Changing The Way I Look At Love

I have allowed myself to have my heart broken in the same way over and over again for years. You may say there’s a pattern but I will defend myself for a while before I actually agree with you. I have the same excuses too:

“They were different people.”

“People outgrow each other.”

“Priorities change. Sometimes, people realise you’re not their priority.”

The point always comes down to me pinning my expectations from love on to someone else. Maybe it was what my parents told me as a child: “You will have to take care of yourself because there may be a day when we’re not around to do so.” I always felt the need to fill that space. As I was telling my best friends this week, there was always a sword hanging over my head telling me that I’d have to find someone for myself because no one else would.

In a world where we’re constantly told to be independent, the need for a partner to lean on seems contradictory to me. With the burden of real life and growing up looming starkly over our heads, the fear of loneliness and the constant need for emotional support just stand out as more painful. We have been conditioned over time to seek it from outside ourselves. Maybe in cuddles, loving messages, hand-holding, and kisses, we seek a completion that we don’t promise ourselves.

And honestly, why don’t we?

I have found myself distancing myself from societal ideals of marriage more and more over time. It may be a case of bitterness and a bout of cynicism, but I rejected marriage as a necessity earlier this year. My parents told me I needed it to be “settled”, to “procreate” and I found myself asking them what I asked myself too — why the fuck should I?

Settle for what? Settle for whom? How am I supposed to settled when I was raised to not settle? Wasn’t I raised to aim higher? Why should I settle?

As far as procreation is concerned, I realised that was not my cup of tea as child-rearing is the kind of responsibility I assume I will never be ready for. Besides the fear of having to be a complete human’s go-to person for everything, there is a narcissism attached to wanting a tiny version of myself that I have never had at all. The idea of another version of myself circling the planet is more panic-inducing than exciting.

So those arguments have been settled.

Now, tell me. What else do I have left to look for when I am told to look for love to feel complete?

Companionship? I have wonderful friends and parents.

Emotional support? I have wonderful friends, parents, and a therapist I can thankfully afford.

Fulfillment? My job has blessed me with the kind of fulfilling joy that makes me love Mondays.

Something to keep me warm at night? There is a reason I sleep in the middle of the bed, holding on to two pillows, and with an extra blanket. I’m pretty damn warm when I need to be.

Altruistic love? No love is really altruistic. When we give, we do it with the expectation of getting something back. When we look for love, we look for the kind of love that we got from our parents. The kind that brought a sense of understanding regardless of the good, bad and ugly. Who are we kidding when we think that someone is going to give that to us without expecting the same in return? And how would we possibly learn to give unconditionally just by being in love?

Don’t get me wrong. I love love.

I have loved love all my life. I have sought it in my friendships, stories, movies, books, words, music… everywhere.

I have found love within myself.

It sounds ridiculous and I would not have believed it if you told me I would love being by myself and with myself a year back. But, things brought me here. Heartbreak drew me away from love and closer to myself. As I spent days crying in my own company, I found a solace that a man couldn’t give me. Over time, I spent more time with myself because I genuinely loved it. I didn’t miss pretending to enjoy getting to know someone I didn’t want to know longer than the time it took me to put my mouth to theirs and leave.

The second I realised it wasn’t my responsibility to be with someone for anything but my own happiness, I realised my search had ended. I cannot mince my words with this. It is not and has never been our responsibility to find love or to feel better in it. It is, however, our responsibility to respect ourselves and the bodies we have while we’re here. I am not a fan of living a long life, but I’d love a happy one.

Right now, my happiness is the dinner I just had and following that with finishing this piece of writing that I started today. It isn’t the best writing I’ve done. But, it made me happy. It definitely made me happier than a man has ever made me or probably ever could.

That said, if someone does want to change my mind — they’re welcome to. It just has to feel better than good food or being happy with yourself on a Sunday night does.

“I Don’t Want Protons, S”

I am on the verge of big changes. I am leaving my favourite city. I will not be able to come home except for fifteen days in December. I had to give up a dream I nurtured for the past two years just because somewhere, I was not good enough.

I was always the girl with the plan. You know how people are either impulsive or contemplative? I am the sort who plans my impulses. I have always followed my gut and maybe that has made me emotional about things that I want, but it is what worked. Till now. As I publicly cried my guts out on the day I found out, I could only think one thing. “Such a waste of a young heart.” Yes, like the song.

All I heard from all sides were people congratulating me, the ones close to me consoling me. But every time I have to check my imagination which goes back to the old dream, I wish I did not have to. It felt like The Real World slapped me in the face for my audacity to hope for the best and forget to be prepared for anything less. It told me, “Good job at getting your feet back on the ground. Don’t venture for the skies any longer, young fool.”
Daisy Buchanan was right. “The best thing a girl can be in this world is a beautiful little fool

Later that night, when I refused to rid myself of the self pity, one of my best friends told me, “Fine. Degrade yourself to the size of an atom and see what happens.”
My dramatic side rebelled, “Protons, dammit. What is that stuff made of? That is how low I’ll pull myself.”
My usually collected friend replied, “I DON’T WANT PROTONS OKAY?”

I got Caps-locked.

Like a lot of things he has taught me, he also taught me this. It’s true. No one wants the proton. No one wants to be dragged down that low. To that insignificant size. Sure, they are a part of what makes up our universe. But, no one really cares about that.

The best I can do right now is to make sure that I do not drag myself any lower. I have little time on my hands as do the rest of you. I just seemed to have faced a divergence from the path, but I am hoping I can work and get it back on track. I’m a master at escapism and this is going to be difficult. But, we all need to have a story worth telling. I guess The Universe is giving me mine.

I have taken 18 flights in the past one and a half years. It is quite a lot for someone my age but, I guess those are the slight perks of living away from home. On flight number 19 this morning, I knew only one thing. I am going back home. That is a comfort, right?