Tuesday, May 19, 2009

i believe in love

Scene: Close friends over a post-shift-slash-makeshift meeting. The question: if you were the person next to you, what would be the one thing you would change about yourself? When we’re with each other, we just let all our guards down so a question that would’ve crumbled the average Joe felt like nothing to us. I anxiously waited for my turn. I was more than a little curious with what my friend would say about me.

“Siguro yung pagka-jaded niya.” she finally said. My eyes grew wide with quasi-pain. I’ve always seen myself as an optimist. I thought it was just her who felt this way until another friend chimed in.

“Wag ka nang umalma kasi we all see it. Siguro di mo lang nakikita.” The second room in my Johari Window was become more and more apparent. Was I really as jaded as they say I am? *deep breath*

Well, I don’t believe in love anymore. Maybe that’s a good indicator. Maybe I am a little jaded. Just a little though.

Scene: New friends over coffee. We were all just buzzing from the energy emanating from our newfound brotherhood. I got into an interesting conversation with a particularly interesting character. Unjaded is in his late twenties, comes from a semi-broken home and shares a child with a woman he feels no love for. We were talking about how I didn’t think that love is a permanent thing. You would think that someone like him would share the same view but he proved me wrong.

"What is love? It’s when lust and convenience converge. If you think about the percentage of marriages that end in divorce, you would wonder why people even bother.” I said.

“It goes back to the glass being half-empty and half-full. You said that almost half of American marriages end in divorce. Did you ever consider that more than half of American marriages do not end in divorce?”

“Love is like a destination that only a few people reach. Most people who get there are either too busy being in love or too unsure if they really found it to give everyone else directions. If it’s real, it’s pretty darn elusive.”

“You’re too young to think that way. Call me in five years when you finally find someone to change your mind- and you will.”

I stared at him while I thought of a witty comeback. How could this man come home to a woman he feels no love for but still believe that love exists?

“You will find your soul mate.” he added.

Soul mate? He could not be serious. “Are you telling me that you still believe in soul mates? Even if your responsibilities prohibit you from finding that person, you’re actually telling me that you believe she’s out there?”

“Yes.” he answered, without batting an eyelash.

I was speechless. What right do I have- a person who grew up in a close Christian family and who does not even have half the scars he has- to question that? I’m not sure if it was the weather but all of a sudden, his optimism started rubbing off on me. I closed my eyes and tried to channel my thirteen year old self.

“I wonder what my soul mate is doing right now.” I wondered as I fiddled with my mother’s Nokia 3210. I was dressed in my usual sando and puruntong combo in the house I grew up in. When I was younger and more na├»ve, I even gave my soul mate a name- Lynne.

Something happened sometime between 1999 and 2009. Something changed me. I used to think Lynne was out there. Now I’ve lost sight of her. I wonder what she’s doing right now. Maybe she’s wondering what’s taking me so long. Maybe I’ve already met her but my cynicism somehow drove her away.

Do I believe in love? I have to. What right do I have to challenge its existence? Just because I haven’t seen it, doesn’t mean it’s not real. If only I could be more like myself when I was younger- before I lost sight of the things that really mattered- maybe the skies wouldn’t seem so gray.

It starts with the little things. I went upstairs and searched through the deepest corners of my closet. I took off my shirt and put on a tattered sando. It’s amazing that this thing actually still fits me. I sat in bed and looked hopefully at the moon. What is Lynne doing right now? Is she seeing the big ol’ moon as well? I wonder if she’s alright. I wonder if she thinks about me, too.

Dixie Chicks
I Believe In Love