by Elizabeth Sena
Who doesn’t remember that adolescent love? That feeling of pure excitement and terror. That moment in life when you truly felt you’ve found the person you’re going to marry – even at the ripe age of 14.
What can top that feeling? Nothing, or so it seems in that moment.
At 29. I have not felt that same type of love again. That feeling that your heart will burst open the minute your crush smiles at you, passes you a note, or says something in class and makes a joke. The sadness you feel when he is absent. That pure joy you feel just by sitting next to him. The innocence of that love is so life changing. Something you don’t always feel again, not in its purest form. It’s somehow left in adolescence as we are taught that this is where love of this magnitude should stay – and by we, I mean me.
I pretty much came out the womb being boy crazy. I probably “loved” a dozen boys before I was a teenager. But, there was in fact only one “true first love,” the love I remember when someone mentions the phrase. Years later, it still makes me smirk. Remembering it brings joy.
I still remember the first time he sat next to me in the lunchroom and pinched my cheeks. That’s all it took for me to melt inside and think OH.MY.GOD! THIS IS THE LOVE OF MY LIFE! He didn’t need to court me, give me gifts, take me on dates, pay my bills – none of that. He just made me smile by simply…being. Something that at 29 years old sounds farfetched, naïve and almost impossible. I mean, let a guy sit next to me at a bar and pinch my cheeks. It wouldn’t go over very well.
That teenage first love isn’t even a matter of commonalities; we just went to school together. It wasn’t a matter of upbringing; we just knew we grew up in the same neighborhood. It wasn’t a matter of credit scores, salary or “where do you see yourself in 5 years.” In junior high school, five days feel like five years lumped into every class period. It was about an innocent connection between him and I.
It was love, at least what I’ll always remember as love. It was new, it was unbiased. There was no baggage or history. It set the standard and foundation for all the love that was to come.
I’ve loved again since then in various levels and stages, but nothing is quite like that first love. Not for me at least. I still remember.