off so that the people who haven’t abandoned you will no longer have the chance.
But you can’t let that instinct win.
If you reject any possibility of hurt, you reject the possibility of boundless joy, human love, and the wonder that is another person reaching out and taking your hand.
That’s where I find my greatest hope; that the possibility of hurt is the most glorious trade-off you can make.
My hope is that the lows are a fucking bargain compared to how it feels when someone finds a way to love me, even for a few moments, even if they never love me again. When someone lets me into their heart, in exchange for being given safe passage into mine.
My hope is that, weighed up against the potential for love, the potential for hurt will always be a risk in my favour.
I know that being hurt once feels like a tragedy.
But I suspect that never being hurt again would feel worse.