It is an amazing phenomenon that each beautifully written and raw essay featured on Modern Love always manages to navigate its way to the most tender part my heart. Literary works which resonate with me the most are those written out of honesty and there is no shortage here! Here are a few of my favorites:
An Empty Heart is One That Can Be Filled by Lily King (nytimes.com)
"I ran on the paths along the Charles River and I thought: This is what happens to people. This is what people and books and movies are talking about when they talk about losing love. People’s hearts break and it feels like this. It feels like someone has beaten you up with brass knuckles.
But it also felt, at the same time, like the universe was welcoming me in. I was heartbroken, but I felt less alone than I had in a long while."
How I Got to Here by Leslie Hehr (nytimes.com)
"“Are you the new girlfriend?” she asked.
I hesitated. We were certainly exclusive. He had just bought me a bathrobe for his house. Yet, there was something wicked and wonderful about being The Girlfriend. It meant he wanted me. It meant we were having fun."
Chubby, Skinny, Accepting by Cole Kazdin (nytimes.com)
"I do know this: Although we’re often told that you can’t love someone else until you love yourself, my experience was the opposite: I couldn’t love myself until I fell in love with someone else.
I still may not love myself as much as I love Hugh, but I’m making steady progress."
Alone When the Bedbugs Bite by Tess Russell (nytimes.com)
"Just a few weeks earlier I had felt so satisfied when I woke up sore and exhausted from moving in — all 15 boxes, all 6 flights of steps — by myself. At the time I had thought, smugly, about those friends of mine who required boyfriends for tasks like these, and I had pitied them.
Now, as I hauled all of my infested stuff back out, I didn’t feel quite so superior. Instead, as I emptied bag after bag of clothes into a row of commercial dryers, flinching at the sight of every bedbug-size piece of lint, I felt utterly, insurmountably alone."
When the Words Don't Fit by Sarah Healy (nytimes.com)
"But my husband has seen me at my worst, at my most vile. And he has seen me at my best. He knows the things I don’t tell anyone, and the lies that I tell everyone but him. I have made sacrifices for him and been angry about it. Sometimes his flaws are so egregious, so blatant, they are all I see. And sometimes his kindness is so stunning that I am humbled.
And that’s love. Big, epic, fairy-tale love. The kind of love people write about. The kind of love that could inspire a poem."