Valentine’s Day might have rolled off without me as the other half of a romantic couple, but please, sing no doleful songs for me – because love still abounds within and around me. Love that I have for my son, for the few family members and friends I’ve still got, for the things that make me happy. Even though I have made the decision to eschew actual liaisons in my life, it still holds power upon my being as a woman… and I would forever have this need to write about it. A misty-eyed 14-year-old red-rose dreamer I remain.
Talking about the four-letter word that has consumed every female being on our planet since time immemorial, is there any higher mystery that has ever lived inside our minds and souls? How often have I seen women appeal for love in the same way they appeal for mercy in the face of life’s unforgiving peripheries? How many women like me have been taken in by its glowing illusions and promises?
In a land notable for people willing to die in the name of love; where round-the-clock “telenovelas” lord over TV ratings, and endless media themes speak of passion “conquering it all,” people here from all walks of life clutch stories of high and low from the annals of their beloved sentiments.
A measure of emotional chaos had already presided over a huge fraction of my younger years – courtesy of many a rambunctious affair of the heart. Could it have something to do with the precarious self-esteem I’ve carried around which stemmed from my childhood insecurities?
One delicate lesson I’ve learned from those years: The surest way to drive yourself batshit insane is to cling to the notion that love will stay, when it is in fact wiggling in all directions to depart from you.
So I’ve often found myself asking this question: What do I make of the rules when my heart usually does the thinking for me?
The rules of love I am always in danger of forgetting.
The rules of love I have, in helpless frustration, inked onto my skin.
It’s been more than a year since I’ve freed myself from any romantic entanglements on my side of the globe here. The main purpose of which is to keep me away from an internal cage I have long since escaped. I was starting to think I’d never get the brand of peace I’d been searching for. So I had to run away in hopes that tranquillity would be able to find me. Gradually somehow, it came and I got it. I almost couldn’t believe it. Simplicity and space had held dominion; allowing for sensible calm to reign inside of me; granting me a tempered existence…and a liberation that surprisingly gave me some of the most remarkable times of my life. So I began to think happiness would be here to stay. Finally. Then came the major blow last month that brought me to my very knees. The one that shattered my hopes for a continuous path layered with calm and beauty.
It’s like I’ve closed my eyes with a smile and dreamed of rainbows and butterflies. But when I opened them again, a totally different world has taken place. Completely.
Months ago, I watched Rihanna’s tearful confession at the Oprah channel of how she still feels for the man who has assaulted her. She got castigated and maligned by the public as a result of that interview. I may not have gone through what she experienced, although as I watched her painfully shedding tears over a first love she just couldn’t let go, I somehow understood her. I don’t necessarily condone the actions that took place between Rihanna and Chris Brown. But the girl merely in need of drama in her life, they say? No. It’s just a woman in love who couldn’t help being true to her feelings.
When we were little children, my parents would watch popular reruns of Tom Jones’ musical show and made us dance every time he commences with the upbeat tune of “It’s Not Unusual.” Before the end of the show, he would belt out tender, ardent songs like “You’re My World” and “I know” – and my sister and I would listen. When we became young girls, we’d remember and be dreaming of the princes in our futures who would feel that way about us. Just like in those songs.
Then we all grew up…and we lived…and we learned.
You began to realize no man is worthy enough to make you consign your heart to prison once more. In the same vein you get jaded by the reality that princes do turn into frogs eventually.
Valentine’s Day – and what it stands for – will preserve its magic in my mind nevertheless. Besides, it’s always good to foster the feeling until the end of your days.
That‘s how you find the emotional girl in me. The girl who may be cited for not truly condemning drama in her life. A woman, to be more precise, who would turn 80 decades from now, and still be longing of walking along some rose-full field of dreams.
The woman with a heart that would probably never know of time.