Most of us have experienced love. Love can mean so many things. You can love a slice of pizza, or your dad, or a friend. But each of those are three very different types of love. The love that I am talking about is the kind of love you read about in books. The kind you see in movies, or even the kind of love that we see in our parents and grandparents. It is something that most of us, if not everyone, dreams of. To sweep a girl off her feet, or to be the one swept of their feet. We grow up listening to fairy tales about true love and happily ever after. What we do not get to hear about or see in these fairy tales is true heart-break. Even in modern movies and books we see breakups and fights, but it usually turns out okay, or if it does not, then we never get to see how one copes with it and moves on. We are not familiar with heartbreak because no one wants to experience it, so we avoid it. A lot of us, yes including myself, believe that it will never happen to them. That the two of you will be together forever and always. That isn’t always the case though. So we get smacked back into reality and it feels as if the world is crumbling down right before our eyes. You may feel like life is swallowing you whole and you begin to drown in emotions you never thought yourself capable of ever conjuring up. You would not wish this pain on even your worst enemy. This person who was such a big part of your life and whom you saw almost everyday is now gone. This person who you once talked to from dusk to dawn, you never speak to again. The jokes, laughs and kisses, all memories now. It’s like half of your body tears itself away from you and walked away and you have no idea how or where to get it back. Nothing else feels more desolate than having someone walk away with a piece of you. Movies and books like to romanticized the concept of heart-break. You normally see a girl laying in bed that is covered with tissues, eating ice cream and chocolate while watching the Notebook. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was all there was to it? When you experience true heart ache, all you can do is just lay there staring into space, feeling numb because you don’t know what to feel. I love music and when I was down in the dumps I couldn’t even listen to music because it was either sad love songs that reminded me of how I felt, or happy upbeat love songs that reminded me of my loneliness. People will tell you “It’ll get better. Just give it time.” or “You can do better than him/her.” so on and so forth. You won’t want to listen to them because what do they know? Listen to them. They have a point. It will get better, this I can promise. It may feel as if you will never be okay ever again. You will be okay again. It will take time, for some it’ll take longer than it will for others but it’ll work itself out. The feelings will slowly fade. They may never fully ever go away because losing someone who you truly loved can leave its mark on you forever. And that’s okay! You should not forget someone you once cherished so deeply. There may be days when you feel as if you have completely moved on and are okay, but maybe next week it feels as if it just happened the day before. Keep pushing forward. Remember the good times and not the bad, because holding onto all that anger and pain will only hinder your future relationships, romantic or platonic. Understand that people are placed in our lives for a reason, and not all of those people are meant to stay. Let them go and allow yourself to open the door of opportunities with arms wide open, waiting to welcome those who are ready to enter into your life. Do not build a wall around your heart, my friends. Don’t block off your emotions and pretend to be okay when you are not because it’s okay to not be okay. Allow others to help you back up onto your feet and continue to live. Although it feels like your ex was the only person in the world that truly knew how to make you feel better, those who are presently still around you are trying so hard to make you feel better because they love you. It may feel as if your world is coming to an end, but it is not. Life has only just begun for you. Stop and take a look around you and see the world and its treasures. Enjoy the company and love of those around you. You lost one person, and yes it hurts, but would they want you to deny yourself happiness and love? Things end and it’s inevitable. Let go of that need to control your life and just let life run its course. Pick up new hobbies, get yourself out there, and create new memories with other people. Remember, love does not have a single definition. Love is doing what is best for the other person. So if you love your ex, let them go and now love yourself and move on. If it was meant to be, then it will be. All you need is some patience. Do not put your life on hold, though, for a possible “maybe”. Another way to look at it is to remember the love that you felt towards that person and think “Wow. I loved them this much, I can only imagine how much I will love the person I am actually meant to be with.” Do not rush into other meaningless relationships, trying to force yourself to love them because you can not force love. Love will happen when you stop looking for it. Do not compare future relationships to your last because that is unfair to the other person. Do not feel unworthy of love and do not let anyone tell you that you are unworthy of love. Forgive yourself and others for the mistakes that were made, but never forget. Remember that you are capable of love and being loved in return. Never let love leave you because without it you will be dead. Not the death of the body, but death of the soul. To me, the death of the soul is far worse than the death of the body. Once the seed of hatred and anger is planted in your heart, it can become very difficult to get rid of it. In order to move on do not stalk their social medias. Delete their messages and voicemails, and take the photos of you guys and store them somewhere. You shouldn’t delete them because one day it won’t hurt to look at your ex and you’ll be able to laugh and remember the good times. Remember: love comes in all forms and will always be present in your life as long as you allow yourself to be open to it. Like all storms, it will become still and so will your life. Have patience and good things are sure to come.
Many people may feel that some Catholics are too strict and controlling when it comes to the subject of one’s lifestyle, whereas many Catholics may feel that we all could practice a little bit more of temperance in our daily lives. Catholics extremely value the human body and view it as a temple. I myself am a Catholic and agree that the body is a temple. But everyone has their own ways of decorating that temple. Many would see me and not think “Oh, she looks religious.” In fact it is quite the opposite. Many people are very surprised and shocked when I say that I am Catholic. They are even more surprised when I say that I go to a private Catholic university! I will admit that I have and possibly still do stir up some controversy to those who do not attend my college, and even more so amongst my fellow peers and advisors. A year ago I packed up my Harry Potter sized room, put my stuff in the back of my parent’s van and left for college. I grew up in the Bay Area and those who are familiar with the area, or are even familiar with California alone, know that both California and the Bay Area are not the most conservative of places. Freedom of self-expression was normal. It was not as big of a deal to look a little weird, especially in the bigger cities. Before my departure I had six piercings, and wore oversized band tees and flannels. In addition to the holes and grungy attire, when I had turned 18 I got my first tattoo, and dyed half my hair blue. In all honesty though, my hair was not supposed to be as blue as it was, despite what my parents believed. But hey I am young and us youngins are allowed to make mistakes right? Yet I hopped into that white mini van that took me everywhere for as long as I could remember, eager for it to take me on that last drive. I was headed to college in Southern California. And as you can tell from my above statements it was not SDSU that I was headed to. Instead I chose to go to a small private film school known as John Paul the Great Catholic University. I was told that the Catholic colleges were usually the craziest of schools, but let me tell you that this school is far from that! So while other college students are partying, I am watching Disney movies with friends. But that is besides the point. The school is still fairly new and yet knows what it wants. Any normal person would walk by the school and see beautiful young ladies and handsome gentlemen, and then there they would see me. No doubt about it that the parents who were dropping off my new classmates probably had a moment to hesitation and thought to themselves that they should probably pack their child’s belongings back up and get the heck out of there. The stares were awkward but I had prepared myself for them. I can only imagine how my roommates felt. I wanted to tell them that I swear I don’t do drugs or worship Satan, and won’t cause trouble, but I decided that I would rather show them that. To my surprise though, my roommates as well as many other students were very welcoming and eager to meet the blue haired girl. It turns out there was a girl before me who had colored hair. Phew! I wasn’t a freak, and that was comforting and eased my anxiety. A lot of people actually liked me and became my friends. A few weeks into the first quarter I decided to get my septum pierced. I was nervous because my hair was still blue and my septum was freshly pierced and later that day I had class…with the head and founder of the school. To top it off I sat in the very front row! I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat the entire class worried that he may call me out and scorn me for the way I looked. And again the wave of relief washed over me when the quarter finished and nothing was said. In fact the only person who said anything about it was my lovely mother. No sarcasm there, my mother is a very lovely woman, and honest…very honest. But like all things it blew over. At this point I needed a job and had dyed my hair back to its normal state of red. For the next few months everything had been going all fine and dandy. People seemed to be into my “daring” and “alternative” look. I am pretty sure that the only reason that half the people who had talked to me did it out of pure curiosity of knowing who I was. But hey that’s cool because half of them are my friends now. When winter break rolled around and I went home I decided to do something big. I wanted another tattoo. Not your normal butterfly quarter size tattoo on my hip bone. I am talking bigger. I was going to get a half sleeve done. I was already pushing boundaries before my decision of getting my arm piece done. So why would I continue to push these boundaries? Well first off, there is a great meaning behind my tattoo, but that story is for another time possibly. Second, I was finally coming to terms with who I was and who I wanted to be. I was unique. I never wanted to blend in with everyone else and just drift through life. I did not want to become a banker or a lawyer either. I have had difficulties in the past of staying true to myself. I let other people influence me and made decisions based off what they wanted rather than what I wanted. This was me taking my life back. When break ended and I returned back to school, obviously I was bombarded by my classmates asking to look at it and asking what it meant. I was really scared that my school was going to get mad and expel me. Again a familiar wave of relief washed over me when nothing happened. I have gotten one more tattoo since and have dyed my hair from red to pink to back to red. Through all of this I have received many stares from adults and have received a lot of compliments from others my age. I get a little self conscious from time to time but I remember that I love my look and that is all that matters. To bring this article back to where it started, yes I have encountered a few problems with other Catholics on the way I choose to present myself. We are all entitled to our own opinions and I respect theirs. But I am not dirty, or a bad person. I am caring and compassionate. I love puns and humor all around. Any dog can bring me to my knees and I love Disney movies. You cannot get that information just from one look at me. And by the grace of God, I was blessed with wonderful classmates who did not use my style against me, but rather used that curiosity or even judgment to get to know me. Now I have a lot of beautiful people whom I call friends. People know about me because of my differences, that’s how my name gets around and that’s how people remember me. I am okay with that. I am okay with me.