The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye March 2024 issue
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All you need is love

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©HAWKEYE image credit: Charli Gilchrist

February is a time so focused on hearts, flowers, soft pinks of romance and couples it can get mildly overwhelming. A swirl of bright colors and lovey dovey marketing. Romantic love has always been the main focus of ‘ day. Of course, there’s the “galentines day” thing but beyond that it’s kissing and cheesy rom-coms. Though, that’s not the only kind of love there is to offer.
The world in general swirls around romance early in grade school. The moment kids start to develop crushes, a rush to try and get a partner of some kind and the dumb teenage yearning that comes with it. This is how the world works, it commercializes and profits off of couples and date nights, especially around Valentine’s day. However, that’s not the only kind of love that can make a cloud around us, everpresent. Platonic love is just as common, if not more so. Consistently it’s cast aside, left as a lower priority. Friendship, however important it may be, is often disregarded in favor of new relationships or crushes. But without your friends how could you make it through high school days or get around a hectic day at work? Platonic connections are what makes the world feel so much brighter.
So, why don’t we sit back this time around and appreciate more than just one specific type of love, when it’s all around us? Think about it. Think back to those people you surround yourself with and why you might do so. Is it because they’re useful to you, or is it because they genuinely make you feel happy? Do they make you feel like you could cry from laughing like your sense of humor has somehow become a shared object? Why do you surround yourself with these different people? To think humans are such odd, social creatures that our immediate instinct is to attempt to stick to those that feel like the other half of our soul.
Not everyone has those close friendships, though. Maybe it’s your family. How laughter rings in the room while playing the most outrageous board games, or an attempt to cook some new recipe with an unexpected detour. Even if you aren’t related by blood, and it’s more so your chosen family, that’s love. Not the type of love that makes you want to kiss someone, but a deep appreciation. Someone you never chose to love but continued on anyway. There is no need for discussion on the topic because it comes as easily as breathing. That’s love. The willingness to take care of someone and sit through the dark and light no matter how dirty it may get you.
Love does not always need to be something you can grasp and understand. It comes in all shapes and sizes, it grows and fluctuates and stays and goes. Loving is part of life, and so is losing. So while you feel that love, just cherish it for as long as you can. Sit down for a moment and try and find the little parts of them that they’ve left in you, like how animals leave a changed habitat even if they’re not there forever. Love however you see fit even if it takes work. And show it. Reach beyond humans even, and take a minute to love beyond. A pet, a sunset, maybe that patch of flowers you saw on a walk.
It’s incredibly common for people to be so shy with love, as if it is a tool and weapon they must be wary of, but it’s quite the opposite. Of course love can be used as a weapon, especially when you’re learning how to love now. It will hurt, people will leave and it’s important to recognize if the love you feel actually feels good and right, or if it doesn’t feel lovely. Not all sweet words are worth it, no matter how much you want to please them. It’s okay to let go, to outgrow the old, and to love new people. To love yourself.
I urge you, please find the love in your life that you may not immediately think of as qualifying for Hallmark’s Valentine’s day, and show them your purest gratitude and tell them how much you love them. While you’re at it, take a second the next time you catch your reflection and tell yourself how much you love you. No matter how difficult it is, do it anyway. Because love is difficult, and sometimes it’s important to treat yourself instead of immediately jumping to your self criticism or relationship status. You may be single or in a relationship. That situation does not define you. You can still love regardless. Love the world, nature, animals, your friends, and most importantly, you.

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About the Contributor
Charli Gilchrist
Charli Gilchrist, Graphics Editor
Charli Gilchrist joined HSM to learn more about journalism and continue from where they had left off in journalism from middle school. They have no specific role but hope to help out the paper with graphic design as much as they can. In their free time, they usually enjoy studying clouds, listening to music, and scrolling through Pinterest. They plan on going to a university of the arts after graduation, but for now they can enjoy contributing to the school paper.
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