"Of course scientific advances are wonderful, but slinking behind the gallop of each one is the prospect of its silently overtaking or even obliterating our moral imperatives, including the right to love and be loved."
I was sent an advance copy of Meghan Laslocky's new book, The Little Book of Heartbreak, in the mail at exactly the right time. It’s not that I had undergone some sort of transformative or heartbreaking experience. That experience happened earlier in 2012, when I least expected it. Rather, I was undergoing a moment of personal change and growth. A year later, I could finally admit that what had most upset me was not that my heart was broken but that I was broken and romance interfered at the same moment as well.
We have become accustomed to text messages as a means of communication. They are okay until the moment in which they are not okay. Something changes and we recognize that not all forms of communication are created equally. The ways in which we interact with each other vary from moment to moment CAN be different. Closeness can be felt from far away, but “things” have a way of taking away from that intimacy. The more things blocking me from you, the more I don’t know you, the more I am not a part of you, the more it is not just me and you.
What I like most about the book is the way in which it frames our interactions with each other, both historically and through fiction. We are different people and yet our actions often suggest otherwise. We make mistakes similarly and love similarly and hate similarly as well. A good break-up song can translate from person to person. The pain that runs through each note can feel familiar. A story of hate and anger and doubt is uncomfortable not just because of what is said, but what is not said.
What does it mean to be in love? I don’t know. Many times I don’t think I’ll ever know. For one though, I think love is a loosening of control. It is accepting chance and life. It is knowing that things might not be perfect and still hugging, kissing, touching, wanting, cherishing. Laslocky writes,
"Love makes you real, or at least it should. On another level it illuminates the conditions and nature of forgiveness, which of course is a crucial if tender spot in matters of love, and on yet another level, the the clipped life spans of its characters, it explores the raison d’être of art, as well as that of love: Why bother if we’re all going to die anyway?”
One thing my friends and I frequently discuss is the age in which it is appropriate to settle down, to commit yourself to a partner. What is the right age? Is there a right age? In my opinion, there is no right age for all only a right age for what is in the heart of the individual. What should be gained from a life well-lived is not what society expects of us but what is right for you, the individual, the person with a mind of their own. I was 16 and still not ready. I was 21 and still not ready. I am 25 and still not ready.
— Britt Julious