Love.

Love.

It’s such a heavy word. It is good and it is bad. It holds so much power over who we are, how we live and everything we become.

Love.

Sometimes I think it’s a cliché in a word. Overrated just a tad bit. Adds an unnecessary twist to basic everyday things.

Love.

Versions of it can be found in every corner. You can feel it, you can share it, you can buy it. It is a new perspective for every person – rarely the same in two. This one’s mine.

Love.

I found it in a broken home. In food we ate, movies we watched, late night beach drives with her friends and family. In how the world felt when I would lie on her lap, her hands on my hair. She felt it too. She always knew and she always will. Simple but consistent. Through arguments and rebellious teens. Through crazy good and insanely bad. We knew.

In the way he stocked up my favourite food when I visited Singapore. Washed the curtains, changed the bedspreads, carefully keeping my dust allergies at bay. The way he woke me up at 9am with a gentle knock and soothing words. I never startled, never panicked out of slumber. The way he taught me how to really drive two hours before my license test. His pride knowing I’m doing everything we planned for my future. His smile when I said I won’t change my last name. A daddy’s daughter can remain one with a partner, with a husband, with a life for myself. He doesn’t feel it from me. He doesn’t know by instinct the way he guides me, in my head, every step of the way. He can’t process the impact he has. His affection, guidance and protection have every minute of my life.

How she knows me better than I know myself. Her hatred to physical affection but eye-rolled hugs. Three years younger and a decade wiser. Her smart quips that she thinks tease but make me happy. It means things are okay. It means she’s not mad for the third thing I did or said wrong that day. It is the lunch she packed when I woke up late for work. The way she listened when I complained about the same thing yet again. The small words of appreciation that make me feel recognized. Her presence around me, giving me a piece of home.

Love.

It’s abundant for her. It’s complicated for him. It’s streamlined for her. It’s them for me.

Love.

I found it in a sister unrelated by blood. Harsh words when the dating was too much. Hugs when the world was tough. She was my guardian angel, my best friend and my family in one person. An inspiration in many moments. Her calm, her sanity and her patience. Nothing quite like it. I felt it in the times she trusted me with her life. I knew it when I could cry about mine to her. I don’t cry to friends. But she was always more.

Love.

Not very traditional. A myth not to be prioritized. Life requires more things than just that. Responsibility, towards duty, towards family, towards society. A career, a plan. More things mattered in the long run. A sustainable future is so much bigger.

Love.

It had a type. A mould that you needed to fit into. A person that you absolutely must be. Kind, calm, patient. Skinny, fair, attractive. Not too much make up but made up. Kitchen skills don’t hurt. A shyness around the bedroom and topics of sex. Don’t know what you want but don’t be an idiot. A job is great but family first. Duty to the future and wellbeing of the partner and the babies yet to be conceived.

Love.

Synonymous with change. Obsessed with being found. In a person. Preferably of the opposite sex. Ideally with a job. Perhaps a bit of faith and religion. We can include a few things from my list too – Taller than me, smart, well-spoken, career-obsessed, an equal partner, well-travelled, independent of me, a partner I share a life with, no decision-making authority about my life. An unreal list for an unsuitable person. It’s not about what I wanted. Not about what he wanted. It was a parent’s list. Mine. His. Maybe theirs?

Love.

Adapting, adjusting, understanding. Silent, submissive, sweet. Smiles at everyone, never has an opinion, never argues. Does not dare raise her voice, takes care of their son and creates a home that’s acceptable. To them. To theirs. To everyone else.

Beliefs that adapt to theirs, lifestyle that modifies to their plans and parents that become them.
Child over career. Bounce back culture. Partner Husband over everything else. The perfect wife for their perfect son.

A list from the parents. That’s all that matters.

Love.

It hit me like a train without a break. For the first time, I could be anyone I wanted to be. I could be fat, I could be rebellious, I could be anxious. It didn’t matter. The things about me I was criticized for became things he admired. My smarts, my passions, my job.

He supports, encourages, motivates. The person of my list and then some. A perfect partner for a ‘perfect’ me.

Love.

He gets me. My quirks and my rambles. Every word I speak, every emotion I feel. He gets me. Who I am, where I come from and everywhere I want to be.

I am a better me and I can’t remember how I got here. But this is how it should be. Empowering, enabling and enticing. Pulling you through life, only stopping when you need to. Letting you catch your breath while taking it away.

Love.

Happy, glowing and content. Accepted, appreciated and adored. Away from the lies they told about problems he doesn’t see.

A magical place. A life of the past irrelevant amidst the laughter and all-knowing glances.
A moment, maybe moving, maybe here forever. But you feel it. In cups of coffee and lingering goodbyes. Excited travel and lazy evenings. You will be everything you were meant to be. But better.

Love.

The way they curl up right next to me, eyes staring, mind relaxed. I never feel alone. They think we rescued them, but really they rescued me.

Love.

The way I feel when I write. In the strokes of paint across a canvas. For me, for my emotions, for my satisfaction. The moments between work and home. The perfect book that makes me cry. The perfect song to the tune of my world. In silence and loudness. Excitement and disappointment. The overplanning, long lists and never ending piles of colours.

Love.

In the middle of a work day when inspiration strikes. I type as I listen to songs from the 90s. The dogs right next to me. My mother texting me. I see him through the corner of my eyes.

Love.

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