Growing up in church taught me
That Love is patient, and that Love is kind.
My uncle taught me
That Love is shielding young eyes from fighting parents.
A family full of addicts taught me
That Love is bailing someone out, so their parents don't find out.
Old friends taught me
That Love is a ritual you say to someone's face pre backstabbing
First crushes taught me
That Love is just one little thing you need to say to get what you want.
Media taught me
That "I love you," comes after sex.
Cheaters taught me
That Love is a different man every night.
Their husbands taught me
That Love is turning a blind eye.
Lying on a hospital bed for months taught me
That a lot of people will suddenly claim to love you when they think they're about to lose you.
Funerals taught me
That people love a person a lot more after they're gone.
Avoidance of coping with death taught me
That Love just causes more pain.
My friend's old boyfriend taught me
That Love is two fatal gunshots to your girlfriend's waist.
Meeting you taught me
That Love is so much more.
That Love doesn't always blatantly say "I love you."
That Love is sometimes disguised
as chicken noodle soup to help runny noses,
Or ice cream to help hurting hearts.
That Love is being patient with me when I interrupt you for the fifth time to point out how cute the dog over there is
And Love is also not getting angry with me when I almost get us in an accident to point out the sixth.
That Love is making me laugh on sad days.
And that Love is also laughing at my jokes, even when I get the punch line wrong.
That Love is checking in on me.
Love is making sure I'm okay.
That Love is pushing me to be the best person I can be,
And helping me get there.
That Love is vulnerability.
That Love is a battle.
That Love is confusing.
And it's messy.
And it's hard.
And sometimes I don't even know what it is.
And I used to hate that,
But now I love it.