A friend once asked me, “How do you know you’re in love?”. I tried my best to answer with one sentence and I came to realize, you can’t really explain it. Its that ineffable feeling you get, and you know when you’re in love with someone. Its a mixture of all things in one, and before you know it your world changes. Like a snow glove your little world is shaken and everything begins to move, to fall, to float, to glitter, to… well to change. I’ve been in love before, I used to think that the moment I fell in love would be the one and only time but life had other plans for me. After years of thinking, and trying to move on I realized that it was possible to love again. You know how they say that sometimes you fall for the person you least expect? Well it happened to me, I ended up falling in love with an old friend of mine, the same guy who showed me that it was possible to love, to trust, to take risks again. This magnificent man, extraordinary in every way who I’ve known since middle school was in front of me all along and it took me nearly a decade to see him in a way that wasn’t a brotherly kind of way.

What I came to realize was how my world changed, especially now. I realized I cant stop thinking of him. Everything has a connection to him. Thoughts of him make me smile like a lunatic. I became more sensitive, emotional. I’m not talking about crying my eyes out, but I realized I couldn’t watch scary or gory movies anymore without that feeling afterwards. Before I would watch them like it was no big deal, scary movies? Bring it. Yucky, limb chopping film? Bring it, I’ll eat some food along with it. Now, I can’t even seem to watch a silly scary movie without covering my eyes every now and then. I became interested in more things, and that lead me to learn new things. I started to feel a greater motivation to do things. I became aware that I wanted to share more moments with someone. In a way my sense of care and awareness towards human emotions and needs grew tremendously. I began to see people in a more personal way rather than a generic kind of way. In many ways than I expected, it was a complete opposite me that began to change in the last year.

If truth be told, this is who I was under that tough facade I created to protect me from harm. Remember my relationship phobia? I was scared of getting my feelings hurt, I was scared to care, to share, to be emotional. But I came to realize that its ok to feel that way but its also ok to take risks. Only then can one live life to the fullest, only like that can one grow and mature. Through mistakes, experience, we grow. In life, we can’t grow out of books, out of pure advice, and avoidance. Life is about risks, practice, try after try, its about LIVING.

The side effects of love can be overwhelming at times, silly too. But I’d take a risk for it again, because the experience you gain from it is like no other. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow or in the future, I don’t know if I will take that risk again or if I’ll stay in my current one. What I do know now is that whenever I think of my “co-pilot” I smile, because he makes very happy and you know me I love to smile!

Smile, LIVE.