..or at least, what I think of as love.
I never thought I'd one day sit down to actually type up something related to love. I have been in relationships before, clearly, but love has been elusive throughout.
Maybe I wasn't ready back then? Maybe as I age I have finally developed some semblance of maturity? Maybe it's just my genes buzzing, telling me to find a mate and reproduce before I grow decrepit? Or maybe I'm still a little naive deep down..?
Whatever the case may be, I can't deny what I've felt and learned.
I will now share this exposition of what little I have gained from my brief encounter with love and I hope, especially if you haven't had the good fortune of encountering this rare creature, that maybe you'd benefit from my teeny tiny experience with it.
1) It is a voluntary act.
Attraction is automatic I feel, but to love the person you're attracted is most decidedly voluntary. You're the one who, at one point or another, will have to decide whether to open the floodgate of all the fuzzy feelings you have towards this wonderful person you're attracted to. The downside to this however, is once the the gate is opened, and the feelings have flowed, there's no turning back - what has been spilled can't be un-spilled. Naturally, this leads to point number 2.
You can't have your cake and eat it too. The only way to experience love is by opening oneself up, and in doing so, you're also opening yourself up to the possibility of being hurt. Rejection hurts, breaking up hurts, finding out that things aren't going to work out hurts etc - Still, I think it's worthwhile. After all, the first sign of growth is usually some form of pain. If you endure the stings, you will waltz away/around a better and wiser person regardless of the direction your love life goes.
3) Wishes and hopes.
You will wish and hope like you've never wished and hoped before. All the circumstances that are against you and this person you love will be cursed, if not consciously, then certainly subconsciously and all that are in favor of you both will be endlessly praised and blessed almost religiously. You'll see a vision of the future that is damn near crystal clear, and if you have never been the particularly ambitious type, this will be such a paradigm shifting experience for you.
4) Getting to know oneself.
If you're naturally introverted, in my opinion, you're better at understanding yourself than the rest of the population as introspection is a key ingredient in knowing oneself, but even then, introspection can only reveal a certain aspects of you. There are other dimensions to yourself that you can only know through another person...the more intimate, the better. From the silliest of things to the deepest of things, get to know yourself. Temet nosce.
5) Love, like life, involves letting go.
Sooner or later, you will have to let him or her go. Maybe the relationship comes to an end (feeling love is one thing, maintaining a relationship is a whole other thing), and even if it doesn't, given enough time, he or she will be taken away from you or you from him or her.
Such is life, and love.
I see now that life is a huge lesson in letting go.
We've been letting go of things since the very beginning but we never realized it. As children, we willingly and happily let go of our childhood in favor of being teens. Again, as teens, we willingly let go of the stage simply because being adults is way cooler. Now as adults who are all too aware of the fact that aging is real and that life is finite, unwillingly we have to embrace the letting go of youthfulness. Also, don't forget that along the way, we have let go of people, friends who are now almost strangers, relatives who have passed and more.
Until finally, at the end of it all, we have to let go of even ourselves. The selves that we have spent a lifetime shaping, defining, and refining will have to be allowed to sail gently into oblivion.
Sorry if this sounds a little morbid, don't mean to come across that way.
So there you have it, my attempt at creating order out of this tangled mess I have in my head and heart. Maybe this post isn't particularly refined, but it is what it is. Take what you may from it or not.
At the end of the day, don't be too sad if things don't go your way in the love department. Matters of the heart have always been complicated since the beginning of humanity. Take your time, and when you're ready, just move on - ya know, the whole "bunga bukan sekuntum, kumbang etc" deal. Take care!
Tiga Puluh: Things I Know Now (written in 2015)
3 weeks ago