One of the hardest things I had to learn about relationships was love is not enough. Like many other lessons this one seems painfully obvious once learned, but not at all otherwise. After all, “Love is all you need” sounds much more romantic. I still remember the way I struggled with “defining” love as a teenager and in my early 20s. At the height of each new relationship I was convinced that I had finally figured out what love really was, only to find myself back at square 1 when it ended. After a few rounds I finally gave up on the notion of “one true meaning of love” and settled for the belief that it will probably keep evolving as I kept learning. Underlying my search for the “true meaning of love”, I think, was this mistaken belief that true love meant forever, that love was both necessary and sufficient for a relationship to work out. It took more than a decade and a handful of break-ups for me to realize how misleading that belief was. Continue reading →
I have this inexplicable desire to help people find love and happiness. That might sound cheesy and not entirely sincere, but it’s true. When I see someone stuck in an unhappy job or struggling in the dating world, all I want to do is help them find solutions (after I properly express my empathy and sympathy). I used to think this was only toward my friends, but then I realize I’m just as easily pulled into the stories and travails of strangers and acquaintances. Continue reading →
Today was my last day at Skate’s and I couldn’t help but feeling incredibly sad at leaving. In a little more than a day, I’ll be leaving NYC, but it isn’t just this city that I’m leaving behind. I’m leaving behind my last carefree summer. In a matter of days, I will have to start being a grown up, because while law school is still school, it won’t be like college. For one thing, the loans will be accruing interest at an alarming rate from day 1. It won’t be about the experience, it will be about getting that offer to pay off the loans and justifying this incredible investment in time, energy and money. And that’s just the beginning of the increasing responsibilities that I will be facing as I somehow find a way to fill the shoes of an adult.
The word really scares me. Responsibilities scare me. I’d like to think I’m a responsible person, but I’ve never really had to be 100% responsible for my life. It’s not just being financially independent, but also having to bear the weight of every decision I make, face every challenge by myself, figure out every problem on my own. There won’t be a safety net, no one to rely on. Can I do this? It’s not a real question, is it? We all have to, sooner or later. There really is no other option.
This is perhaps the main reason why I would like to get married sooner than later. It’s not because I have some romantic, fairytale fantasy of marriage, but rather I’m so used to having the support and love of a family in my life that I don’t think I could really be happy without it. I want to have that person that I can come home to and recount my day to. Someone that I can count on, someone who will be there for me no matter what happens. In the end, it’s not even so much what I need this person to do for me as my need to share my life with another. I want and need that companionship because without it life is just too lonely, and I just don’t do well with loneliness.
The best things in this world often require them. How else do we deal with this world of uncertainties? Behavioral economists correctly note the obvious: we all want certainties in our lives, but perhaps that is just because we always want what we don’t have, and that is most certainly one of the things this world does not afford us, along with immortality. An interesting thought, if we had one of these, would we also want the other? Say, if you could be immortal, then uncertainty wouldn’t be so bad, would it? It’s the very fact that we only live once, for a definite period, that we are so afraid of the uncertainties. We want to minimize mistakes, regrets, and get things right the first time and not let once in a life time opportunities slip by. But if we could live forever, would that still matter as much? I suppose ti would still matter to a degree, since nothing really repeats itself exactly. So having infinite number of chances doesn’t mean you can have the exactly same chance twice, and living forever isn’t quite the same as going back in time and reliving the same life. But I digress…
Exactly what makes these two things difficult? The uncertainties or our desire for acquiring utility now? Probably both. But we have no control on time, or chance. So given the circumstances and facts of life, it is perhaps that we wait and hope for the best; however gruelling and difficult.
So I’ve come to accept that I’m going to make mistakes as long as I live. It’s probably not a good idea to beat myself up over the mistakes I’ve already made or let it lead to self-doubt. Regardless of what I have decided and done, life moves on. No matter what, I’m still alive, and there’s still tomorrow. It doesn’t matter that I’m 20, or more than half way through college, I could be 80, but as long as I live, I might as well be prospective and not be brought down too much by what I can’t change.
By all account, I’m happy enough. I’m not perfectly happy, but when have I ever been perfectly happy? Yet I can’t ignore the missing piece- the missing person -that makes life feel incomplete in its absence. I’m trying to get used to it, though I can’t say if I’m successful. In my most optimistic moments, I try to tell myself in time everything will be okay, and this makes us stronger. But there are always those moments when I can’t stop myself from wondering why I chose this and if I could indeed survive this for much longer.