What I Learned From A Love Song

What I Learned From A Love Song

But I promise you it's not about what love is.
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Before you read on, I have a confession to make.

For better or for worse and for all intents and purposes, I believe I am one of those creatures you would call a “hopeless romantic.” It is a rather incurable condition and for as long as I can remember I have had this disposition of seeing life through rose-tinted glasses. Sure, things aren’t always dandy, but this hopeless romantic still has hope. But that’s not the point.

The point is coming.

Like others of my romantic kind, I am a sucker for all things mushy. Rom-coms? Yep. "500 Days of Summer" is currently one of my favorites. Romance novels? Yeah. "One Day" by David Nicholls definitely pulled at my heart strings. Love poems? I remember reading “He Wished For the Clothes of Heaven” by W.B. Yeats for the first time and feeling vulnerably in awe. Heck, even reading about the Little Prince and his rose gave me “feels.”

But most of all, I’d say that love songs hit the sweet spot. Gosh, the wonders of a truly great love song are endless. I can’t even begin to explain the sensations felt or the emotions evoked. I don’t even know where to start. Maybe one day I’ll attempt to understand this phenomenon better and then write about it. If (when) it happens it shall be aptly called, “TFW you hear a really good love song”. Anyway, for now, it would suffice to say that it's an emotional roller-coaster ride of ups and downs with the occasional lefts and rights for about roughly four minutes. On repeat.

And by now you must be thinking “blergh this is another cheesy fluff piece” but worry not, dear reader, you’re only half right!

The point here is that throughout all my years of romantic fantasizing, fueled by an endless supply of love songs, I have learned a few things that actually do transcend the realm of romantic endeavors and I want to share one of them. A key to success, if I may so audaciously claim, to any human relationship is to make it more than just words. Words are powerful and rightly so, but when it boils down to it I think we would all prefer to have that friend who is more solid and dependable than just mere words.

So, how does one go about cultivating this behavior of being more than just words? Well, I can’t say I know how to go about it exactly myself. My understanding of it is still very much a work in progress. But, thus far, I can say beyond a reasonable doubt that the small things are important. These gestures do go far. The little things count. Check in with that friend who you know has been having a hard time. Don’t stop there. Check in with friends who aren't having a hard time. Call your parents. Leave a note that will brighten someone's day. Show appreciation when it's due, recognition when it is appropriate. A little bit of effort can and does go a long way.

The inquisitive reader at this point would now ask, “why the small things?” I would then answer that a complete justification would take too long. But with that being said, what's important to understand here is that engaging in activities that count as “the small things” demonstrates a level of emotional involvement that can conventionally be said to be desired by all (and by "all" I refer to those who share a quality that at this moment we shall call “humanness”).

I think the average human being is more emotionally complex than we have given it credit for. At least, I know I am emotionally complex. To even begin to understand this complexity would require a rather extensive treatise. On top of that, to push this further, I would like to believe that the plethora of conditions that form the “average human being” is in itself immensely complex and intricate, to the point that this idea of an essential “average human” is in itself quite a disservice.

But I digress. Returning to the point, my emotional needs are plenty and the list is fairly long even without going into what I emotionally desire. In my non-professional opinion, it is perfectly legitimate to recognize and embrace one’s emotions and, to a great extent, it is healthy to do so. Point being that emotions are important and engaging in the small things may be a good start on the path to emotional fulfillment.


And there you have it. That’s one of the things this romantic has learned from all those love songs with a little bit of reflection. And there’s much more that can be said about them. If anyone has a favorite love song to share, please send them my way. I am in need of another good one since I am still trying to figure out what love is. Before I end this, I'd like to add another thing. I've also learned that it’s never too late to say sorry.




Cover Image Credit: stormnortheast.com

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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