I remember a poem I read. I loved it so much that I took a print of it and pinned it to the board on my work desk. It’s about love as much as many people would think that it is not.
“Love is the most beautiful of dreams, and the worst of nightmares.”
I love reading books. My bookshelf is one of my most prized possessions. To be lost in a world created by a fiction and live the story is a beautiful feeling. That’s a dream. The same happiness comes when I put my thoughts to verse or fiction. Writing is something that’s very therapeutic. It is something that once pulled me back from making a very wrong decision.
Yet the world around me doesn’t often believe that others can have their own dreams. My passion to them is but a hobby, and a hobby can be disregarded, can be forced to stop, can be given an expiry date. They tell me what books I should read and what books I should not. They believe they love us, and want the best for us. When they begin to push their beliefs onto mine, it becomes the worst of nightmares.
I love the company of certain friends. Friends are the family we choose, and unlike family, they’re the ones who get what we go through and at times, have even been through the same. That time I spend with them makes me relaxed, happy, and it helps me to forget the times in recent past that have pulled me down. It’s a time I can be myself without having to put on a mask.
Yet the world around me doesn’t often believe that friendship is important in life too. When they see that joy, they try to vanquish it. They can’t accept that a guy and a gal can be just friends too. They begin to talk. Sooner or later, the “talk” turns to “advice”. They begin to tell me how I have to live my life. They begin to tell me who I can be friends with. They begin to tell me I don’t need friends. They love their opinion. When they begin to push their “love” onto me, it becomes the worst of nightmares.
I love the place I am at in life. It makes me happy. There’s space for me to breathe, and to grow. It’s not cloud nine, but definitely not level zero either. If I fall, I have the confidence to tell that I’ll bounce and rise higher. It’s not where I dreamed I would be, but it’s where I currently want to be.
Yet the world around me doesn’t often believe that happiness can come like that. People have their idea of what I have to be. If I’m not there, they keep reminding me of that fact. Eventually, comparisons begin to happen. I’m not as good as X or how I once had a chance to take a better opportunity, but couldn’t. They love to show that they are better than me. As much as I’d like to think I’m stone-hearted to such jabs, I’m not. Even if I was, the constant nagging chips away at the stone, becoming a nightmare.
I am the things I love. I am the books I read, and the smiles I try to hide. I am as sweet as my laughter. I am the things I believe in. If I am asked to list the things I love, and I list them one by one, I need not specify particularly that I love myself. I am there in each of them, and those who know me, know that too.
(© Vinay Leo R. @ I Rhyme Without Reason,
17th June, 2017)