The title should have been “fell properly” because from the time I could spell my name, I’ve always liked one boy or the other. In fact, I remember having a crush on a cute seat mate in primary 5, and I was only eight then!
In my second year in the university, Cupid decided that I would be her next target. I, the one everyone expected to have had her nose buried in books, fell in love with a certain somebody we will call K. It was the type of love that made me doodle on my notebooks and stare out of the window at the library. K would sit with me in between classes, listening as I went on about the latest poem I’d written. On some evenings, I would dress up nicely, wear some lipstick and wait for him to call and say “I’m in front of your hostel”. Then, we would take long walks in the university park, talking about my family, his and what nots. When the sun had set and we couldn’t see other’s face again, we would make our way back to my hostel, hand in hand. K always said “I love you” at the end of each visit. In short, K was sweet and I was in love.
But K liked another girl. Yes, you read that right. During our conversations, he would talk glowingly about the other girl and I’d be forced to wear a plastic smile like I was okay with it. But inside I hurt and my self esteem was badly chipped at the edges. I had gotten my emotions entangled with K’s that I couldn’t imagine him not being exclusively mine. I couldn’t understand how K would like me, and still want to talk about the other girl (with me!). Unconsciously, I began to compete with a girl whom I hadn’t even met. I wanted to be more interesting, more beautiful, more this or that. Needless to say, it was fruitless as K had to move away after a while and I was so heartbroken I thought my grades that semester would be affected.
It took sometime before I came to terms with the reality of the new status of my relationship with K. First I had to accept, like really accept that K did not love me as much as I assumed he did. He liked me alright but there was no sense of commitment attached to our friendship. I was just one of the girls he had a thing for. I was also too quick to conclude I was in love with him. But who wouldn’t? With all the sweet words, and long walks and I love yous. I also knew that I had to forgive K to move on. That meant letting go of all the desire to hurt him back or prove how much better my life was without him. It worked, but it wasn’t a walk in the park. I had to deliberately focus on the good friendships I had at the time. I recall that that was the year I wrote the most poems, and nearly had an all A semester save one B in Thermodynamics.
When I think of K these days, it’s not with the once familiar feeling of hurt but with the understanding of how that experience shaped my love life and relationships in general. I picked out two lessons to share on the blog today.
Love will not finish in this world. With the intensity of what (I thought) I felt for K, I was like “Hay God! there’s nothing left of the love in my heart”. But that has turned out to be very false. When you believe in a God who loves you, then you can never run out of love to give because he becomes your source. And I speak not only of romantic love. If you’ve ever loved and lost, then you can certainly love again.
You will eventually marry only one guy or girl…at a time. When I realised this, I stopped trying to get every guy to like me. Instead, I made efforts to like myself and be at home in my own skin. And this has paid off quite well because the more you like you, the less you struggle to get others to.
K is a part of my story; I’ve chosen to embrace it. When I remember him and the feelings of hurt threaten to resurface, I make a conscious decision to forgive and appreciate those memories.
Have you had a similar experience of unrequited love? Or you’re currently going through stuff like this? Please share your experiences so we all know we’re not alone…hehe.