I walked through the front corridor of my dorm building the first week of school to notice a big bulletin plastered to the wall with a marker hanging down. I stopped in my tracks to read through the list of things “You are most excited about Houghton College”. Things like classes and new friedships and all you can eat ice cream painted themselves across the white paper. But one stood out “Ring before Spring.”
“Is this seriously a thing?” I asked my RA in a hushed tone.
“What’s it mean?” the girl with auburn hair and blue eyes asked almost immediately after.
“Oh.” our RA answered. “It’s just thing where freshman get engaged before the spring of their sophmore year, sometimes their freshman year. Houghton’s known for it.”
I looked at the girl with auburn hair and blue eyes, our gazes locking and a feeling of sympathy settled into my heart for the girl who was bursting with excitement for this.
You see, I was in love once upon a time. With a boy who read me poetry and danced in the rain. But it’s been years since I’ve laid eyes on him. It’s been years since I’ve heard his voice sprinkle earthy tones and mellow whispers onto prose. And I used to look for love like he was a person I could just KNOW. Like I would bump into him in the bread aisle, our eyes would lock, and it’d just be him. Only him.
I used to look for love in un-pretty places too. At the bottom of rainbow colored drinks and darkened rooms with names of boys I don’t remember. And Love? He would just laugh a hearty chuckle and tuck me into my bed at each night when I felt empty and used and lonely. Love understood. Love understands. Sometimes you just have to go searching for love even when it’s sitting right in front of you, even when it isn’t available to you.
It’s been a hard battle, coming to this place inside myself where looking for love wasn’t my top priority. I’m not a realist, nor am I a complete cynic. I am merely a die-hard romantic that has this unsattiable thirst for passionate adoration. But I’ve come to learn something over the past few months…
You can’t go looking for love.
And babycakes, in all honesty, I don’t want to find love anymore. I just want to find myself. I want to know every nook and cranny of my heart so that if a stanger asked me who I was, I could reply with hellfire confidnece:
“Well, I’m just a girl who used to think that playing small and looking for love was the only answer to this crazy thing called life. But now, I know that being small isn’t so bad when you have a big God on your side and as for love? I’ll wait patiently for love to fall into my lap with wind-blown hair. Because his journey has been rough, and he’s questioned Love a few times, and he knows that God brought us together for a reason. So I’ll wait. And be comfortbale in myself. And no longer look for love in stray places.”