"So I was just over here minding my business and…"
People fall in love with the wrong people. Stranger things have happened. Of late, I have found myself having numerous discussions about love that cannot be explained and/or justified. Love that defies common sense. Unrequited love, love you just know is leading nowhere or even, as a friend put it, “illegitimate love”, in some cases… I often end up asking: Which “love” do you know of that doesn’t defy common sense? First of all, I am a Christian AND a sinner. Yet, Jesus died for all my nasty, rotten sins because God loves me. Common sense? I don’t believe so. Secondly, the relentless love you have for your family even when they hurt you, drive you mad, encroach on your space and general privacy, and piss you RIGHT off every second, minute, hour of every day. Make sense? I think not.
Slight Disclaimer: Sometimes, the feeling we want to so desperately describe as love is often lust. Lust is stronger, more destructive, and much quicker to disappear/go to the other extreme than love. In short, I don’t even have the strength to discuss it. That’s how bad lust can be…I’ve been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, still wearing it to sleep.
What I have found is that because we are afraid of the possibility of deep hurt at the end of this “love or whatever it is” spectrum, we treat any unfamiliar, strong, possibly warm feeling towards the opposite sex like a contagious disease that needs to be contained and quarantined. Restrictions everywhere.
A secondary school classmate’s wife (then fiancée) came to Nigeria for a wedding , for the first time since she was 2, in 2012. Straight from the airport, they got on the road to Ilorin. The drive from Lagos to Ilorin is not a joke, even for those of us who ply that road often. Just to put it in perspective, of recent, I have opted to fly to Ilorin and I HATE flying. Apparently, she came on the trip with positive expectations. I mean, how bad could a 4-5 hour road trip possibly be? Well, QUITE bad, apparently. Trucks and tankers barrelling down the wrong side of the road, animals crossing the street out of nowhere and the subsequent swerving, and of course, the bad roads and
gulleys potholes that drove her to scream and bang on the ceiling of the car. By the time she got to Ilorin, she had a well-formed, justifiable, negative view about travelling by road in Nigeria.
Can you blame her?
And that’s the way we all are – our views, opinions, positions are formed by our often not-too-pleasant experiences. How many times have you called that guy/girl a beast/bastard/fool/big mistake/biggest regret etc? The crying and the interventions that make you scream “I will never go down that road again”s and the “I will be smarter next time” or my favourite – “Abeg, forget that love side. See how I got burnt because of one nonsense love. What the hell was I thinking?”
I learned very early on, after a series of terribly painful mishaps, that regrets can make one weaker. So I generally don’t believe in regrets. I believe in lessons, and learning them quick. Every disappointment is a lesson learned. Every tear is a reminder of how much stronger you’ll be at the end of it all. All of it, reminds us (well, me at least) that we’re human and therefore, not infallible. I also believe in cherishing (and remembering) the happy moments, and taking responsibility for my actions.
So let’s be honest here: We diss ourselves and others for being suckers for punishment. However, alot of people have been there, have had that “painful, difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love”(Olivia Pope). It may not make sense now but wait. Personally, I’m not giving up the chance of extraordinary because I may get hurt. Are there any memories of that time that can still make you smile? Is there anything you got out of it – new friends, a new lease on life – that had you not been to hell and back, would not have today? Are you a better person? Then, it was worth it.
My point: Love. Fearlessly.
After all, “We don’t choose who we fall for…”