Who doesn’t love definitions?
I used to be such a fan of these safety nets, until a few days ago a thought kept bugging me.
What if I got it all wrong?
What if I had been reading the wrong dictionary and everyone else was living their lives according to the accurate one? This wasn’t a regular intrusive thought that we all get every now and then. I had a gigantic question mark hanging above my head and it had no intention to evaporate.
I thought about those links that define our lives: friendships and more-than-friendships.
People were never my friends if I didn’t care to truly know them, understand them and what they feel, relate, seek to help (the mutual factor being present all the way), but also tease, laugh with and at, drink wine, eat from each others’ plates, take the occasional gossip bus, and certainly disagree, hate each others’ moods but tolerate them with no objection, get to know each other through sporadic disagreements, give and take advice.
That question mark managed to challenge this broad definition of mine. So many people around me took another course on friendship, and it didn’t include truly knowing each other, being honest, sharing fears or concerns and supporting each other despite different opinions. Bummer.
I looked at love again. I thought love was this subtle, yet incredibly deep affection that could never possibly allow two people to hurt each other. I thought it was an unworded promise of care. I believed in the possibility of inexhaustible sparks. But everyone else had different definitions. And they were all happy. I, however, was as sad as plain oatmeal for breakfast. And profoundly confused.
Let’s say you share your time, meals, and laughs with someone, and anyone looking at you from aside would see happiness. Why would you give that up? So what if you can’t share all your thoughts, all your fears and all those images you have of your life? So what if you feel as if you’re letting go of your dreams with each day that goes by? Perhaps I got it all wrong and perhaps love is not about feeling that you can share everything, even if you don’t actually do it. Isn’t it better to be half-happy than not happy at all? Bits and pieces of happiness were never my understanding of love, but when I look around that’s what I often see. Nobody seems to be giving them up for the pursuit of the whole pie. So perhaps neither should I.
This exercise wasn’t very helpful. I’ll read and observe some more and hopefully come up with a wonderful conclusion. Wouldn’t it be lovely if I realized that we make our own definitions, that we are the ones giving them power over our lives, and that we can challenge any definition anytime? And, even better, that feelings don’t require definitions?