by Ugly Duckling, January 23, 2019

When I started to write this article I already knew how to start it, as I am a planner and words usually write themselves for me. I often see myself as some kind of shell which is occupied by some alien, who controls me and makes all these life decisions or me. I don’t have to tell you that I wish the alien would be Do Min Joon, right? 

But back to the topic of this article which is – first love.

I wanted to make this article look aesthetic and fancy by having the first sentence displayed explaining what first love is based on the dictionary term, but in the end I decided not to do that. The term is simply way too complicated to put it in one sentence, and true to be told the dictionary didn’t even offer me one definition of what first love is. I must say, it’s like a black hole which we know very little of, but we still do research to get closer to the mystery of it and solve it. We might succeed, or not.

Even though I don’t offer you one definition of first love, I will present you one of many which caught my attention and made me say, "Yes, this is first love."

The person that comes in to your heart and truly stays within a place where only the unforgotten go.

One person that you will never forget, their love will leave an imprint on your heart which will be there forever. .

 Your first love will be one who will be the hardest to get over, the one that can still make you smile even when your having the worst day ever.

So, why am I making an article about a very personal thing, which not me but many experience once in their lifetime? I think I just want to pinpoint on how big the influence can one’s love be.

I met my first love when I was in second grade and I really can’t remember how old I was, so I leave the math up to you, but I can still remember the feeling. Did I feel butterflies in my stomach like everyone says? No, instead my stomach clenched but not in a bad way, but the way it does when you are so excited, that you can’t control your feelings. The feeling was great, and after that faithful day I was living each day in euphoria, but of course a bit of sadness as well, but we get to that later. 

At that time I was too little to know about first loves, but one day I realized what the term is and what it means. I was at school and Alan was sitting beside me… He was my seatmate and all the girls loved him, because he was like Lee Min Ho from F4. Yes, I admit he was handsome but still nothing compared to my first love. And don’t worry, I’m sure Alan doesn’t even know me so I’m not worried about him reading this, but if he is, then no, I don’t feel embarrassed talking about him, because he is part of my past. So, one day Alan asked me a very weird question, which other girls would blush at. 

‘’Do you like someone?’’

I just blinked and stared at his big blue eyes and then my eyes fixed on his gelled brown hair. No, I wasn’t checking him out, but I was just speechless and shy a bit? Because I was about to confess to something big, right? So I started my description – long hair, slim figure, beautiful eyes. He frowned and stopped me at the words ‘long hair’, yeah he was kinda mocking me, or perhaps he couldn’t imagine the person I was describing, so he asked me to make a sketch. I took my paper and drew a simple sketch and showed it to him and he laughed… I felt sad, mad and confused over his reaction. Why was he laughing? Is my drawing that bad?

‘’Dana, you like someone from an anime?’’

Ah, so that’s why he was laughing at me. At that moment I felt the need to defend my first love, which was indeed an animated character, because who was he to judge my love?  Was he better then my first love, who offered me in some way protection and love?  No, the boy in front of me was handsome but I liked my love’s character more then Alan.  After school finished I went home, sat in front of the old fashioned TV and played the DVD which I got from a close friend. She gave me so many cartoons before I left Slovakia, and only months later I started to use them. Which is how I ended up discovering Spirited Away

Yeah, if you know the movie you can probably guess, that my first love isn’t a human but an animated boy called Haku, who is a water god. 

Trust me, when I first played the movie I didn’t expect to fall in love, or anything. I just wanted my daily dose of cartoons, so I played it because it was something new, unlike Cinderella 1 & 2 which I re-watched thousands of times! So, I sat down, saw it and it made me cry. If you know me, then you know that Dana is a tough cookie and doesn’t cry over films or series, but that movie made me bawl like crazy! My mom was worried and asked me what’s wrong and I told her that I watched Spirited Away and the ending made me cry so hard! 

Her comforting was this - ‘’It’s not real, sweetheart! It’s only a movie.’’

I must say, that statement had the opposite effect as I only cried harder, but this time sad over the fact that Haku and his super long-ass name isn’t real at all and same goes with Chihiro/Sen. I thought that if I re-watched the movie, the sad feeling would go away but no, I cried each time I saw it and mom literally had to hide the DVD from me, ‘cause she was very worried about me. Years passed of course, and I must say that in some way the movie helped me open up to Asian culture in general, but yeah….On the other hand I think that the true leap to Asian culture was thanks to Jackie Chan, but Spirited Away helped a lot too!

Over the years the feeling of sorrow and parting faded a bit as I had to focus on important things which would build my future. But time to time I reminisced over Haku and I realized that the sorrow from parting is still there, but not that strong anymore. That actually I feel warmth instead of the painful sorrow and sadness. I remembered how he helped Chihiro into safety and simply stayed by her side in every situation. 

I often find myself remembering Haku when I am struggling with something, or when I feel afraid, or when my anxiety kicks in. Not always of course, but when my mind travels back to my childhood. If someone asked me today the question Alan asked me years ago, I think I would be more brave and confident and say proudly that yes, my first love is an animated character. 

Many of you must be wondering what is this article doing on MDL because let’s face it, most articles are about TV series or movies, and this is something very diverse from that. But at the same time not? 

Throughout the years we could witness many tv series and movies which have elements of first love in them. Some were portrayed well, while others sucked and went downhill. I must say Japan really gives their all into making movies, which have the first love element. I say movies, because the majority of first love is portrayed in movies. Some describe how first love always turns bad eventually transforming itself into unrequited love, while others have their happy ending and the ending credits roll in, making us mad because our minds and hearts want to see the wedding and the babies! 

I will list the movies/TV series with a first love theme at the end of the article, so be patient my dear readers. 

I don’t know why but I always struggle with writing endings for articles or literally anything I write. I must say, maybe that’s the reason why I never got to finish the book I planned for so long… I think I will end this article with a very simple message and that is, to be proud and speak out about your feelings with pride. 

Don’t feel discouraged if someone laughs at you, judging the people or things you love. Love is something personal which is literally inside you and no one can take it away from you, so instead of hiding it and being embarrassed about it, share your story!  You have a crush on someone?  Tell them! I know, your mind must be in total war because it forces you into the worst scenarios, such as telling you, that you are not pretty enough or other stupid things. But who knows?! The crush might also like you and is too shy to confess. 

Be proud of your love and never hide it. 

My first love was an animated boy, but you know what? Being in love with him was worth it….

List of movies / dramas with a first love element :

                                                                                      And of course many more.....

Thanks for reading!

first love