empathy

To Everyone Struggling To Forget Their First Love – Stop Trying

Painting by Chen Ming

Painting by Chen Ming

I met her at a time when life was a walk in the park. At 9 years old, nothing ever seems serious. By the time we were 15, though, life had changed. Love had flown in through our windows and we, for the first time knew what growing up really tasted like. Adolescence is what adolescence is.

For all, it seems that love grows and binds two people together as they grow themselves. Truth is, sometimes people grow apart under the force of time as they discover who they are, opposed to who they are supposed to be.

That is precisely what happened with us. In the beginning, it shattered me. For a guy who had always been able to hold himself together no matter what the situation turned out as, it suddenly seemed that nothing remained to hold on to. The pain felt unbearable, flowing in my veins having replaced the blood I once came to call as mine.

For weeks after that, I’d sit wondering if I’d lost something which was meant to be mine, if I’d ever get another person who’d make me feel the same way as she did, if ever in my lifetime my heart would fit back together and beat for another soul like it did for her.

Days passed, then weeks, then months and now years.

And one day I realised that time doesn’t heal. Some things in life are worth the pain, the excruciation, the effort and the will. Some things do not fade. Some scars do not heal.

Yes, I’d lost something I’d never get back.
No, no one else would compare.
No, no one would make me feel what she did.
No, never in my lifetime would my heart go back to being the way it was.
But. Yes, I’d survive. And I did.

The thing about your first love is that the pain is too much at times and we start believing that it is what we are going to feel through our lives. To a certain extent, that is true. The pain never really subsides fully. And everytime we try to forget the things which shaped us, we give in to the pain more and more.

As they say, let go of the struggle, stopping splashing your limbs in the water and you will float.

That is the law.

As I write this today, I know that wherever I go, whoever I meet, whatever I do, I will not have a second love I get to call my first. And truth be told that hurts me. In an ideal world, we’d all end up with our first loves because when everything fades and the smoke subsides each and everyone will tell you that if their first love would suddenly walk in through the door on a shivery Sunday morning decades after they last met, they’d still fall back in love with them. That is the way it is, that is the way we are and that is the way it’ll always be.

With you, with me and with every other soul that has ever graced this planet.

Eventually the pain subsides because we learn to accept it as a part of ourselves, as an invisible limb that reminds us of a time that loved us, of a time that we can never go back to.

Wherever we are, whichever road we’ve chosen and however time has swept us, here, right here in our own shoes is who we are.  So stop doing this to yourself. Stop waking up with a different person every second night, frantically looking for your shoes, to get away from the face which last night had looked so much like hers. Stop looking at mirrors wishing the person on the other side had held on a bit longer. Stop cursing yourself for the things you’ve done.

Because they are all in the past. Because you can’t change them. And most importantly, because you shouldn’t.

Always remember, your first love was not the girl with the spectacles from 4th grade or the guy down at music class who knew how to catch your heart beat.

Your first love has always been and will always be your own self, standing right there in your own skin, with you at your best and your worst. Learn to love that person because that person right there is the most important one you will ever meet.

And if ever you are reminded of a special someone from a trip down memory lane on a cloudy night when the rain refuses to subside, remember them as a beautiful memory and let your nostalgia bleed itself to life.

Your past is beautiful where it belongs.
In your past.

Submitted to ArtParasites by Sayan Sen