I'm 19 and I've never been in a relationship, which makes me lose faith sometimes.
Sometimes it's hard to believe in love when you aren't experiencing it in a conventional way. In "Love Actually," Hugh Grant says, "If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
I've made it a point to believe in that, so I look for it.
1. My parents
I know how lucky I am that my parents are still together and I'll never take it for granted. Their love story is one of my favorites and whenever I start to feel like love isn't real, I remember that every day I've been alive, and sometime before that, my parents loved each other. Because of that, I have no doubts.
2. My best friend
One time someone asked me what I thought love was if I've never been in a relationship, and I told them I'd just know. And I know that because I have love for my best friend.
To me, love is a feeling and an action and a choice. It has little to do with romance and a lot to do with trust. That's the way I see my best friend. I trust her with everything in me. I choose to tell her things I don't tell anyone else. I think she's absolutely perfect and I feel lucky to have her in my life.
Flowers are easily my favorite thing in the whole world. There is nothing more beautiful to me than a field of wild and independent daisies, or a lonely rose that seems to have its guard up. And I choose to believe that God put them all here for the sole purpose of giving them to the people you love.
4. Taylor Swift songs
A lot of songs give me faith in love. Music is the most powerful thing we have. And I know it's a bit of a stretch, but I feel like Taylor Swift kind of raised me.
From 6 to 19, her songs have been teaching me lessons of heartbreak, life, love, and all the little things in between. That really helps develop a person when you focus on it as much as I have.
It's great to have a reminder that love can find you and leave you and grow with you despite obstacles like the ones she writes about. I've spent a huge chunk of my life trying to be headstrong like Taylor Swift with the hopes that I can believe in love as she does.
I know it's weird for me to say cheesecake is a reminder that love exists, but I'll own it. Here's why: cheesecake is so simple that you know when a cheesecake is really memorable, it had to have been made with love.
Four ingredients can't really shine on their own, but with some heart, they do.
6. Reese Witherspoon
Like with music, movies have a way of helping us feel what we don't have or can't see. But specifically, Reese Witherspoon movies take it a step further for me.
My two favorite movies are "Legally Blonde" and "Sweet Home Alabama" because I see myself in them. That makes love feel all the more obtainable.
Her characters in both movies worked ridiculously hard to overcome obstacles to reach success, and then they just happen to find love along the way. That's always been the way I hope love finds me. I put my career and personal goals at the top of my priorities with the idea that love will find its way in.
Smiles are heartwarming. It's the easiest thing to do, but there's so much meaning behind a genuine smile.
It's a symbol that someone is enjoying life and they want to give that joy to someone else. It's proof every single day that people are happy, maybe even in love. They're in love with something. Maybe they're like me and they're only in love with their best friend and daisies, but that's something they smile for and I think that's really cool.
8. The ocean
There is one inanimate thing that is a perfect reflection of everything I perceive love to be. That is the ocean.
It's continuous and infinite. It controls part of the universe. Not all of it has been discovered and couldn't possibly be. It's kind of scary, but in a beautiful and mysterious way that is intriguing. It's deep and it's ever-changing. It'll move you and toss you around.
Writing and words are in the same area of my brain as love because it brings so many people together. It's the way we express ourselves.
I've let writing take me over in a way that I hope love one day can. I want to love the way I write: meticulously. With writing, and with love, we get a choice to say the right thing and make things how we want them.
I suppose you can't be heartbroken without being in love, and my heart has been broken. I never had a full relationship with the guy who broke my heart, but I'm sure I was in love with him. Or an idea I had of who he was. It's the worst reminder that love is out there, but a reminder nonetheless.