You Say Good-Bye | Teen Ink

You Say Good-Bye MAG

September 3, 2009
By Julie Wilson BRONZE, Dublin, Ohio
Julie Wilson BRONZE, Dublin, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 4 comments

Today, I broke up with my boyfriend.

He likes peanut butter sweet-and-salty granola bars. He was born in Russia, but his accent only comes out on the word stupid. One of his radio presets is Mexican polka, and he's infuriatingly lazy. He loves rock climbing, PHP coding, and calculus. But he loves me too.

Tomorrow, he's headed to MIT. And I'm headed to second-period English with Mr. Barrett.

Love is supposed to hold us together, stop wars, save Darfur, and feed the starving. But let's face it, world peace isn't happening, and high school relationships don't last five years and a thousand miles – not counting grad school. Sometimes we have to cut our losses and move on before reality moves on without us.

Love isn't glamorous. I'm not sure it's beautiful. It's hard and sometimes it sucks. It's a dozen roses, an endless rain, and top 40 songs on the radio – a bitter cliché that everyone knows but you. But it's also the voice on the phone at 3 a.m. and the white mocha latte from Starbucks the next day. It's the shoulder to cry on and the inside jokes. Alfred, Lord Tennyson had it right, “'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” I propose that love is nothing new to the world but everything new to me.

He made me laugh; he made me cry. He bought me tacos and laughed when the playground swings made me sick. He never picked me up on time, but he was always on his way. He snuck me chocolate (I'm allergic) and watched chick flicks with me, though he'd never admit it. We talked online a lot and always signed off the same way: “Night, jerk.” Why use three words when two will do?

Love is not the end. Shakespeare got it all wrong with Romeo and Juliet. There are plenty of reasons to die for love, but selfish need is not one of them. If you can't live with only yourself, you've lost your own reason to love and you're living someone else's. Though this makes great poetry, it's not true love. True love comes from within.

What is “within?” Is it the part of my chest that hurts when I can't fall asleep at night? Or is it where my mind wanders during science class? Does it know where I'm going? Does it know if I'll get there? “Within” is finicky to define. It's shaped by the people you meet and the choices you make. It's the memories that last forever and the day-to-day drama that is forgotten by lunchtime. It is something everyone needs to define for themselves. It's part of life that nobody else can figure out for you, because “within” is you and nothing else.

If life is art, I'm starting a new project, and it's huge. I like the challenge of taking nothing and twisting it into something, even when I don't have a plan. In class, I'm molding a conglomeration of old newspapers, a stiff glaze, and liquid watercolors. I have no idea where it's going and my teacher is grading it in two weeks, but that doesn't scare me.

I have a hunch I knew what I was doing when I bought waterproof mascara, but I trust that I'm going to be okay. I'll glue myself together and paint away my tears. It'll be a new me walking out the door – maybe not next week or the week after, but I'll get there. Love is never the end.

Night, jerk.

The author's comments:
this is the prompt, its for the University of Chicago.
Prompt: Albert Einstein once said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” Propose your own original theory to explain one of the 16 mysteries below. Your theory does not need to be testable or even probable; however, it should provide some laws, principles, and/or causes to explain the facts, phenomena, or existence of one of these mysteries. You can make your theory artistic, scientific, conspiracy-driven, quantum, fanciful, or otherwise ingenious—but be sure it is your own and gives us an impression of how you think about the world.

Love, Non-Dairy Creamer, Sleep and Dreams, Gray, Crop Circles, The Platypus, The Beginning of Everything, Art, Time Travel, Language, The End of Everything, The Roanoke Colony, Numbers, Mona Lisa’s Smile, The College Rankings in U.S. News and World Report, Consciousness
I chose love obviously

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This article has 23 comments.

on Oct. 8 2009 at 8:52 am
This was so good! Made my day. Good job!

on Sep. 20 2009 at 9:27 pm
Julie Wilson BRONZE, Dublin, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 4 comments
thanks so much!

on Sep. 20 2009 at 8:42 pm
Pointe2Twilight PLATINUM, Woodbridge, Virginia
23 articles 11 photos 3 comments
i LOVE this! it's quite thought provoking and beautifully written.