Autumn Tillson, Cottage Grove
– Student Prize Winner ($40) Valentine’s Contest.
In my fifteen years of life I have never run across love that didn’t enter into pain at one point or another; whether it was just for a moment or long lasting years. It is seems unavoidable. Love in any form, whether it is brotherly love or romantic affection, comes across difficult times and causes us to ask ourselves if what has happened is right or true. True love is hard to describe to someone that doesn’t understand or distinguish it. It’s like trying to depict the taste of water, or the color of wind. Butterflies in your stomach and outbursts of uncontrolled giggles are not signs of romantic love; that could be anything from excitement of attraction, newness to a relationship, to hormonal issues. I have had great examples in my life of true love, but also of ‘crushes’; both hard to understand, and both coming with pain.
The most common one I see is what people think is love but call ‘crushes’; a suitable name since that’s what they seem to do: crush. When I was in junior high, I saw girls and boys being ‘romantic’ with each other and holding hands and whatnot. At first I didn’t understand why they would even ‘hook up’ if less than a week later they would break up, causing pain to one or both parties. Even though I don’t consider these feelings as love, I do see pain enter the relationships every time. I understand what it’s like to ‘fall’ for someone, because I’m sure every girl has felt it at one time or another, I sure have, but many times this young love turns out to be an initial simple attraction whose roots don’t sink deep.
The wonderful example of true love in my life is my parents. They have been married for over 25 years. They are committed and willing to still work through their problems and pain, and continue to love each other in their actions. Even though there has been chronic illness in our family and financial difficulty at times, they are always trying to stay positive and productive. My dad is everything I want in a man when the time comes, and my mom is a great teacher of who I should be as a woman.
A lasting relationship calls for both parties to understand that there will be disagreements and difficulties, and require unimaginable love for one another, because at times it will become harder than you could have ever imagined and questions of divorce or ‘time apart’ will come and go. It is important to be prepared for any block in the road and work together to get through it instead of doing everything yourself. Love is a two part job, it is impossible to achieve anything within that on your own. Once you understand that and are willing to resist the temptation to be selfish, together you can accomplish more than you ever thought was possible.
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