Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Story Of A Midnight Phone Call

"Just know that whenever you need any help, I'll be here," I assured my friend.

"Thanks, Rye. I'll keep that in mind. So far, I can still keep it together. But I don't know how much longer I can do this." He sounded weak, but he showed his dauntless desire to hang on to that little thread of optimism, which was admirable. "I don't know how you do it," he continued. "You go through relationship drama like everyone else but you never fall in the misery trap like the rest of us do. I wish I can have your strength."


I do not always have the strength that people around me think I do. What I do have, are learnings from the many failures that I have been through because I was never afraid to take risks. Lessons that I learned because I always refused to ever get jaded or cynical. Those that, by being a self-flagellating, masochistic drama queen, I was able to juice out of every single encounter I have ever had --- be it a major long-term relationship, a fling, a blind date, or a one-night stand. For me, every human relationship we have ever had, no matter how brief, can be life-changing because every one of them has something to teach us. But only if we allow ourselves to learn from them.

It takes a lot of repetitive encounters to get used to the drama. But getting used to it isn't tantamount to not commiting the same mistake again. Eventually though, one'll realize that he made the same mistakes because he played the same game with the same strategy. And that doesn't make it any easier. It gets more difficult even; because just when one thought he knew better, he falters again just like before and the heartbreak alone is coupled with some kind of self-doubt. He begins to question his ability to learn or his capacity to live the lessons that he thought he knew so well. And then he commits the same blunder again and again until he is ready to truly be in a relationship that upholds the values that the trail of broken hearts and disillusionments behind him, had instilled in him.

So where am I now in terms of relationship maturity?

I would like to think that I am now in a position where I know for sure what I want out of a partner. That I know just which part of me to compromise and which part of me to not lose. I am in a position where I'd rather go on with my life and not wait for that next affaire d'amour to happen, so that if it never happens, I will not look at myself in the future with regret knowing that I missed out on my life waiting for someone to complete me when I, myself, am a complete entity. I am in a position where I know for certain that not everyone that meets my criteria for judging is good enough for me. I am in a position where I can say I know better.

Of course, this is not to say that I will be less willing to take risks. No. It's just that the next time I take a risk, I will know for sure why I think I should, and not only because he might be the one. This is also not to say that I won't be hurt ever again. It's just that the next time hurt and pain comes my way, it will be for a whole new lesson. Not a refresher of the things life has taught me again and again in the past.

"You'll be fine. And when all this is over, you'll realize you have become a better person because of the lessons this experience taught you," I told him. And I knew in my heart he was gonna be fine. Outside the romance department, he has faced more of life's battle than me. Between the two of us, he is the stronger person. If I survived all those heartaches with my spirit intact, I am sure he will too.

He thanked me for everything I said on the phone and hung up feeling more enlightened than he was 5 minutes back. And I smiled, knowing that I was able to help a friend in need and knowing that I, myself had some lessons to learn from his experience.