Everyone wants to know. It’s one of those questions everyone yearns to know the answer to, and when someone finally find out they don’t know how to explain it. They just say “it’s like… love. You know?” Actually, funny you should ask. I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking. It’s a question like “where are all of the sour patch parents?”. Do you know? (and, no, I don’t want the Yahoo answer… even though it is pretty likely). In any case, it’s a difficult question to answer and it’s a questions that’s asked and pertains to many parts of our lives. What is love between two or many people? What is love in terms of work? Love is something that touches almost every aspect of our lives and we’re sitting here like “well WTF is it?”. And that’s totally ok. Hopefully I can shed some light on the question.

I’ve been in many relationships in my life. Some went really well and others crashed and burned almost instantly. Some brought sadness when they ended while others brought endless happiness when I pushed them out of my life. So let me talk about my first love…

Art

She was fair and beautiful for sure. And also addicting. It’s like all first loves. You want to spend the rest of your life with them. It’s like you were made for them and they were made for you. You look at each other and laugh about all of the perfection swirling around both of you. And then something happens… that perfect love starts to diminish and you get into fights or you start doing things behind their back. Whatever it may be, it just starts to not work out. You become sad about it and it really hurts when things get broken off, but you never forget about them. To this day I still doodle and draw every once in a while. Here are some more not so recent drawings:

alt text alt text alt text

When you come in contact with them again you still remember how you felt for them, but the passion for them isn’t there anymore. You’ve moved on to better things knowing you’ll find your true love soon.

And you do! Which brings me to my next relationship.

Chemistry

This is the relationship where you say “OK, I’m not going to mess this up. I’m taking all of my mistakes in the last one and making sure I don’t do those things here.” You go through the motions and a month in they throw you a curve ball… They tell you, “I love you.” You’re a little bit in shock thinking to yourself “it’s only been a month. They’re in love with me? Well, we said to be honest about this if it came up, so I have to honest and tell them I’m just not there yet.” So then you do exactly that and tell them you love them back. Whoa whoa whoa no you don’t… then why did you say it? Because in your head you’re thinking “What’s the harm? I’ll probably end up loving them the longer the relationship lasts anyways, so might as well tell them now.” So you go through the ropes and it’s fun. You’re seeing how great they are and they already think you’re great so there’s hardly any work on your end. There are some minor rough patches, but that’s natural. Overall it’s working out and you’re starting to believe you could do this for the rest of your life. You enjoy their company and things just work with them. But then there’s something that comes up… something you can not compromise. They become needy. They’re hawk eying you and every step you make. You start hanging out with other people and they get jealous. They start to think you’re going behind their back and wait for you to return home just to interrogate you as to why you were 5 minutes later than usual. They send you texts every minute of every day and don’t understand why you don’t text back. Things are going downhill for you… for me it was during college in my Aqueous Equilibria class. Never again… You’ve been in the relationship for so long that you feel terrible breaking it off. And you do still love them. You two just weren’t meant to be in a relationship, but rather good friends. Or maybe just distant friends. Or pen pals even. So you end up muster the courage to break up only to get back together again. And you do this a few times until the last time happens. The day you break it off for good. It’s a sad day because you think about all of the memories and good times you two had, but you know you’re off to bigger and better things. Which leads to another love of mine.

Math

Wasn’t much love here to be honest. After the previous breakup you’re just lonely. Yearning for something that can stimulate you intellectually and meet the minimum criteria. It’s fun. You two spend time together, laugh, smile, crack jokes. It’s great! Then shortly in to the relationship you just see that you two are so incompatible and that this may have been the worst mistake you’ve ever made. Now, I’m not saying taking math courses was the worst mistake I’ve ever made, but it just wasn’t interesting to me. I didn’t have the passion for it that I did with the other two interests. It was a relationship that I wasn’t devoting time to. I ended up devoting all of my time to my one, true love.

Computer Science

This is like the long time friend that you said you’d never date, but knew it’d be an awesome idea. You went to them to vent about your problems, you hung out with them every day and there was never a dull moment with them. They made you happy and it was apparent. Just not to you. Everyone saw it, but for some reason you were blind to this fact. You two were just compatible and made awesome friends because of it. That was me and computer science. I had fun doing it when I started out Sophomore year. I wrote my first Python program then and it was a great experience. I had control over the machine I only used to write Word docs on. Now I just write text files. Even better! I started that while “dating” Math, so I guess you could say Computer Science ended up being my mistress. Everything about it was perfect. The work I was doing, the products I created and the joy I got when something worked. The more I did it, the more I learned and the better I became. I wanted to be better at it, so I worked harder. I tried learning everything I could learn, and I had fun doing it. Over time, my love for it grew as my love for pure math dwindled. I found myself programming both for school and myself. Working on projects and solving problems that cropped up in my every day life. Other things in my life started to get less attention because of it (like homework and studying), but it did’t matter to me because I just wanted to continue doing the thing I wanted to be doing. It wasn’t until the very end I realized “shit… this is what I really want to be doing.” and I’ve been together with it ever since. So what’s love? Well, I don’t know. We established that above. But I do know the signs that point to love.

Love is when you have a deep, burning passion for something. You want to spend all the time you have doing that one thing. You want to learn more, you want to try new things and you don’t want anyone or anything to get in your way. You see past its imperfections and learn to deal with them. You come across an obstacle and only want to tear it down in order to continue blazing a trail. You see in them what no one else sees. It empowers you and wants you to become better than what you already are, and it provides you with the resources you need to become that better person. It’s something you truly want to spend the rest of your life doing. You want to be surrounded by it and you want to leverage the knowledge you have on it to help make the world a better place for everyone. You get excited over it and want to tell everyone about it. You want to spread the word that this is what you do and you’re proud of that. You don’t hold back anything about it and even post online about how much you love it. You don’t feel like anything is fake and that the things you share with it are absolute and nothing less than amazing and beautiful. Love is simply your happiness. The smile you have on your face when working on something. The incessant need to continue doing what you’re doing. You spend an entire life working. Make it count. Make it something you truly love. Take the time to discover who you are and find what makes you truly happy because that’ll be the thing that shows you what true love is.