Monday, August 14, 2006

This way out

Sometimes, in life, it's much easier to give up. The easy way out is always available and always as tempting. When something starts aching, there are a million hallmark cards to "ease" the pain. You've heard all about it. Those theses made out of teeny bopper specials. "It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." "If it's love set it free. If it comes back, it's yours. If it doesn't, it wasn't meant to be." "There are many fishes in the sea." You give up, then you move on. You learn from it, pick up the pieces, then let go.

The funny thing is, although it becomes a broken record of advice from friends, from self-help books, and yes, even from teeny bopper specials, letting go is almost always is never easy. When the thing we treasure most starts to unravel, we hold on to it to keep it together. We try our might to glue, sew, patch up whatever you can, make it whole again. Though it keeps falling apart, you try to hide the cracks and polish and buff it to keep it looking new, like nothing's wrong, like everything's perfect. If it starts to break and starts to hurt, frustration comes and we cry it away until it washes away, until it hurts again. We hold on to it even if it hurts like hell. The pain lingers, and we let it be.

Some say it's masochism. They call us an entire spectrum of names, from hopeless romantic to foolish and insane, hoping to knock some sense into us. They say we like pain for pain's sake. But we all know it's not that. And in every well-meaning thing they do, they who call us names know it too. We've all been there in a certain point in our lives. We let the pain linger, because no matter much it hurts now, it still is a validation. When we start asking whether it was all a lie, or whether it was all pretend, the pain answers it all. The pain makes it real.

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