Real love isn’t written in the spaces between the stars. Real love is standing in front of a person with your hands outstretched, all of your scars and failures and desperate insecurities on display. It’s about asking a person to cherish you, yes; but more than that it’s about asking a person to forgive you. Find that, find a girl who sees you and allows herself to be seen, who extends to you the kind of grace she, too, needs to have extended — not once, but always and always, over and over — and then you’ll have discovered true storybook love. Fairy tales are about wishing on stars; actual life is about crawling around on your hands and knees in the dirt, digging to the dirty truth of yourself and letting that self be loved.
Or, as ol’ Scout Finch’s dad would say: “Real courage is … when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
This is the way I want to be told stories, the way that makes me reach for my favorite books to explain how I feel. I’m not telling you to like it. But I am telling you I like it. I like it an awful lot.