Love is rough. I've spent many years avoiding it after the scars of past heartbreak have yet to fully heal. The memories spent crying over men who loved and left me are still as fresh as an open wound and keep me guarded against anything remotely similar. It's easy to forget the good times, but seemingly impossible to forget the bad. That's what life and love is about: falling down and getting back up. But sometimes, getting back up is harder than you ever imagined.
I remember slowly recovering from my own broken heart, looking for anything to distract me. I took to friends, who inevitably got tired of me bringing up his name and crying in their arms. I took up television, which only ever buried me deeper into the trenches as commercials for "Safe Haven" and "Valentine's Day" sent me reeling into another depression.
I tried throwing myself into work, which only helped until 5 pm rolled around and I was left alone with no work, just perpetual self-loathing. I sat alone in my room, begging for a distraction, before the night became early morning and I was still stuck in my mind, in my heartache, riding out the pain.
My mother always told me that it's better to rely on myself than a man, that my happiness had to come from my life. Obviously, this advice is age-old and doesn't necessarily mean much. It's common sense that if you rely on someone else, he or she is inevitably going to disappoint you, leaving you helpless and unable to stand on your own.
I needed to find something that was stable, that would always be there to distract me and keep me company in my loneliest hours. I needed to find someone that wouldn't abandon me and wouldn't make me nervous every time he didn't call or text.
Finding something to love outside of a person will set you free. It will give you a sense of independence and a love that isn't superficial. It will endure long past the fleeting romances and casual hookups. It will be there when you don't want to talk to anyone, but also don't want to be alone.
What will always be there when you need it? What will sit and wait for you after a long day? What will endure your tears and make you laugh? What will make you feel better when you need cheering up? What will help you escape when you need to disappear? What will help you forget your worries and give you advice?
I searched for years, trying to find what I was looking for in people, jobs, cities and even drugs. I looked for it in dark alleyways and clubs. It wasn't until a senior year English class that I was introduced to my salvation, the reason people spent their lives in cafes, libraries and book clubs. I finally understood why women carried books on the subways and read in waiting lines: A man will never love you and take care of you the way a book can.
Here's why falling in love with a book is better than falling in love with a guy:
Men drain you; books fill you up.
Books teach you; men confuse you.
Men break your heart; books break your shelves.
Books can be first editions; men are always used.
Books are easy to read; men need instruction manuals.
Good books are easy to find; good men are rare.
Books take you anywhere; men take you from behind.
Books are easy to close; men are impossible to open.
Books are deep; men are shallow.
Books have spines; men don't have backbones.
Books make you cry; men make you hurt.
Books get better with age; men dump you for your age.
Books open you up; men open your legs.
Books have summaries; men have baggage.
Books are classics; men are all the same.
Books have sequels, men have new lovers.
Books have introductions, men have one-liners.
Books can be left open, men can't be left alone.
Books can have sad endings; men only want happy endings.
Books have Sparknotes; men have Lulu.
Men always lie; books are honest about being fiction.
Books have prefaces; men have many faces.
Books are easy to go back to; men leave you for good.
Books take you for adventure; men take you on top.
Books keep you interested; men keep you guessing.
Books fill your head; men want head.
Books grow on trees; men don't grow at all.
Books have binding; men will try to bind you.
Books come off your computer; men cum on your keyboard.
Books share ideas; men share your pics.