This morning I paused in the middle of cleaning dishes to watch a bird dance on a little branch outside the kitchen window. I’ve been trying to do that more often—lose myself in the moment, stop rushing and just let the thoughts flow. This little bird, a baby sparrow, perhaps, was hopping on the branch, dancing with another sparrow, their voices blending into one tune.
And perhaps I’ve been romantic lately, (perhaps I’ve always been). Perhaps there’s something in the air; perhaps my own chest is puffed out with the beating of my full heart. Perhaps I’ve been thinking so much about how love simply happens, and how achingly beautiful that is. But those little birds reminded me of humans, how we’re searching and searching and searching for someone who fits. And then, suddenly, our song finds a harmony with someone else’s voice. Suddenly we flit between branches, the sun on our backs, and our bodies swelling with hope, with happiness, with love.
We crave love, we chase love, honestly because it’s so undefinable. We try to define and make sense of it, but we’re only left with emptiness in the wake of heartbreak, or questions in the face of our fear, or an idea that changes with every hand we hold.
We want to know how two souls can be so intertwined; we want to know if we’re foolish to believe in forever. We want someone who will stand beside us, trial or triumph, who will choose us even when we don’t choose ourselves.
But we doubt.
We doubt because it seems easier than believing. We doubt because we don’t want to be disappointed. We doubt because to fall into someone fully is scary. We doubt because, ironically, we’re afraid of being alone.
But the truth about love that we see over and over again, is that it finds us. When we stop the search, the relentless pursuit, when we slow ourselves down and focus on what makes our hearts beat instead of who, the right person slips into our lives with silence and ease.
As we’re minding our own business, moving through our days, learning, for the first time, what it means to be on our own—this person appears—in their mess and wonder and confusion and perfect imperfection. And we build love.
But it’s so hard to wait.
It’s so hard to close our eyes, to trust, to know that who we are will continue to grow and the person we’re meant to love is out there somewhere, growing too. It’s so hard when we see people falling into one another, when we see birds flirting on branches outside our windows, when everyone and everything seems to have someone to hold and we’re standing there, hands in our pockets and eyes to the ground.
But love will come.
Love will come when we’re not so desperate to hold it. Love will come when we quit defining it and allow it to be. Love will come when we open ourselves to the possibility, when we run after the people who make our hearts beat, when we stop settling for those who don’t value us, when we understand that heartbreak is not permanent. When we know our worth.
There is love out there. There is someone who will see all the imperfection in us, and love us just the same. There is someone whose demons will play with ours, whose heart will beat in rhythm, whose perspectives will challenge and push us into stronger versions of ourselves.
There is someone who will notice the quirks, the freckles, the birth marks, the bruises, and want to know every story. Someone who is invested, who stays.
There is someone who won’t look at our past as a representation of who we are. There is someone who will grow with us, creating magic that sparks like a fire between our connected limbs.
There is love, but often it takes patience. There is love, but it comes unexpectedly. There is love, and it is all around us—in the trees, in the birds, in the sun, in the laughter—so we must know that we are never any less because we don’t have a heart to hold.
We must let the wreckage heal, let our breathing restore, let our minds reset with thoughts of hope for a future we will build one day. We must let the universe bring us what is meant to be, let the right person find us, and then let ourselves be loved.