Is it love that I’m feeling?

All my loves were abrupt, dramatic, short, intense and they seemed to be forgotten quicker than the last one. Love never made me happy – not long term. It made me powerful, merciless or unsure, unstable and crushed. Love made me think and act differently – there was a time when I suddenly wanted children or could give up travelling or changed my taste in music completely.

From the latter one I haven’t yet recovered and I don’t think I ever will. Till this day every song is a faint lingering of a love almost forgotten. I can trace every band, every chord, every voice to a person, to a moment, discussion or fight. Music is a stamp of time, a mark of relationships unrealised, loves not fulfilled, mistakes and words not forgiven.

In two or three years it will be a decade since my struggle with love started. I’ll be in my mid-twenties. Only this year I experienced a love that felt whole, but not all-consuming, abrupt but steady. I did not think of changing my life, I did not want to move across the continent, change my career, preferences, hobbies, myself. I felt equal. I felt as if we are the same but very different and was at peace with it. I didn’t feel the need to change my mind as quickly as I have made it up.

We’re sixteen years and a continent apart. Our minds think very differently, but at our core there are coincidences and commonalities that feel wonderfully odd and unbelievable. It was barely a romance that stemmed from a friendship that grew quickly. Yet, it feels like it will blossom for years.

So is it love that I’m feeling? Is it a more mature and responsible kind that I’ve never known? I don’t know if I’ve changed as a person or found an equal. Has my relationship to people and time changed? We knew that this odd week of togetherness will end. I knew I will have to let go, even though normally I wouldn’t. It’s still different.

I think what changed was my relationship to time. I don’t see it as an enemy anymore. I look forward to getting older for the first time and seeing what the time will bring. I enjoy my youth and take full advantage of it, but I’m at peace with its passing. I have a curiosity not intertwined with jealousy. I want to see if he has another kid, grows his business, maybe remarries or divorces again, travels. I want to see where I will be, but I’m not scared or already disappointed with the future that is yet to come. I want to see us on our very different paths in 10, 15, 50 years. I want to see us reunite one day but I’m at peace if we don’t. I’m okay with change.

Is it love without jealousy? It’s an odd feeling – being at peace with myself. Is it love without expectations? I love without sadness or happiness. I love the comfort of knowing that things will change.

Is this an adult, mature love that I’m feeling? Whatever love this is, it feels liberating.