Going through a breakup? Meeting someone new? Falling in love? It can be tough and exciting, but Rachel Green has something to say about it. Through her many memorable quotes, there are just some that fit every relationship milestone like no other:
"And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love." Other theater geeks like me probably also remember this quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony acceptance speech in 2016. Now, thanks to Lin-Manuel and his talent for catchy phrases, every time someone says "love is love," all I can think of is Lin-Manuel's emphatic cry for equality.
This cry is one that I support wholeheartedly. I think that you should be allowed to love whomever you choose and that you should do so without fear of hatred or scrutiny. If you are a guy who loves guys, great. If you are a girl who loves girls, great. If you are a girl who loves guys and girls, great. You are born a certain way with certain sexual preferences, and there is nothing wrong with that.
However, if you believe that people should be free to love anyone they choose, then, honey, you better start looking past gender.
Let me tell you a little story.
Recently, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about my boyfriend of almost 11 months. Somehow (and I'm shocked that this hadn't come up before), my boyfriend's political preferences became the topic of conversation.
The conversation went something like this:
"Wait, so is Tom a Democrat or Republican?"
"He's a Republican."
"WHAT?! Are you serious?"
"How can you date a Republican?"
After that, I basically went on a five-minute rant about how at the end of the day, his political preferences only make up a small fraction of who he is as a person and that I am not so shallow that I would be deterred by something this trivial.
At our cores, Tom and I value the exact same things: compassion, knowledge, kindness, dedication, honesty, respect, and above all else, love. Tom loves me unconditionally and I give him that same love in return; honestly, what else could I ask for?
Tom and I do get in some political arguments from time to time, but we also agree on those issues that are most important to me: female reproductive rights, marriage equality, and support for survivors of sexual assault. All of those things are non-negotiables for me, and Tom understands that and possesses his own list of non-negotiables.
Before you ask, yep, he voted for Trump. Did that take me back at first? Yes. Did I struggle to understand what would compel a person to vote for him? Absolutely. Did that thought kind of terrify me at first? Hell yes.
But you know what? After I just sat and listened to Tom's reasoning as to why he voted for him and watched him delve deep into Trump's policies, I could understand why some would vote for him. And to tell the truth, once I fell in love with Tom, none of that mattered anymore. And what is sad is that people so often fall so deep into their own echo chambers nowadays, that they wouldn't even give someone with different beliefs their ear. Well, I'm damn glad I did because Tom is the most amazing person I've ever met and I fall more in love with him every day.
So to tie this all together with a pretty little bow, if you're going to go around and preach that love is love and that everyone should be free to love whom they choose, then that shouldn't change for me. Maybe you're a Democrat that would never date a Republican or maybe you're a Republican who would never date a Democrat; that's your choice. But we don't get to choose who we fall in love with (much to the dismay of my liberal family and friends). Just keep an open mind and who knows? Maybe you could find some absolutely epic happiness.
I remember the first time I met you
back when I still believed in magic
and tore through more books
than meals at the dinner table.
I remember how small you seemed
how I could wrap my middle finger and thumb
around your wrist
and still, have both fingertips overlap.
I remember how I flung my winter jacket into the air once
in the fourth grade
and the zipper caught your right eyebrow;
I didn't mean to hurt you, but you cried anyway.
there is no elegant way to get the words out now
I can't take your conversations out of other people's mouths
and string you back together with them--
they are not mine to cut up and spit out.
those moments have soaked into the soil beneath us
they say we are all in a constant state of becoming--
you have stopped becoming
you have simply become.
become a wilting memory
become a name whispered under breathless pain
become something pulled from twisted metal on a highway
but I suppose you already know that.
there are no delicate realizations
the morning after
when we wake up
and you do not.
and the people who don't know you
will feel emptiness in their ribcages nonetheless
they are afraid that one day your face will take on the features
of a corner of their own heart, too.
your peers cried over your godliness at the service
and it sickened me
call it a collision with fate
but there was nothing holy about this.
the wreckage is what heartbreak feels like;
ours have all stopped pumping blood
we are just trying our hardest
to be closer to you.