Constructing Self Love

As a first year student living on the UVIC campus in 2020, I frequently pass by the construction site for the new dining and living facility.

Three times a day I’d pass by its progress on my way to the MOD, which is the temporary dining hall open until the construction for the new facility is completed in April of 2022.  

For the first few months, people would constantly stop and turn their attention towards the loud, vibration of destruction. Eventually, the building was close to extinction and workers began to build the new facility.

Before the building was totally dismantled, there was a persistant scrap of building that displayed a black graffiti heart. The workers worked around it like it was meant to be the last stone standing.

It survived between trees, diggers, bulldozers, and demolished concrete, hindering as the rest of the building fell at the feet of celebratory construction workers.

The heart stood strong, observing as people paused their days to witness the world around it crumble.

Until the day it disappeared.

As a writing major, I attempt to explore the deeper meanings behind anything and everything I encounter. This time, I found it difficult to find the underlying meaning from what I’d witnessed.

From walking past the symbol of love every day to a pile of destruction felt depressing. If love is said to be eternal, why was this heart destroyed? What does this mean? What does this symbolize? What is this trying to teach me?

Now, every time I walk past the construction site, I always acknowledge where the heart stood. Though I may not see the heart that displayed love towards me, I will always remember it.

Maybe we go through experiences of looking through trees and deciding what love is until we find something stronger.

Maybe we are constantly changing our perspective of what love is from new experiences and people that we meet and become.

Maybe we destroy the previous version of love to make room for the new version of love.

Maybe this new love is not a new heart but something that doesn’t need to be physical; something that shouldn’t be seen with our eyes.

Maybe this new love is internal: something we feel within us.

Maybe I don’t need to pass by a graffiti heart every day in order for me to be reminded of love.

Maybe all I need to love is to feel my own heart beating inside of me.

We may see love when we walk through the nature of our reminiscing past, but it’s our choice to love continuously, even after hearts appear destroyed.

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