Some time back, a friend of mine put up a post giving his two cents – and I say this with nothing but love- on what love is. For reasons I largely cannot remember, I was so charged after reading it, I told him I had to write a reply to it. Almost 5 months down the line, here goes…
Disclaimer: I have been fortunate enough to live on this earth for almost 20 years but unfortunately, that’s not enough time to fully grasp the idea of love – an eternity would be preferable. You are therefore entering the thoughts of a teenager on the idea(s) of love she has gotten from books, movies, her short existence and to a very large extent, the internet.
My friend argues that the feelings between a boy and a girl cannot be defined as love because “a simple argument renders it bitter for a long time”.
For starters, let’s not generalize because people are different – some couples resolve their differences pretty fast but for others, trying to resolve them ends up being the last time they’ll speak.
As I said, I’m not the best person to talk about what love is and what it isn’t but what I’m sure of is that there’s infatuation and there’s love. Infatuation consists of people thinking that they love their partners when actually all they do is lust them or simply like them. Love is the deep stuff – the 1 Corinthians 13 kinda stuff for my Christian folk.
Do I think young people can experience romantic love? Hell to the yes. I mean, there are high school sweethearts (who worked out) and all to back that up.
True, infatuation gets confused for love – and it’s infatuation that might not get through arguments, I think love will.
“Addiction is the hallmark of every infatuation-based love story. It all begins when the object of your adoration bestows upon you a heady, hallucinogenic dose of something you never even dared to admit you wanted – an emotional speed-ball, perhaps, of thunderous love and roiling excitement. Soon you start craving that intense attention, with the hungry obsession of any junkie. When the drug is withheld, you promptly turn sick, crazy and depleted (not to mention resentful of the dealer who encouraged this addiction in the first place but who now refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore – despite the fact that you know he has it hidden somewhere, goddamn it, because he used to give it to you for free)”.
Eat, Pray, Love
I don’t have the clearest idea on what love is but I think it’s that feeling you have towards the supernatural power you believe in (if any), what you feel for your family and those feelings you harbour for that lucky goose who even after seeing their flaws you wouldn’t want or change anything about them, save for perhaps their last name. It’s that feeling that makes you focus more on giving than receiving and that makes compromise all the more satisfying.
“Infatuation is when you find somebody who is absolutely perfect. Love is when you realise that they aren’t and it doesn’t mater.”
Some Twitter Handle.
So between all these quotes, I’ve lost my train of thought. I do believe, though, that two young people can genuinely love each other and that love can get through a heck load of arguments and even prevent some. And love isn’t felt through words but through actions – words don’t mean much when there are no actions to boot.
I still can’t quite pen what love is to me but if Twitter and Tumblr are anything to go by, I hope everyone gets to experience it, regardless of age, and not just the social media kind of love but a love so deep, the ocean floor would be jealous.
A friend’s favourite quote from The Fault In Our Stars is “the world is not a wish granting factory”. For the longest time, I didn’t get it, it all seemed pretty obvious to me, so I settled with “that’s the thing with pain…it demands to be felt” – something dark-ish and deep.
The world is not a wish granting factory, how obvious! The gravity of this statement did not hit me till yesterday. See, the human race is as diverse as can be. There are those who deal and those who don’t have the easiest time dealing. Quite frankly, I belong to the latter category.
I often find myself asking why I have to adjust to some things so that I can reduce the frequency of meltdowns – like, why can’t the world just take me as I am so then the people around me should be the ones accommodating me and not so much of the vice versa.
We can almost guess what popped into my mind soon after that train of thought was complete – “the world is not a wish granting factory”. That’s when the veracity of that statement hit me like a tonne of bricks!
This is not one of those ultra eye-opening posts but the truth is that we don’t always get what we want or what we’d like for that matter and that’s okay. Sometimes we fail to see the bigger picture and choose to excessively concentrate on the here and now. Other times we choose to dwell on the bad and the negative because self-destructing comes with some sort of endearing pain and the free fall to rock-bottom is much more effortless than the attempt to cheer up.
What do you do then? Heck! I don’t really know but before you start playing the victim role, just remember that the world really isn’t a wish granting factory. Reading/listening to Instructions For A Bad Day by Shane Koyczan would be a good second step.
I knew I was living a double life and getting someone involved was the worst thing to do. You have to believe me, I did not plan it nor intend for it to happen, it just did. The best things in life are said to happen in this way but I can’t term this as one of the best things to happen to me because that will only make it worse.
You don’t get to choose who you meet and how you meet them and if the situation calls for defense, that would be the only thing I’ve got. I guess the more you try to push someone away and lock them out, the more you let them in subconsciously. Trust me, I would know.
Looking at me, I don’t suppose you’d picture me to be the person I really am. Not that I’m a serial killer or anything but part of my life is quite dark. Not that I exhibit extra-loud-metal-rock-complete-with-dark-eyeliner-and-an-all-black-ensemble tendencies (nothing wrong with that by the way) but rather I’ve been through things and harbour feelings only I know of.
No troubled childhood though. No rough teenage-hood either. Let’s just say I was more of a victim of circumstances. So, that was me ; clear cloudless sunny day on the outside and a terrible hurricane on the inside. Terming me an emotional wreck would be a good start to finding out what I truly am.
And then he came along. He didn’t break me anymore than I could be broken. In fact, he made me forget about all the broken pieces, he made the entire situation better and that made it worse. It was a bit paradoxical.
So I did what I thought was best – I pushed him away and I up and left. I should feel better now but I feel tormented. It bothers me so much but I try so hard to hide the fact that it does. I tell myself I’m fine.
I’m broken down; I’m a coward; I’m destructive; I’m conflicted; I’m confused; I’m self sabotaging; I’m miserable; I’m unhappy but I’m fine.
To be honest though, “fine” has acquired a different meaning to me.
The first time your heart was torn from your chest,
You thought you were dying.
You knew you couldn’t live with the empty space.
So you replaced your heart with metaphors
And set out to create a world where the metaphor was unbreakable.
Now look what you’ve done –
You can’t breathe so you write.
You can’t hurt so you drink rum and pour our pirate chanties.
You can’t want revenge so you leave.
When I see you I have two thoughts:
You are the reason The Smith’s wrote songs,
And my God, you are beautiful.
You are so beautiful
Blinking stars go blind.
But I can see this is going to get ugly.
The metaphors don’t make you feel whole anymore.
You sell out your deepest insecurities for a handful of laughs.
This life has you wound so tight you make grandfather clocks look relaxed.
You hold your body like banks hold money – all locked up.
Your shoulders are glass rocks waiting for the next attack.
But you’ve got it all wrong.
You don’t survive history,
History survives you.
There’s no breakthrough without breakdown.
If you’re going to break, shatter.
No limp-legged dog excuses.
No messing with this bullet proof vest fury,
So popular with the cops and the presidents.
You’ve got to break like Texas.
You’ve got to take the pain from the safety valve of your heart,
And return it to your fists.
Fight your better judgement till you’re sinister again,
Till your body remembers what it already knows how to do – bend back and manifest grief.
Scream torches till you embarrass the enlightened.
Please. No more polite conversations with your death wish.
Give it something useful to do.
Change your life.
‘Cause I can’t stand to see you like this.
So blue, my eyes turn green in your presence.
Listen – you are so beautiful,
Grass pushes through sidewalk cracks just to kiss your feet.
Maybe no one ever told you,
But the heart IS a metaphor.
Yours is growing so strong,
You’ll have your rhythm back any day now –
Loving like rumors spread,
Dreaming like lunatic spacemen jump from their suits,
Living like you never forgot how.
Mindy Nettifee, “The First Time”
The other day ( a month and something ago) I shared a blog post with a friend of mine who happens to be one of my biggest supporters. After he read it, he told me yeah it was good but it was below my standards – he’d read better posts.
Truth be told, those words hit me hard and my second thought – first was “ouch” – was that maybe I should quit writing, or trying to write for that matter.
To be fair, I’m no skilled writer – yeah, this is kinda new to me. Do I suck? Maybe. The lovely people who follow and are subscribed to My Views Exactly don’t think so though. Should I quit? I don’t think so. Will I quit? If my life depends on it, I might consider doing so.
I got over those few seconds of self-doubt because it finally dawned on me that that guy believes in me probably more than I believe in myself.
It’s not going to be like that all the time though. Some people will give you downright negative criticism intended to trigger your downfall – how you deal with it makes all the difference.
I can’t tell you how to deal with it but what some people generally do is to look for something or someone to hold on to when the sea becomes rough.
Self-belief is important. you may never get negative criticism, then again you won’t be flooded with compliments on every day that ends with a “y”. Self-belief carries you through the not-so-good and downright nasty days.
I’ve lost my train of thought now but this post has something to do with criticism and self-belief and I repeat, it is in no way a “How To Deal With Criticism” post.
When did we forget our dreams?
The infinite possibilities that each day holds should stagger the mind. The sheer number of experiences I could have are uncountable, breathtaking, and I’m sitting here refreshing my inbox.
We live in trapped loops, reliving a few days over and over again, and we envision only a few paths laid out in front of us. We see the same things each day and respond the same way. We think the same thoughts – everyday a slight variation on the last – every moment smoothly following the gentle curves of societal norms.
We act like if we just get through today, tomorrow our dreams will come back to us. And no, I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know how to jolt myself into seeing what each moment would become but I do know one thing – the solution doesn’t involve watering down my every little idea and creative impulse for the sake of someday easing my fit into a mold. It doesn’t involve tempering my life to better fit someone’s expectations. It doesn’t involve constantly involve holding back for fear of shaking this up.
To summarise it :
Fuck that shit.