Standing strong forever
Nothing's gonna stop us now
And if this world runs out of lovers
We'll still have each other
Nothing's gonna stop us, nothing's gonna stop us now”
I am maybe 7 or 8. It’s the end of one of many parties at the Rodriguez house hold, and I’m dancing with my father in our living room to this song. It’s one of my favorite memories. He’s loaded the Jefferson Starship record into his old player and our house is alive with a mix of the awesomeness of it (yea, I said AWESOME), some intoxicated laughter, and squeals of a few kids who haven’t quite passed out yet.
I was in love with being in love from a pretty young age. I can’t speak for everyone but I think most of us probably are. I blame this song and pretty much every Bon Jovi song. Along with Disney movies. The Little Mermaid, y’all. The. Little. Mermaid.
You cannot imagine how heartbreaking the REAL Little Mermaid fairytale was for me to read.
We inevitably construct these beautifully intricate notions of the love through the books we read, the films we see, the songs we listen to and the couples we see around us. We build up the person we want to be in love with before we even meet them which is insane and completely illogical, because we’re basically just setting each other up for failure, aren’t we?
By the time I was 16, my “true love” was a mixture of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones (yes I have a thing for Harrison Ford), Westley (if you don’t know who I’m referring to, s)hame on ya), and Jesse (from Before Sunrise).
That’s a lot to live up to...
It took me a long time to learn that I had to fall out of love with the idea of being in love, and that I couldn’t build a mold of what I wanted my partner to be like and expect to just find someone to squeeze into it. You can’t force someone to fit into your life, they either belong here or they don’t. You can’t make someone love you in the way you want to be loved, because we all love in our own way. Sometimes you find someone who fits for a while, and then you have to let each other go.
Letting go is OK, and it took me a long time to learn that-the hard way. The road to learning how to really love someone and also how to let myself be loved has been the ugliest, most beautiful road I’ve ever taken and while I’ve suffered a great deal I would be an emptier person without that journey in my bones.
It took me FOREVER to realize that I never really needed or wanted a Han, Luke, or Indy. I just wanted someone from that song. Someone I could build a dream with, someone loyal who’ll stand by me when things are shit, or when I’m having one of my really horrible days. Someone who can love me when I’m the worst version of me; in those times where I can’t find the strength to love myself. When you find a love like that, when you find someone you can love like that, you find everything you ever needed in a partner inside of them. The Hans, Lukes, and Westleys are all there already, because you find those things in that person as you grow together.
There’s so much about life that isn’t black and white; love is one of them. So many of those songs and fairy tales don’t show you the part where things are hard. Nothing’s gonna stop us now - but what about before the now? Before the dream is built?
The song celebrates the dream, but it doesn’t talk about how hard it is to actually build it.