Love… What is it? How does it feel? Will I ever experience it? These are questions my 17 year old self asked on the daily. My mind became consumed by the idea that I wasn’t designed to be loved by anybody. Love was everywhere, from a child and their mother to a beautifully aged couple who still walk the streets hand in hand. The idea of somebody ever loving me was ludicrous, how could somebody love me if I hate me?

Wondering around the streets of a bustling city wide eyed, I fell in love with humanity. The way that her boyfriend holds her, the way that she stares at him whilst his head is in the clouds and the way the laugh of a couple in love sounds like the most spectacular sound this world has to offer. Love is so pure. I want that. I knew I couldn’t have it, because I am unlovable, I told myself for the one millionth time. How blind could someone be? I was made to be loved like the rest of us.

I was so certain that I knew I would never find love because I felt like I knew me better than anyone and because of that it made me ‘damaged’ or ‘ugly’. I had and still occasionally do have this deep and dark self hatred towards myself. Why? Because I didn’t fit into the category of what is commercially beautiful, because my thighs touched, because the clothes I wore were seen as different and not beautiful. I hated myself because I wasn’t a model, because I woke up and I had messy hair, because my eyelashes were short and because society told me I was never going to be seen as beautiful.

The day that changed the course of my life. I fell in love. Even writing those words makes my heart burst with joy. I took a plunge and I messaged a boy that a few months before made my heart beat that little bit faster as I stood in the shop he worked in with my family. I admired him from afar and I felt like everything around me was a blur but him. I spent about 15 minutes rewriting a simple message which read “this may be a bit weird but your glasses really suit you”. Oh I wanted the ground to swallow me whole. Ah he read it I thought, I patiently sat there on the chat as he wrote a reply and well since then it’s been the most enlightening, beautiful and educational relationship.

From day one he was told about my struggles and the daily battles I go through, I thought once he knew them he would view me as damaged goods but he didn’t, He saw it for the beauty and for the fight I’ve been through to remain in this beautiful world. There were days I doubted his love, days that I convinced myself that he deserved better and days that I wanted to let him go because I didn’t think I was benefiting him. We were in love, so madly so beautifully. Every single time a doubt or a bad thought occupied my vulnerable mind, he took a deep breath, held me close and told me how truly beautiful and just how perfect I am for him. He took care of me on the days that I didn’t see beyond the deepest pain my heart felt. He loves me. He actually loves me.

The boy who has changed my life is Oliver Ward. He is the purest soul I’ve ever seen. He is a boy filled with such innocence and serenity that can be viewed by everyone who comes into contact with him. To me he has a voice that I could never tire from hearing, a set of eyes that I could never stop staring into and most importantly a heart that I could never stop loving. The aura that he carries is so light and so blindingly beautiful. He is a boy who’s smile could capture a thousand hearts however it holds one so dearly. Oliver Ward you are truly beautiful, captivating and addictive and you have made me into the greatest version of myself I will ever be.

To fall in love is to make yourself so vulnerable to the world. It’s handing your heart over to your partner and giving them the power to make you flourish as not only a person but as a couple but it’s also giving them the power of your happiness knowing that it could be over in the blink of an eye. For someone who is already in a vulnerable state, I found it hard to accept that he actually loved me because I lived in a huge fear that he would see me for the way I saw me. Oh he saw me how I saw me, if not sometimes worse than I’ve had to see myself but he saw nothing but deep rooted beauty within me. If you are reading this and you are afraid of making yourself vulnerable to someone, if you are afraid that someone will leave you one day or if you are afraid that you’re not good enough. Tell that god damn voice in your head to shut the hell up. You deserve love! You deserve to feel the most intensifying emotions that are triggered by something as simple as hearing the one you love laugh. Don’t let yourself down and expose yourself to the purest, most beautiful thing this world has to offer. Laugh, live and most importantly love. Love with every inch of your being, love until there’s nothing left, love until it aches… You won’t be disappointed.

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