Thursday, June 12, 2014

Love is a Privilege

I'm absolutely obsessed with this song, so press play and freakin' read.

So I saw "The Fault in Our Stars" a few nights ago. I hadn't really planned on seeing it, but stuff happens, you know?

After reading the crazy Buzzfeed post about how much it made everyone cry, but never having read the book, I decided to tag along with a few friends who were going to see it. Because, being less than a month removed from a breakup, I felt like I needed a good cry to clear out all the pent up feelings and emotions I had been holding in. 

You know you're pathetic when you use a movie about broken-hearted cancer kids as a catalyst to cry like a baby.
But I digress. That's not the point of this post. 

The point of this post is, unlike most of the people quoted in that Buzzfeed post, I wasn't furious with John Green after leaving the theater. I wasn't devastated because two love-struck teenagers were ripped apart by cancer. I wasn't mad that life and love aren't fair and that heartbreak and pain are all too real in this life. Sure, I cried plenty during that movie, but it wasn't because I was sad. 

There's a point near the end of the movie, after Augustus Waters' funeral (#sorrynotsorry, you knew that one was coming), when Hazel and her dad are sitting on the floor of her room. The look of immense, tired, numb sadness is evident on both of their faces. I don't remember the entire exchange between the two of them. But her dad says something to the effect of, "But it sure was a privilege, huh? Loving him."

And that's when it hit me. That's when my steady streak of a tear or two here and there turned into a raging river of snot and sobbing and certifiable "ugly crying." That's when I realized that love, with all of its pain, heartache, euphoria, and inexplicable joy, is a privilege. I realized that the problem with society (okay, one of the problems) is that we focus so much more on the pain and heartache parts of relationships rather than reveling in the fact that we have the privilege of experiencing some of the most beautiful things in life with the people we love, even if it is for a short amount of time.

Someone please take me to Amsterdam!!
The Fault in Our Stars made me realize that I've had the privilege of loving some pretty cool people and having some pretty cool experiences.
I realized it was a privilege sitting with him on top of Ensign Peak watching planes take off against the backdrop of the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen.
It was a privilege kissing and cuddling under the 4th of July fireworks set against a crystal clear Wyoming sky.
It was a privilege going on Sunday walks and holding his hand and feeling like I didn't have a care in the world.
It was a privilege sitting in the stands of the semifinals of the state football playoffs, hoping and praying the team would come back from 20 points down just because I wanted him to be happy.
It was a privilege sitting in the middle of a pickup truck with the windows rolled down, his arm around me, and the summer breeze blowing through my hair.
It was a privilege eating frozen yogurt and hanging out in a church parking lot and wishing he'd just kiss me already.

The Fault in Our Stars made me realize that it's a privilege getting close to someone and thinking, "I could get used to this."
It's a privilege getting close to somebody, even if it is just for a few short months or years.
It's a privilege to let someone in and to feel vulnerable.
And even though it hurts like hell, it's a privilege to have your heart broken. It's a privilege to feel pain and sadness and hurt and loss. Because that means you're feeling and living and growing and experiencing the most beautiful feeling in the world. And how awesome is that? How great is it knowing that we get to choose who we let in and who we give the power to hurt us to? 

Like Augustus Waters said. We don't get to choose if we get hurt in this world, because that's inevitable. What we do get to choose is who hurts us, and we get to remember that feeling pain and experiencing heartbreak are privileges. 

I walked out of the theater Tuesday night feeling like I didn't have to be mad anymore. Like I didn't have to be sad about all the relationships I've been in that haven't worked out. Like I didn't have to feel bitter toward the people who broke my heart.
Because all of it was a privilege.

And in that moment, I just wished more people felt that way about life and love and relationships. I wished more people could look on the bright side of things and remember the good times they had with people instead of the bad. I wished more people could be grateful for all of the privileges each and every one of us is afforded on a daily basis. Because I feel like if we could all do that, the world would be just a little bit happier. Sure, there would still be love-struck teenagers ripped apart by cancer. Families would still be faced with immense struggles and heartache. People would still die. Bad things would still happen. 

But after all was said and done, we could all just sit there, feeling hopelessly tired but also inexplicably fulfilled. And we could truthfully say that yes, it was a privilege loving him. And that's all that would ever matter.


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