By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:
It's a sad thing that most people are afraid to feel, live and be. That someone could go their whole life too afraid to even love because they might get hurt. Well here's a question for you. What if you are not? What if you find the love of your life, get married and have adorable kids? So what if he is annoying and selfish, have you gotten to know yourself?
We go through life letting past mistakes and fear of failure define our every action. Who are you to stop yourself from living fully? Is it worth it to run scared before you even begin to fall in love or worse still, be in a relationship like a man out on parole walking the thin line between what you want and the fear of losing it instantly.
I am reminded of a guy I fell for once when I was young. Like I always do, I fell hard and fast. Poured my heart out to him and he run scared. He made it clear all he felt was lust and for a while I almost believed that was all I was good for. I went through the grief of losing him the old fashioned way and almost thought I wouldn't get past it. Fast forward to four years later and we are great friends. He confessed to me over a year ago how he had felt something more back then but didn't think he was the kind to commit and didn't want to hurt me. Well he hurt me anyway. Whether you take the easy way out or the hard way out, either way one or two hearts will bear the brunt of pain when things go south.
I could count out a dozen or more relationships that have ended before they even began. In this case it was only in one or both people's heads but when it came to actually building something that could last, one or both run scared.
If I had run before I started to fall in love, I wouldn't have been hurt. But then again I wouldn't have these bursts of memories that fill my days, sparked off by a song or movie or couple doing the things I used to do. I wouldn't know what it is like to love so much it drives you to do the most insane things to preserve the relationship and ironically these things are what break the relationship.
I wouldn't change a thing about the times I have loved. I learnt what I want and don't want. What I need and what makes me tick. Also it is really hard to get to know someone. The real person they keep guarded behind screens and an aura of possession: the parts you don't see except in someone's ugliest unguarded moments. I have loved and been loved. Been driven to hate someone I once thought I couldn't live without, in agony trying to unknow someone I thought I knew, trying to unlove and forget every single moment of bliss they added to my life because the memories were laced with more pain than I thought I could take.
But also, I have found a mature love. Where you learn to talk when it is easier to fight or walk away. Where you find out what you can live with or without and compromise; where you put someone's needs and happiness into consideration before selfishly making decisions. I have found beauty only because I wasn't afraid to love again.
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