Do you remember the first time you fell in love---with someone, something?
I've done a lot of looking back over this break and realized that I've used that phrase often throughout my life, unaware of how fluid it is.
When I was younger, I was that little girl who always had a book. My parents tried to make me play outside with the other "normal" kids but I found solace in characters. I didn't know it at the time but my lifelong romance with words had already begun. The current remained---throughout my diary entries, position as high school newspaper editor, and swelling book collection---but I didn't realize that it all stemmed from the same love.
When my relationship ended with my first "boyfriend", (I put that in quotes because we had the say-hi-in-between-middle-school-classes kind of relationship), I thought I was in love because of the pain I felt. Now I know that I mistook youthful pangs of failure for love. Truthfully, I mistook a lot of things---jealousy, insecurity, friendship--- for romantic love in the years that followed. It's only since I've been with Samir that I know love; not just the process of climbing into or out of it but swaying with it. Love is something that now augments every facet of my life, something that I fit into, something that makes things easier and despite its irrationality, still makes so much sense.
So I suppose that for some situations, love can be there all along while during others, it can be a destination and journey rolled in one.