In the years to come before the fall of 2016, I met love a couple times.

I grew to understand love. Particularly, I came to realise that love was a beautiful thing but it wasn’t necessarily always pleasant.

Summer of my 18th year, I met ‘the one’. He taught me many things. He taught me how to pray. He taught me long suffering and perseverance. Most of all, I came to understand the importance of my body and the respect it demanded.

Love has been a bit difficult to work with, regardless. It’s always asked for more than I can give and it’s been a hard teacher at best in my most difficult and challenging moments.

And so at 20, love hurt and became draining. Love left me tired. Things fell apart and so did I.

I have come to realise that being broken and put back together has left me with cracks in-between. But as the saying goes,

we’ve come this far by faith.

Coming all this way, I’ve learnt that true love never gives up. Love comes to know you in your darkest of places but it chooses how and when it will arrive.

Now, I’m not saying that I know love’s antics all that well but after all the higgy hagga of settling into young adulthood, I know this: Love comes softly at 21.

Love seems to show up in the hellos and how are yous? It comes in the goodbyes and on the kitchen table over a warm meal. It comes with a glass of red wine. It comes in the hurt. It is ready with hugs and offers friendship in the middle of a war. It comes with the occasional sharp tongue but it offers soothing apologies.

Above all else, for me, love is a friend that doesn’t mind walking with me the extra mile.

So I guess it’s clear that life at 21 has brought with it a newness I didn’t predict. I can, however, confidently assure you with all my jagged edges and crooked corners that I am, without a doubt, unafraid of the days and the months ahead.

*sips on my chai tea*

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