having love

Whenever I talk about wanting a significant other, it makes it sound like my life is terrible and empty of love. Of course, there is a difference between a romantic relationship and friendships and family, but to say that I have no love in my life would be an incredible understatement that does injustice to all of the wonderful people in my life.

The amount of love I am surrounded by is a blessing and completely fulfilling, and the list of people who have given it to me is humbling. I think we sometimes forget, in the hustle and bustle of our everyday, there are good things in our lives that we take for granted.

Like the time four friends made me breakfast on my exchange semester, because it's a tradition in my house and my family wasn't there. Or the time a friend came to pick me up at the airport an hour's drive away, after working all day, simply because the Deutsche Bahn was striking and I didn't know if I could get home. The friend who fronted the money for a new plane ticket, after I missed the first one due to a drunken night out (with that same friend). When I was a little heartbroken at the end of my exchange, and all the people who were still there took me out, bought me drinks, and swore at a man they'd never met to make me feel better. My blogging idol & my secret life muse, whom I have never met in person, but are always there to listen and support and encourage whenever I need it, never asking for anything in return. Anytime friends have let me stay with them in a foreign town, or have helped me move, or have left sweet blog comments - all of that is love.

All the times my Dad has proof-read an academic paper, or a CV, or a thesis, and the way he is always there to give advice on even the most mundane of things; my sister buying me a tshirt because she knew I would love it, and always letting me curl up with her when I am feeling sad; my brother talking on the phone with me even though he doesn't like it, or buying me a random gelato, just because; the way my mother will take time out of her day to tell me that I matter, that I am beautiful, and that she loves me, and who always has room in her bed for me when my anxiety takes over - that is love.

To say that I want love, that I am lacking it, seems petulent and ungrateful - I have love coming out of my ears. But when you're so focused on being single, and are bombarded by other people's perfectly curated images of happiness on social media, it's all too easy to forget that.

Today, I want to encourage you to take the time to tell all of your loved ones, whether family or friends, how much you appreciate their support and affection. Not only will you probably make their day, it will help you realize how much love you really have in your life. And that's never a bad feeling.