“I love you”

It is as simple and complex as that. It’s a phrase we often throw around, whether saying it to our parents, to our significant other, or even to that slice of pizza. But what does it necessarily mean? There are many types of “love” in this world. The Ancient Greeks believed that there were four types of love: Eros, storge, agape, and philia.

The first is simple: it’s when you watch those cliche movies where the prince always saves the princess and they live happily ever after. This type of love is typically known as Eros, it involves seeing your partner in a romantic way. The second type of love is when your mother makes you a bowl of chicken noodle soup when you are sick with the flu or when she tucks you in before bed time. This form of love is called storge, a familial love. Agape is the selfless sacrifice, it’s being able to put another’s needs before your own… an unconditional love. Phileo refers to love held in friendships, it’s an affectionate and warm type of love. I was surrounded in my world where these four loves existed, it was all I ever knew. In our lives we are given hardships that challenge us to overcome and grow as a person, this was my challenge.

As cliche as it sounds it’s the typical story of boy meets girl, they fall for one another, but this isn’t another Cinderella story with a fairy tale ending. We had rambling late night conversations about everything and nothing. You see when you tell someone your deepest thoughts, fears, experiences, you put yourself in a vulnerable position, but to love is to be vulnerable. Long story short boy no longer felt the same, and things began to change for the girl. Let me tell you something, one of the worst feelings in the world is discovering that you don’t mean as much to someone as you thought you did, and you have to realize that not everyone has the same heart as you. Time passed from days, weeks, months and night after night the thoughts still lingered and I constantly wondered what it would’ve taken to make him stay.

Were my feelings not enough?

Was it the way I said my words?

Or was it because of the secrets I spilled until the peak of dawn?

I couldn’t help but think,

“Was I not enough?”

and I tried to change. I tried to be softer, prettier, less fickle, less awake. I closed my mouth more, I sat up straight, but I should’ve known that depending on a ghost of the past wasn’t going to fill my heart with happiness. So there I was with tsunamis running down my eyes, and earthquakes in my mind. How they shook my very being, their aftershocks screaming,

“you were not good enough”

But what defines us is how well we rise after falling. It wasn’t until then did I become aware of the fact that at the end of the day, the only person who would be able to save me wasn’t prince charming, but myself. I finally had the courage to look into the mirror and believe that I was enough. I told myself that day to fall in love — not with the brown eyed boy -but to fall in love with being alive; to desire making my life so achingly breathtaking I could never bare to leave it. We are so caught up with our daily routines that we forget to tell ourselves that we are beautiful. We overlook the droplet of rain for the storm. How we love others but forget how to love ourselves. The world I grew up in was filled with various types of love. Over time I had acquired a new form of love, it was neither agape nor eros but the most important of all,

self love.

♡ZR