As I sat there listening to their stories, eating chocolate and drinking tea, I couldn't help but remember myself at that age; pained, drunk, stoned, and hopelessly in love with a man for who I changed my college plans to be near. It made me feel so hopeful, listening to them talk about their plans and their interests. There was no hesitation, no shyness. They were both excited for their futures and seemed quite well adjusted.
I kept reminding myself that these were teenagers. When they asked me about my story, I fumbled through a history based on working through trauma; neglect, body image issues, abandonment, and of course, self love. I told them that a certain point I recognized myself in one of the photos I took, and from there, followed my gut for two years to find myself at A Love Rebellion, my most recent social art project.
Chocolate laden and tea drunk, I walked away from the table with light, hope, and love. Full of power and magical loveliness, I had made a connection with two strangers planning their futures at the edge of a lake in the midwest.
As I walked across the grass, butterflies and birds fluttering beneath the branches of the low canopy, I knew that I had been wrong about love.
Love is not about proving, love is about believing. Love is about faith. The faith you have in those you love and those you don't. The faith you have in yourself. The faith you have that all is available if you are open.
How wonderful to come to this with these two young strangers. I had no idea when I offered them kindness what kind of great gift I would get in return.