love (again).

I’m thinking specifically of two things: for one, that set of words that floats round the Internet which says, “There’s a million ways to say I love you – ‘get some sleep,’ ‘watch your step,’ ‘put your seatbelt on’ – you just gotta listen.”

And for another, a blog post a friend from high school (though to be frank we were closer in middle school) made in the fall. She’s been studying abroad in Germany all year, and she made a list of “I know my ______ love(s) me because ________.”

I like that.

The last day or so has been rife with good peoply things with almost everyone who is important, except Helena, and that’s okay, because I am still fairly certain she appreciates me. Anyway, the point is that I am just reveling in all the wonderfulness of the people around me (and also I’m in this wonderful post-elections rose-colored-glasses-about-everything stressless haze), and I want to do what Marissa did because it’s cheerful.

I know my mother loves me because she corrects my German grammar and tells me to email my grandparents and asks when I’m coming home.

I know my dad loves me because he tells me good night in Swedish, using a phrase I taught him years ago, and because when I get home tomorrow he’s going to say, very quietly, into the side of my head, “It’s good to see you, kid.”

I know my sister Kristen loves me because she texts me that she can’t wait for me to see her prom dress, and she tells me about who she thinks she might go with, and we make plans to hang out just us two over break.

I know my sister Anna loves me because I know she will be ready to watch Doctor Who together and fangirl over 2007 David Tennant.

I know Hannah loves me because she called me back (after I called her and missed her) this morning and we watched the Paper Towns trailer on YouTube together while on the phone, and fangirled immensely, and then I told her I’m talking to and very much liking a boy who also likes Veggie Tales, and she told me I had her blessing.

I know Derek loves me because he let me sit with him and say nothing while we ate lunch and he did his statistics.

I know Ronja loves me because last night we stayed up till three a.m. talking about how much we each hate social justice warriors, and we promised to practice Swedish this weekend.

I know my grandfather loves me because he holds my hands as tightly as he can when I come home. (Side note: I know I love my grandfather because every time I go home I remind him that I intend to go skiing in Sweden and he better stick around to see my pictures of that.)

I know my grandfather loves me because of the red, white and blue elephant that he gave me when I was a senior in high school and said, “This is so everyone at college will know just who you are.” It’s sitting on my desk.

I know my grandmother loves me because she emails me to find out what I’m doing.

I know my other grandmother loves me because every time she sees me, she reminds me how excited she is to see the pictures I will bring back from Sweden.

I know Photina loves me because she texts me the day after I babysit her girls to ask if she remembered to thank me through the fog of post-surgery meds. She did. Twice.

I know Helena loves me because she asks if I’ve turned in my app for Sjölunden 2015. (I have.)

I am loved. I am ridiculously loved and I love it, ridiculously. I love being loved. I suppose it’s vaguely narcissistic. I do not care. I adore the people who love me and I am so glad that they do. Love is love, we do not choose who we love, as I have quoted the kiddie version of Twelfth Night for ages. Thus we also do not choose who loves us. But I have been damn lucky.

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