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Dreaming Fairies

21 May

It’s scary how the world can be so unfair.

I’ve had my fair share of injustice, and I resent the memories of each one to this day. But for the most part, I blamed myself for it, thinking that I’d been too soft and careless and trusting. What do you get from being kind anyway? Sure, people could like you. But what do you do with a thousand people who like you, when at the end of the day you’re all alone? And worse, your kindness may backfire on you in the worst possible way. I say kindness is a kind of power, and as the popular line goes, with great power comes great responsibility.

But still, I’ve accepted those moments when my good will and own efforts ended up crushing me unfairly, but witnessing it happen to someone else — someone genuinely good and bright and hardworking–is totally devastating for me. I’m in no place to judge, but seriously? If there’s one job in this world that saves people from that kind of injustice, I’m very much willing to take it.

Oh shit. I sound like someone on the way to law school.

But seriously, screw it all, I don’t even trust laws of men anyway. I just want the law of inherent goodness, of nature, of getting what you deserve. I want to be a fairy granting people wishes, making their dreams come true as long as they deserve it. I want to see hardworking people succeed greatly. I want dancers to perfectly perform what they’ve practiced. I want students to ace the exams they’ve studied all night for. I want every dog to have a loving family. I want every criminal behind bars, and I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Injustice is a fate worse than death, as I have come to conclude a couple of years ago. And sometimes, with all that’s happening, I want to give up my status as a human being and ask God to just, just make me a fairy. I want to live in some spring wood and give out glass slippers or something. Seriously. I don’t actually have the right to say I’m tired, because I’ve never actually done anything worthwhile, not even household chores (ugh the laundry basket is overflowing again), but I don’t know, I really don’t know… I feel so tired. Physically, mentally. Some people might say, hey maybe you just need Christ in your life, and maybe they’re right. I’m a Christian, alright, and I can say He’s touched my life in ways more than I deserve and I believe in Him, but I don’t know what to do to enact on my faith. Maybe Christianity is indeed about community, togetherness, that being a Christian on your own will make you feel empty and hollow inside.

I don’t know where this is going. First I was raving about injustice then kindness and then Christianity.  Maybe these are signs of what they call ‘adulting’. When the solitude that you loved starts to be suffocating. When you start wishing to be somewhere else. When you finally see the world as a big, scary place. When you begin to lose your dreams. When you see everyone else going this way and that, and you’re standing right where you are, not knowing which way to go. When every failure is no longer funny, but has grown fangs and bitten into you deep enough to leave you limping. When you realize that there’s actually no one you can listen to — not your favorite author, musicians, doctors, politicians, and sometimes even those people closest to you — for in the end, all you have is yourself, and the only one you can trust to make a choice for you is you. Because it’s your life, and everything else is fleeting.

You can be kind if you are strong enough, because the world needs such a beautiful thing. But to others like me, who are rather weak, fickle, and easily lost, be a realist. Don’t be mean, but try putting yourself over others. Don’t aim for acceptance, but rather, survival. The former is a luxury we can’t afford to invest in. Keep Christ close to you, or whoever your God is, because He will keep you going. Be wary of the dangers of this world, of the things that may crush you in the end, but find something that tethers you to the beauty and joy of being alive — a person, a thing, a hobby, anything that reminds you that there is goodness, there is God. You can be good without people knowing. After all, what is a thousand likes when you are all alone in the end?

And when you are strong enough to be kind, be a fairy. Help people get what they deserve. Make them happy. Be a fairy in any way you can — promote your hardworking employee, applaud the dancer who missed a step, teach your students well (and make sure you actually taught them what you put in the exams), or adopt that homeless dog across the street. Or be a lawyer, and try to put things in order.

I don’t know who I’m going to be just yet. All I know, right now, is that I want to be a fairy.

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Why Share Your Day

19 Nov

I’ve had this blog for years now and I just realized I haven’t written much about myself (because I haven’t written much at all, actually). Yes, everything I wrote was out of my personal ideas and viewpoint but I never wrote about my life. I keep a diary for self-expression and I never saw the point of revealing yourself to the world. I mean, who cares what you’re wearing right now or who your favorite writer is, right?

Recently I’ve been visiting a celebrity’s blog often and I find it nice that she wrote much about herself and her experiences. Of course it’s interesting, because she’s popular and all, but beyond that, her posts long before she became famous quite had an effect on me. It feels somehow wonderful to see what life is in someone else’s perspective, like reading someone’s diary. Yes, we claim that we understand that all people have feelings, their own problems, preferences and whatnot, but we rarely actually try to see things from their perspective. I think reading about trivial things like how someone else’s day went, where she spent the afternoon or what music she listens to would make us feel – and not just mentally ‘understand’ – that life is so much bigger than we think. Life is not just about ‘me’, or ‘you’; it’s ‘us’. Cliche as it sounds, it’s true. Have you ever looked out your window and wondered how the world looked to that bearded man rushing across the street? What he’s thinking, where he’s going, what made him decide to wear black on such a sunkissed day? I don’t know about you, but I find a sense of fulfillment everytime I think of how the universe is made up of infinite connected stories of clueless characters. I hope someone else feels the same way; it would really be nice if we try to step out of our self spotlight and try to review the day in somebody else’s eyes. Because of your catharsis of being just one speck in this planet, you missed 7 billion other ways of seeing life today.

What I’m saying is that I’ll be starting to post personal stuff. I think it would be helpful for my introspection, being an introvert and all. I bet most of the things I’ll write are beyond the knowledge of even my closest friends! Anyway I encourage you to do the same. I would be fun!  You can go visit http://daringtolivefully.com/journal-prompts for journal prompts!

P.S The celebrity blog I was talking about is http://www.mainemendoza.com Such a brilliant and beautiful lady.

 

Drapetomania

10 Nov

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People leave for a reason.

Sometimes home has become a cage, love has reduced into an idea, or dreams have morphed into a time-washed promise of yesterday. The present becomes an enslaving chain of uncertainty and despair until only the unknown horizon gives the hope of something – anything – better. And so we dive in, trying to chase happiness that for all we know lies in that ‘somewhere else’.

Drapetomania (n) – the overwhelming urge to run away

I am a drapetomaniac, although it was only recently when I discovered the existence of such a word. Ever since I was a young child I always had these dreams where I do nothing else but run – away from monsters, strangers, and even family and friends. Sometimes I couldn’t tell why exactly I was running away. I just felt the need to. Growing up, I dreamt less and less frequently (or I couldn’t remember them upon waking up, at least) my fascination for the horizon remained. I would stare at it far ahead and wonder what it’s like to chase it, too just keep going straight and never looking back. I have a good home, a great family and friends but there is the overwhelming desire to go somewhere far and live a stranger’s life. I attribute this idea to my being an introvert. Or probably, I just like escaping from anything that threatens my peace of mind.

I could say I’m the type of tries to escape from her problems. I make impulsive decisions, and those who have witnessed my misadventures would probably say that I’m much of a quitter. I admit, recently I have been turning down opportunities and taking a step back from many things because of my rather complicated pessimistic mindset. Sometimes I get tired of understanding myself that all I want to do is curl up, stare at the blankness of space, and make an estimation of the number of stars that give dead light. But most of the time, I imagine myself going out into the streets and sneaking myself in a ship bound to the opposite continent. Then what do I do when I get there? I never thought of it, actually. It’s not the destination that I’m after; it’s the act of running away that stirs my euphoria.

THAT WORD

I was never a fan of goodbyes. I say it a number of times, of course, when my friends and I part ways after school, when I end a call, when I just…leave a place, like everybody does. But when I think of it, I actually meant none of those goodbyes I’ve spoken out loud, because I knew there would always be a next ‘hello’. I grieved when my grandfathers died, but I don’t actually recall that I said goodbye, not because I didn’t want to but because it didn’t cross my mind at all.

When I was young, a good friend of mine left without an assurance of ever coming back. I didn’t cry nor feel even a bit of sadness. On the last day, our eyes just met for a mere millisecond. We didn’t talk. We didn’t say goodbye. I didn’t care. You may think we might not have been close friends at all, but I tell you, we’ve been friends for a really long time and shared many happy childhood memories. This kid was that one loyal friend you’d have once in a lifetime. A friend who stays by your side even though you choose to play with someone else. A friend who listens in awe to your nonsense stories. A friend who gives you stuff you never asked for. A friend who just wants to see you happy.  That time, I thought leaving was not a big deal. I thought it was just as easy as coming home from school. I didn’t have to be sad, I told myself. In my memory, I didn’t feel anything. But what I clearly remember is that I quietly cried in my room that night. I cried because I badly wanted to say goodbye.

My next distinct memory with goodbye was after high school graduation. My classmates and I stayed together overnight, and it was a happy memory. It seemed to last for a long time. When we parted ways, we said a simple ‘bye’, an unceremonious one. It was delivered in such a normal way, but when I said it, I knew I was going to remember it for the rest of my life.

THE HAPPY GOODBYE

The next goodbye I said was just a few days ago. It wasn’t goodbye to a person, but to a direction. I decided to leave the career path I have been building for a year. To put it simply, I was unhappy. It was a good course and I am very grateful I chose it as an initial course because it shaped the way I see the world. I feel more aware, more experienced. However, deep inside me was a voice trying to be heard amidst the noise of my troubled heartbeat. It was telling me that my place is somewhere else. Being the impulsive decision maker that I am, leaving was a burdensome process not only to myself but also to my parents. The consequences transcend even to this day. Of course, there is anxiety and doubt. I begin to question whether I made a foolish move. It’s hard to weigh career decisions for me, because I don’t have a definite dream. My desires change even before I could start paving the yellow brick road towards them. My desk was a mess of paperworks from last semester. I dreaded cleaning it up because I was afraid I’d feel regret. But just the other day, I found the courage to clean up. As I sealed the box that now houses those memories, I felt an unexpected happiness. My heart felt as if it has been freed from a cramped cage. A grocery box filled with papers and books became the recipient of my first happy goodbye.

SOMEWHERE ELSE

So here I am at the doorway of that place called ‘somewhere else’. The present is still shadowed by uncertainty, but I learned that it is not always an enslaving chain. Uncertainty is more like a road. You may not see the destination, but you know it was built to lead somewhere. If you believe happiness is in the horizon, then you might as well accept the fact that for every two steps you take towards it, it draws farther, two steps away. Truth is, the horizon is just an illusion for the sky never meets the ground. Horizon and happiness only share one similarity: the letter ‘H’.

I don’t think I will ever stop wanting to run away, just as I wouldn’t start believing in goodbye. Maybe it’s because I don’t intend to say goodbye that running away sounds so easy. There is that joy in moving from one place to another, and goodbye is a bittersweet marker in an unmapped journey. It could either enslave or liberate a person; use it well.

As for myself, I still can’t say goodbye. And I guess this is my reason to leave.

Bye, Neverland: Thoughts on Becoming 18

3 Nov

 NOTE: This was written on November 2, 2015 and posted a day later.          

You could just guess the context in which I’m writing in. It’s Halloween, but what really spooks me is the fact that tomorrow’s the day I officially leave Neverland. I’m not sure how I feel about it, but turning 18 isn’t exactly exciting for me. I always thought age is just a number and that it wouldn’t matter anyway. I wouldn’t wake up tomorrow with a rainbow horn or wings or whatever special attribute that would make people congratulate me at first sight. Nothing’s going to change. But as I look up at the ticking clock above the doorway, I feel kind of anxious. A surge of thoughts boil up in my head, and I have no idea how to put it all out coherently.

I was planning to go out alone on my day though. I wanted to go downtown and take random directions and just get lost in the heart of the city. It doesn’t sound safe though, and the bipolar weather makes the idea less appealing. I guess I’ll be home all day, replying to text messages and facebook wall posts and hopefully, watching my favorite noontime show.

I just can’t believe I’m turning 18 in six hours. I’d be physically, socially, and legally a grown-up. I don’t like the sound of it. The years have gone by like a whirlwind, it seems like only yesterday when I first called up my imaginary phone pal named Jack. It’s so surreal that I was once that girl who stepped from her backyard into a make-believe world where monarch cats rule and a broken bridge hangs low by a magical river. It has been years since I last imagined myself there, but that doesn’t say I grew up.

INDECISIVE AND IRRESPONSIBLE

I’m currently in a stressful phase of my life. I’m at a major turning point of my educational direction (and soon inevitably eventually the rest of my life) and I know my indecisiveness has been a total burden to my family. I only make major decisions a few times, yet I screw up most of them because of my perspective that is definitely the opposite of constant. My dad thinks I’m taking things for granted, that I’m not being serious with stuff this important. Not that he said it out loud, I just have enough common sense to read implications between the lines. In our family, we traditionally celebrate birthdays with simple exclusive dinners at home. I wish I could tell them how much I don’t want to celebrate tomorrow, regardless how simple. I want everyone to ignore the day in exchange for allowing me to enact my decision one more time.

I’ve always been irresponsible – I hate it, and probably a lot of people feel the same, well to my oblivion – and right now I am suffering its terrible consequences. I hope among the magic that age 18 brings is responsibility. I know I’d need it to survive adulthood, or at least, to pave a rather decent life for myself.

WISHLIST: MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY

“I’m starting to understand that making people smile is a way of holding back tears.”

In my 18 years, I have been an introvert. As much as there is nothing wrong with it, I wish I could be that person who makes people smile their worries away. I think I’ve never been this sad before. These past months I’ve been feeling so lonely (I love being alone, but feeling lonely is a completely different story) and misunderstood. It’s one unfortunate thing about me: people don’t understand, and I can’t explain. Nobody understands how sad I am right now, not even my closest friend who I confide in. It’s basically because I fail – miserably – at expressing what I truly feel. My uttered words aren’t as coherent and convincing as the ones I write. Anyway my point here is that I feel so sad right now that I have the urge to make people happy. DO YOU GET IT? I still can’t examine deeply how I came up with it, but I’m starting to understand that making people smile is a way of holding back tears. If you can’t have happiness, give it to someone else. I don’t know how I’d do it though. I’m not exactly a cheery and friendly person. I always get stuck in awkward situations where the best I could do is smile like an idiot and wish Hades would surprise me with an instant trip to the Underworld. I don’t easily make friends because I don’t usually initiate – my approach to people is generally dependent on theirs.

FAITH AND REASON

I admit my faith in God is at its nadir right now. I believe in Him, that’s for forever, but I can’t find it in my emotional and mental state to trust Him wholeheartedly. I just experienced what is probably my greatest failure yet in my life, and I must admit it has blown me and severely damaged my ability to cope up with reality. It didn’t affect me much emotionally though. I have encountered too much emotional instability these past few months that I’ve grown numb. I’d like to think that God has a great reason for everything – every little thing, and I have seen it in someone else’s life. I try to just believe that it will all make sense, but then it would be a lot better if He directly speaks to me that I may know whether I am interpreting His signs right. When I turn 18, I wish my faith in Him will grow stronger and myself wiser that I may be able to see the greater reason behind all things.

PIXIE DUST

I don’t know what else to say, I’m pretty much distracted as I write. I still glance at the window, hoping Peter Pan would show up and take me to Neverland where I’d be forever young and free of grown-up worries. I’m not ready to grow up, not yet. But then again, I think nobody’s ever ready to grow up. People just don’t know how they get there. I don’t recall the day when I officially stopped playing with dolls. I can’t even state the year of that one Sunday when I didn’t bother to scan through the newspaper for my favorite kids’ section. I can’t tell when I kept my beloved stuffed Minnie up a cabinet instead of hugging her to sleep. Soon I’d grow up to be an adult, and I wouldn’t notice it. But as far as calculation and numbers are involved, that phase should start tomorrow. Of course there would be no overnight evolution, and 18 would still be just a number – one that would probably invalidate my passport to Neverland.

But more importantly, I still don’t know who I am – what I want, who I specifically want to be. The world around seems to be running according to a plan where I have no place in. I drown in expectations, options, and endless nostalgia. Oftentimes I feel lost in a maze I wish no young minotaur would inherit. I call up Jack again after about ten years, believing that he’s my guardian angel. He doesn’t answer back, but just tonight, I think I hear him say that all I need is faith, trust, and Pixie dust.

Motivation

22 Sep
weheartit.com

weheartit.com

It’s way past midnight, and I’m up and afraid of sleeping, not because I fear oblivion – I love it – but because retiring to it is allowing time to outrun you and the next thing you know, it’s another day. Another day to face the problems from yesterday, and a new day for new problems to arise. Right now I feel like giving up, but then again, what does it mean? There’s no such thing as just ‘stop’; life is always a crossroad of choices, chances. There’s always somewhere to go. But I’m tired and ruined, and I just lost myself in a blizzard that shook my entirety. I don’t know who I am, I don’t know who to turn to. I am an emperor losing the mandate of heaven. A flower withering away. A star void of its dead light. A song that’s becoming a forgotten combination of notes…

The Night Destiny Visited Me

30 Aug
irrelevant but pretty image from weheartit.com

irrelevant but pretty image from weheartit.com

                I just realized that I don’t believe in destiny.

                I mean, there could be such thing as destiny, but in the mere sense that it is a label for anything that’s happening; there’s nothing so magical and special about it. Things happen, and those things are the result of every human action. It’s all a matter of choices and decisions and getting others entangled in our strings. I don’t know why I’m writing this right now, but I’m just feeling so annoyed. I’m supposed to be doing a reflection paper on a chick flick movie, and I got two more subjects to study. The thing is I couldn’t get this reflection paper started because I’m suddenly feeling so disgusted with the movie and its superbly fictional perception of destiny. A man falls unconscious for four hours at sea and survives, meets his first love after twenty long years, rekindles their affection even if the girl’s married, faces the pain of their past decisions, gets killed by his abusive father, and had his heart donated to his beloved’s teenage son who of all times got into an accident. I can’t find any moral worth dwelling in, and instead I’m killing precious time. I find the story unrealistic, plain and predictable and the only thing that seems to be the theme is overly dramatic and openly self-manifesting destiny. Ew.

I’m actually a fan of love stories. My favorite is The Hunger Games. It’s not the typical chick flick one could expect, with elements like an unjust future society, gluttonous clown-looking elites, poisonous berries, poverty-stricken districts, and a 90% screen time of violence and death for audience entertainment. But the moment I read it I knew my standards on true love would escalate to places unimaginable. Maybe it’s the black and white background that intensified the color of love, that it’s not even red but of a je ne sais quoi color that probably exists only in heaven. Love wasn’t self-manifesting or trying to catch the spotlight. Love wasn’t in every line, it was in fact barely said. It was just there, simple and quiet, but overwhelmingly yet not overdramatically powerful. That story is a real work of art, I tell you. Looking at it, I can spot destiny’s crafty handiwork, but it doesn’t come so obviously which makes it rather realistic. Plus, the philosophical ideas are revolutionary.  It’s just amazing; thinking of that story now, I’m starting to believe in destiny again, completely invalidating my opening statement up there and stealing whatever sense remains in this work so far. Now the pieces are drawn together: in real life, a story doesn’t come together to portray destiny, but rather, it is destiny that works in trifles to build a story.

The Red String of Fate from weheartit.com

The Red String of Fate, from weheartit.com

                Digging deeper into destiny, I am a strong admirer of one Eastern legend. It’s called the Red String of Fate, a belief that there is an invisible red string that connects us with people we’re bound to meet. Usually it is said to be invisibly tied around the pinky finger or around the ankle. This string may stretch or tangle, but never break. You may ask, so what? I say, so nothing. It doesn’t matter in the rational sense because this legend itself transcends its practical irrelevance two levels higher. First, it’s a legend. Second, it’s invisible. It’s like a made up story of something which even in that made up context is hard to prove. The string couldn’t even be manipulated, and you don’t get to choose who holds the other end. Even without its name, it’s a nice metaphor of realistic destiny, accurately depicting what destiny really is: a universal element that’s just there – unseen, uncontrollable, but unnecessarily acknowledged and glorified by all.


“It makes me realize that the best stories exist beyond books, and the best Writer beyond this world.”


Everything is actually meant to be. It’s the label we put in it that develops a hyperbolic perception. Yes, I cringe at dramatic portrayals of destiny in books and movies. I snort at cheesy lines.  I hate love that does not take time. I instead find myself drawn to accidentals, and a love that’s painted by patience and losing oneself. I like seeing people meet and fall in love, because it’s just beautiful. Their strings are one, and it’s amazing to imagine how they have lived apart for years, doing this and that unaware of the invisible red string that connects them. And then, their worlds drift closer until they overlap – and finally cross each other’s path. The string entangles them, making it hard to walk apart, and then they’re just stuck with each other. They become part of each other. I like hearing such stories in real life; it makes me realize that the best stories exist beyond books, and the best Writer beyond this world.

Wow, I said a lot. I’m not even discussing love yet. Funny how love is always associated with destiny, which of course I’m not going to negate. Again, I’m not saying there’s no such thing as destiny; there is. I define destiny as simply ‘what is’. Maybe I’ve just outgrown storybooks that destiny as a mystical manipulating agent is hard to believe in, making me despise chick flick movies.

Who cares if destiny really works the way we think it does anyway? After all, there is no truth, just reality – how we perceive all things to be.

The Price and Prize of Love

14 Apr

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The Price and Prize of Love

Having been raised by the typical religious Filipino family, I spent all fifteen years on earth with a ‘Holy Week’ label on our April calendar. Like what most Catholics do, we go to church, repent, grieve, and look forward to easter where we welcome the risen Lord instead of hunting colorful eggs in the backyard.  We are again and again reminded of the passion of Christ, His seven last words, the fourteen stations of the cross. Priests and elders speak of His undying love that brought Him to death, of salvation and of renewing ourselves at the dawn break of Sunday while people listen, listen and listen without, sadly, making a difference.

It’s an obvious fact that people get used to all these activities that they become merely a celebration of an age-old tradition instead of a serene week of self-reflection. As I go to church and walk the way of the cross, I wonder, how many of these people would not deny Him until a cock’s crow marks the break of dawn? How many actually cringe at every whip on the Lord’s back? How many walk bloodied steps to wipe His face? How many of them welcome Mary into their arms as Jesus entrusts her to be our mother at the point of His death? How many would believe that He has risen, without touching the wounds of His palms?

That number wouldn’t matter. We are no saints; I understand that somehow people find it hard to completely offer a moment to the Lord and accept His life into their own, even for a week. I am guilty of that. Yes we study, we remember, we enlive Christ’s every step from the supper table to Calvary. But God is not going to test us on how much we know about His life; He will merely watch what we’ve done with ours. Holy Week is a perfect time to be one with Him, as we remember the extent of His love. This is the exact meaning of acknowledging the passion of Christ: to let love dominate. He didn’t love us for us to love Him, but rather for us to be the concrete living image of His love to others.

I’ve read and heard love stories – quite a lot, actually. They say that love is bliss but causes grief, love is worth fighting for but true love lets go. Love brings out the best but provokes the worst. There’s always a ‘but’ as a consequence of love. Well I say that love is perfection by its pure self. Love is love, no synonym, no antonym. Love is always and forever good; it will never cause evil. It is when love’s selflessness is lost that love is overpowered by emotional greed. This has always been my concept of love. I hate it when I hear stories of people who are in love but are hesitant to fight for it, as if love alone is not worth defending nor is it a worthy defendant. I hate it when people say that love is not enough. If it’s not enough, it’s not love but merely a lovely cowardice.

If there was something new I learned this time, it’s that love means pain. True, people love because love itself is happiness. But when we begin to embrace and accept pain, it’s true love – one that almost resembles Divine Love. The best thing that Christ on the cross proves is that love will not always be easy. Love means pain, love may cost a life, but it is always worth it. Love is always worth the fight. We may not be gaining anything for yourself, but we will be giving everything to somebody. To love is a right, a privilege, and a duty. Jesus died for love so we could live to love. Let’s not waste it by underestimating how much it can do. In the first place, love saved and changed the world.

Again, love is love. The price? Pain. The prize? Love! Yes, pain makes love genuine. And the only thing you gain from love, is love itself. As Paulo Coelho said, love is. No words can describe it. Because love itself is worthy of everything. If you find this nonsensical, don’t complain. That simply means, you still don’t know love. One day when it comes, everything will make sense and the rest of the world will make you understand it.

This Holy Week, let us not dwell on the concrete examples of faith. By concrete I mean the things we have grown accustomed to, so much that we fail to reflect on the reason why Jesus is still nailed on the cross on our Catholic altars despite the fact that He rose from the dead a long long time ago. Yes, we Catholics value the image of the suffering Christ. It is because, I believe, Jesus on the cross is the best reminder that love will not always be easy. Love may take a huge price, but the prize will always be worth it. So don’t hesitate to love because you fear pain, for love means pain, and pain is what tells us we’re alive.