One of the issues with the saturation of negative media is that things are arbitrarily ‘cancelled’ and we are given thousands of reasons not to love things. Some things should just be allowed to be enjoyed at face value without judgement or intellectual thought exercises.

Whether you are burned in a toxic relationship, rejected by friends, or given reasons not to make yourself vulnerable, we can eventually find ourselves devoid of love. With these rapid cultural shifts which insist less and less on the necessity of just unapologetically loving what brings you joy, it becomes impossible to love easily. Yes, it’s easier for information on the internet to negatively influence how you view things, and I’m not saying that we should love things uncritically or blindly, but I firmly dispute the notion that every aspect of life needs to be regulated against some criteria of total purity. It’s impossible, fatiguing, and risks erasing what makes us, us.

We must always try to be open to loving new things, and never be afraid to love what we enjoy.

Toxicity isn’t always acid thrown in your face; sometimes it’s having the people around you constantly belittle or diminish your interests which don’t conform to their ideas about what is ‘cool’ or ‘acceptable’. You truly can’t sustain these kinds of relationships. If you love Dungeons and Dragons or writing trashy heartbreak songs or listening to your own niche or cringy music at parties then you might find yourself not listening to what you enjoy at all if it becomes associated with shame and embarrassment. This will in turn risk you becoming a less authentic interesting person. There’s a great ‘Fall Out Boy’ lyric (if you’ll excuse the shameless throwback to my 2012 grunge punk past) which powerfully reads: ‘You are who you love, not who loves you’.

This is not to say that you won’t sometimes be met with ridicule from what is likely other people projecting their own insecurities of their supposed ‘normalcy’. But the more you give yourself permission to be unapologetically you and being proud of that, you will be more capable of truly loving who you are. Being afraid to love yourself without it being some sort of contrived political stunt is such a huge issue.

But seriously, within a few weeks of sharing and loving yourself, you may find yourself fondly reminiscing with a friend about how you both used to religiously collect pokemon cards while you trot around together playing ‘Pokemon Go!’. Indeed, we can expand our own interests and become a more well-rounded individual. The world can only benefit – and in allowing the parts of yourself that define you to be seen and appreciated as unique, passionate and interesting, it pioneers the path for you to love those parts of yourself which you may struggle to view as worthy of love.

The more you strip back your walls of emotional self-defence, the more you will feel the sun on your face, and I promise, you’ll shine right back.

So again, the motto for today and every day: never stop finding reasons to love.