Paper and Ink: Femme Aimee (41)
By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:
Sometimes all you have to do is stop looking for love and then it will find you. I have been truly mind bogglingly in love twice. The first time it wasn't enough. Second time almost destroyed me. When I was able to pick up the pieces, my first love found his way back to me. It is scarier than the first time we found each other maybe because this time we both have a lot to lose.
It is frightening to give up something and call it quits then suddenly realize you didn't really move on, and that you still feel betrayed. And somehow this person expects you to trust them and let them in – again. It pushes you past limits you didn't know you had and yet you just want to stop hurting. You try to hurt-proof yourself but life doesn't work that way. Somehow you have to agree that you both have a something at stake and it is both your lives, so you have to work together.
This time he was upfront with me. I know that at some point we won't be in the same time zone because he has to realize his dreams but somehow that makes me want this more. We both want as much as we can get, so that we can hold it dear and maybe it will be enough when we can't be together anymore. It just might be all we need to keep things going, if we are together when apart.
Even as I discover love with someone that once meant everything to me, trying to figure out how we can be together again without making the same mistakes, a part of me still hopes to find my second love again. I don't know if that makes me crazy but even as we destroyed each other he was still a part of me and I part of him. Maybe, if we try again, what had seemed like too much before could settle like robes you grow into.
Love is not some destination you can arrive at and leave. It is being marooned on an island with someone and the distance from civilization drives you insane. It brings out the worst in us and best in us, it makes us want to be better people. At the end of the day what is left is a shell of who you once were because you don't get over something that took you out of the world you knew into an alternate universe where you could dream and hope and do things you didn't expect to before.
People change. But this only happens when they want to and because they want to. No amount of nagging will make someone what you want. I am learning a few things on the job. Never ever take people for granted because in their own way, they do a few things to make you happy and you don't even notice they did.
My first love used to walk me places, and I took it as my due. It was his job to walk me home and if he didn't, I got upset and threw tantrums. This time round I take the little things as a blessing. The cuddles as we talk about nothing, the silly conversations where I get to act blonde and he has to explain things as if to a 2 year old. The stimulating conversation like him explaining to me the difference between a mass murderer and serial killer. The theological debates. He definitely gives me a wide array of conversation.
I got a second chance to count my blessings and I am truly happy. We spend so much time pushing people away and looking for the flaws in everything around us. We second guess and doubt, set barriers around our hearts to prevent ourselves from getting hurt. We sabotage our own relationships in trying to put them in a labelled box. This time, am embracing all the facets that make me happy and talking out the ones that hurt me. We are letting things take their course.