May 24, 2014

Waiting to Exhale

General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around. 

- Hugh Grant, Love Actually

Love somebody.. Don't ever love somebody... I find myself at a standstill and at a crossroad. Ultimately, now in my late twenties, it surprises me that I am still at a junction- deciding which path to take and trying to calculate the opportunity cost of choosing one road over the other would entail. I am a very logical person and I rarely act on emotion. Most of my decisions are calculated, well-thought of and studied carefully because I hate making mistakes. However, the harsh reality is that when it comes to relationships there is no such thing as logical, we cannot predict what will happen and making mistakes is inevitable. I guess the silver lining is that I find a strange comfort in knowing that at the end of the day, we are all just winging it. Due to recent circumstances and the conclusion of a relationship I thought would last, I find myself playing a tug of war  and I wonder how I ended up in this awkward in-between. As a defense mechanism, I am trying so hard to maintain stony stillness... to not be touched and enchanted by the people I come across. I weigh and compare my choices and my options and I act as if I actually have a choice in who I allow to shape and mold me. I try to scrub myself raw but the fingerprints are still there. I cannot help it, Why am I afraid of marks that will stay anyway? Why is the measure of love... loss? 

I mean I had to say, I've gone through so much break-ups, make-ups and the unwanted but unavoidable mess-ups. I've gone through eight relationships already and after all that, I have to scold myself for still not knowing better. The other day, I met up with my college block mates since it was 10 years ago, on that specific day that we had our first day in class and officially had a bond- a kind of relationship you can't just simulate unless you ever actually experienced being in a block section during your years in university. It is a crucial developmental stage in a person's life and I have to say, these people have seen me at my worst and also my best and I too with them. It was funny that everyone was so surprised that it was first time in all the 10 years they have known me that they got to spend time with me single... I cannot help it- perhaps I am a serial monogamist and that has to change. I realized the severity of this when a hash tag was even made to celebrate my singlehood: #FreeJL and I think we toasted to that too many times, we almost drank the bar off its liquor.

Sometimes, experiments in being alone are what it takes for you to realize how much the thing he said, or the way he did that, changed you and changed the way you look at things, changed what you wish for when you are making wishes by yourself. Why am I alone? I asked myself... Is it because I have to be, or is it because I chose to be? To be honest, do stay tuned for the answer to that as I have yet to discover it for myself as well. Unfortunately, there exists a dark, vague and constant fear at the horizon in life. After all, drilled in us, on practically all sides of us by media, and all the stories and the sweet but perhaps misguided advice of extended family members twice removed, we are forced to believe that we are supposed to partner up and that if we don't, life will be nice, but meaningless. I mean, seriously, it has been 5 days and I have gotten "Old Maid with So Many Cats" jokes too many times. I hate that we are convinced that there is a kind of soul mate- someone with whom we share a love that renders all others secondary, the one with whom we can build a nest (I don't get this as I don't consider myself as a bird) and fulfill our purpose in life- one that is entirely constructed around this unique love. I almost feel bad about myself for not having found this person after eight failed relationships if I was not too busy puking from disgust of the concept of finding the one person can make you whole. The truth that I have come to know is that life is always filled with almost endless kinds of love... love that gives meaning and color to life and makes us better human beings. This doesn't necessarily have to be romantic love and actually more often than not, it is actually not something that stems out from romantic love. And all of them- not just love that gets caricatured in romantic movies (that I have sworn off for the next two months)- deserves to be praised. 

For instance, when you find a passion in life that drives you, that makes you see, and feel- even if you don't actually earn at all from it as it is something you cannot monetize- yet you don't mind since you feel you are becoming incalculably rich in getting to do it and you lose hours, days, weeks, working on it and fine tuning every last detail and when you finally look at what you've accomplished for the first time and say, "This is really good..." without the cruel self-criticism- that is love. When my mom, for instance, tends to me when I am sick by bringing me to the Emergency Room at 3 a.m. and waiting with me until 7 a.m. to get a room to stay in despite the fact that she is feeling bad herself, placing a pillow gently on my head to prop me up or smoothening my bed sheets whenever I get up to use the comfort room; when she answers my calls and random updates with such a soothing and warm voice, when she gives me the smallest bit of consideration by making sure I am well protected and have certain privileges to my faculties and use even if she wants to teach me to be independent in life (even if she understands that is physically impossible)- that is love. When I have a pet or pets who have actually become more of an important member of my family rather than an accessory to my daily life- as some pets can be- who show me as much (or perhaps more...) love and understanding as another human every might; when they move around me and come to comfort me with an inexplicable  yet innate comprehension of my complex and skewed emotional spectrum (for instance, I was feeling bad earlier as I was sitting on my desk and my cat Chloe, was putting her body against mine, and even went to the extent of jumping on to the desk I was working on, reminding me that no matter the circumstance, I am not alone); and when I realize that here is a creature that existed only to bring love and happiness- that is love. When a friend or a sister (Dominique) tries to collect the pieces of me shattered and scattered all over the floor of a room after someone who claimed to "love" me leaves me behind with no acceptable reason at all; when I lose days and nights with them; eating junk food, laughing and making random spiked watermelon shakes and well, doing everything that was good yet ridiculous about childhood that I have somehow forgotten to do in adulthood, when they keep my secrets across decades when other people would not have been able to even hold it in for a single hour- that is love. When someone or some people I don't really know except for the keen interest they have taken in my life connected by invisible bytes or wireless broad bands (that up to this day, I can't seem to comprehend or understand) give me so many compliments, words to comfort me and things that make me smile even when I cannot even physically be present to verbalize a clear "thank you" (I mean you, my readers and the people on who have been commenting for me to feel better) and yet they insist to make me feel warm and comfortable and taken care of in a time when I need it most- that is love.

My point is and believe me, I am trying to make one is that, despite the demise of my relationship, the cruel rejection and the fact that I was basically thrown away like a piece of a used toy which made me ultimately feel as unloved and as unlovable as possible- I have come to that realization that despite this most recent heart ache, my life is actually filled with love- love that, believe it or not, stretches and nearly bursts every seam and surface it presses against... love that spoils me, love that surrounds me so completely that I almost forget it is there. It is almost embarrassing to nag and grumble over one love that is lost when all I have to basically do is consider all the love that I am privy to, that I am an active participant in, that I get to take home with me from wherever I am coming from. Then I realize that I have no right to allow myself to believe in that absolutely ridiculous fairy tale idea that there's only one kind of love and that you either have it or you don't. Perhaps that myth was invented to sell us movie tickets... but settling for that... will never make us happy. As for me, I am happy to be exactly where I am.

Pink Underwire Beaded Bra-Type Bikini Set: Glitterati
Floral Kimono Style Cover-Up: Vetus Shop
Wire Floral Head Dress: Cotton Candy Online
Pink and White Multi-Strand Charm Bracelet: Therapy
Hamsa Beads: Therapy
Floral Sunnies: H&M
Canvas Beach Tote: Mango
Flip Flops: Tory Burch
ID Pins: Kate Spade
Donut Earrings: Suiteblanco

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