— Aidan Chambers
— Jonathan Safran Foer
Don’t settle. Say “fuck this” and up and leave. Don’t be grown up about it, because if you’re not happy about something there’s probably a good reason. Don’t sit around waiting for the boy who makes you feel more lonely than anything else. Most of all, when there’s a boy who tries to abandon you, don’t run after him saying “please don’t abandon me”. If birds wasted saliva chirping “please don’t fly away”, Asians wouldn’t make a roaring business out of birds’ nest soup. Don’t be afraid to say you’re worth more, because, angel, you probably are.
Here is your heart, which is green because it’s your favourite colour. It’s a bit- or a lot- wonky because I’m terrible at drawing and even worse at drawing on Paint, and also because you’re pretty wonky :p
I know there is something sad in your heart, and that it hurts, sort of like when I cut myself by accident at work today with a pair of scissors. I had to run and put on a band-aid to stop it from bleeding, and I think that’s what you did too.
Here is your heart with a band-aid:
I was silly and ripped open your band-aid without thinking, and it hurt because the sad thing is still there, because the cut isn’t better yet. These things take time to heal. Some cuts, like that small cut I have on my finger, take days; some cuts, like when you fall down and cut your knee, take a few months. I don’t know how long it will be before you feel better. Maybe a long time.
I’ll be there. Even if you’re hurt. And I won’t leave, not for a black heart or a yellow heart or a heart studded with diamonds or even a rainbow heart, even though rainbow is my favourite colour. I won’t go away, no matter how new or interesting other hearts can be. I’ll be there while you learn to let go, and while you teach me to drive, and while we both learn to grow up.
Look- here is my heart- I chose pink because I’m wearing a pink sweater right now. When it’s hard to smile I’ll smile for you, even if that’s the cheesiest thing ever, because I’m great at smiling. And look- I’m slightly wonky too. We both are, and that’s okay. You’re wearing mismatched shoes in this picture- pretty sure I convinced you to get some pink ones :p
There’s a world of right and wrong out there- we won’t always agree. Sometimes we’ll disagree, and we’ll fight it out. That’ll happen quite often, I think, because we’re both pretty stubborn. But that doesn’t really matter because some things are right, and we are one of those things, and you make me incredibly happy, and I want to make you happy too. And- also, happiness between us is obligation-free.
You’re pretty charming when you smile. :)
It’s funny. For the first time you’re not afraid of what might happen. You’re not afraid that he won’t love you back, or that he might leave, or that one day you might go to Spain and the world will go upside down. For the first time, maybe you think you might be open to going to Spain with someone else. (Not on a tour though. Fuck no.)
For the first time, you’re not afraid to love, because this person is worth it.
For the first time you understand what Winnie was getting at. It’s great to be independent, but also great to be loved. You still believe in carving your own future, but also- the end picture in your mind of what life is going to look like isn’t the same as it used to be. It used to be about you. You when you’re grown up. But now you start thinking, “I wonder what the future holds for us”.
It’s a great feeling. Also dangerous, of course- for the first time you are opening yourself up to be hurt. But go. Fall. Enjoy the feeling of invincibility that comes with loving someone. Be optimistic. Be hopeful. And if ever it doesn’t work out, then look back on this and remember when he changed you for the better.
Here you are, standing at the edge of the great unknown. I don’t know what is on the other side. I don’t even know if you’ll make it to the other side: for all I know it’s just an infinite hole, down, down, down. But here it is: for the first time, you are looking forward to the exhilaration of the fall; that feeling of weightlessness, of flying, of sheer velocity, of not knowing or caring where you are.
That feeling very much like- dare you say it aloud? No, not yet. Let us not say that yet. Let us start falling first, and perhaps, at the end of the infinite hole is love.
Perhaps this is what it means to fall in love.