• Monica Malone

Love Languages: A Force Field of Love

I haven't taken that love language test in forever and I don't remember what I got the first time, but I do think about it often. I try to think about what makes me feel loved and which category it goes under. I've tried to figure it out myself just by observing myself and I concluded that I give and receive love equally in all the 5 different ways! Or are there 6? Maybe I should look into it again... But even if there are actually a million love languages, I think it's important to figure out how we, and those we are close with, each give and receive love. It's different for everybody, and it really helps to know how to show your love to a person. I try to show my love as often as I can in as many ways as I can. It's important to me for the people I love to KNOW that I love them. Not sure why, I don't ever really feel the need to know that they love me (which is also how I've gotten hurt by people I loved lolol). I just think that as long as they know I love them, that is enough for me - even tho that is SO not true, my heart is IN THE FEELS every time a friend just says, "oh I was thinking about you the other day -".

My friendships are very very important to me. They were there for me when I wouldn't allow my parents in. In most every single friendship I have there is an equal give and take and mutual support and love. There have been fall outs, set backs, stabbed backs, forgiveness, regrowth, and many bonds tightened between my friends and I. I have lost friends to death, people moving, and puberty. I have gained friends due to stepping up and introducing myself, mutual friends, people moving, and puberty. I truly feel a kinship with Leslie Knope and how much we both love and support our friends. She was even part of my inspiration for my A Galentine's Salon to celebrate Galentine's day, the importance of female friendship and my friends!

And in the true style of Leslie Knope, here am I writing about how much I love my friends.

Towards the end of college, I was very depressed and anxious. I was reeling from an sexual assault and some of my friends leaving me because of it. I had grown aware of the politics of the performing industry and was so scared I couldn't "hack it." So scared I was going to fail, or crash and burn in whatever I attempted. Pressure to get a normal job and feeling like if my life didn't start right away after I walked across that stage that it never would. My way of coping? To be alone as little as possible. I was with people from 12 to 12 almost every day for two years to keep my mind occupied. "To soak up the good times before it all just, disappeared." I told myself. In reality, I wanted to forget about the pressure from the outside world. I wanted to forget that my best friend took the side of my assaulter. I didn't want to think about the future, it was too scary and it felt like there was nothing there for me. It was a very low point for me - but at the same time, a small happiness appeared. I strengthened my bond with friends I had truly kind of neglected for a year, and discovered a love language that came from them still, without wavering, continuously having my back. A good friend was talking about her wedding at the time and said that she wanted her bridesmaids to help represent who she was as a person. And I realized that not only were these were the people I wanted to help represent me, I wanted to help represent them - To help show them how much I love them. I love my friends and I love making new ones. I would do anything for them. I want to do everything for them.

Now to show them I love them, I'm stepping away.

Oh Leslie Knope, what would you do?

Besides putting everyone she loves in individual plastic bubbles, I think she'd already be doing what I've seen people do. A friend starting hosting a weekly instagram live open mic night, another has made face masks for health care workers in Arkansas, my mother walks around in a blow up T-rex costume and line dances for retirement communities (while the folks sit out on the porch). Leslie Knope would be involved in all of that and more. Her and my mom would probably have to take turns as the dinosaur, though. But, I do really wonder - how would she handle this? I connect with her so much, I want to be strong like her and do what she would do. With how much she loves her friends, if she was told they had to stay at least six feet apart, it would break her heart but goddamn she would make sure they did it.

So I'm making sure i'm doing it. It fucking sucks, but I'm making SURE i'm doing it. I love you so much so please get the fuck away from me!!!!!!!!

What a strange new love language we all just learned.

Also my worst nightmare I've come to realize!

So when you add that, on TOP of how much I love my friends, on TOP of how much I love people in GENERAL, I'm not exactly doing well. I mean I am lucky, I can stay home, stay safe, and mostly afford to be able to to so (yikes tho.), so I'm actually doing as good as can be right now, but there comes a guilt with that. I'm also scared because being alone for so long is not good for humans - extrovert or introvert, humans need other humans. Isolation is not good for the mind. Going without physical touch isn't good either, adults can kind of handle it I guess, but I know babies can't - so give your "bebes" all the love and cuddles you can!

As for you single adults, stay strong. You can get through this.

Figure out what you love language is, beside the one were all speaking right now: Social Distancing.

Remember: Social Distancing doesn't mean you can't be SOCIAL, it just means you have to be DISTANT.

My best friend currently? My phone. I am glued to it. To check the news, but also to check on my friends. I'm so worried about them. (AND MY FAMILY OBVIOUSLY. I'm not a monster, thats just not what this personal essay is ABOUT. Love you fam.). Since I can't hang out with them in person, lets get those facetime calls going. Lets post, comment, like, share, online. Lets call, send letters, wash our hands. Lets Text. Lets connect. Lets stay connected. We'll get through this. It's scary, but hold those you love close (figuratively) to your heart and check up on them. Keep checking up on them. I herd somewhere recently that we don't have to fix each others problems, we just need to listen and be there for each other. No matter how you show love, we are all showing our love by stepping away from each other.

Pretend my love is repelling you. We cannot physically be close because my love is so strong. Like a FORCE FIELD OF LOVE. That's what it is. I like that. A Force field of love.

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