When I was younger, I’d watch the news and see all these bad people do these horrible things, and I’d wonder how they could have people who love them. Then I grew up and I realized that bad people, like all others, have the capacity to love, and that sometimes they can even love “better” than good people. And then I entered college where I met some of the most annoying people I’ve ever met, and I thought to myself, I can understand why people could love a bad person but it completely boggles my mind how this irritating egotistical bonehead could possibly have people who can tolerate them, much less love them.
And then I grew up some more, and I realized that I too have some people in my life who, generally speaking, aren’t any different from the ones I met in college. I guess I’ve known this all along but I never really took the time to actually digest it until recently – I love some really complicated people. And by complicated people, I mean people who, I imagine, you’d probably dislike with a passion if you ever get the chance to meet them.
One such person is this guy I love who thinks he knows it all and isn’t afraid to tell it to every human being around him. This smart ass will never admit his mistakes and will constantly remind you of yours to your humiliation and to his delight. What he sometimes mistakes for charm and appeal when he “socializes” with other people is really condescension and smugness. There are many moments when I am tempted to list down all his flaws and errors one by one to his face and in front of everyone he’s ever embarrassed just so that his ginormous head would shrink a little. But I don’t because this arrogant fellow happens to be my brother.
I love this girl who can be very hard to love. She’s hard to love because she’s hard to please. She’s hard to please because she has a tendency to feel that she deserves everything she wants, and that not getting what she wants is unacceptable. Criticizing the people around her – and trust me, this girl criticizes like a pro – is something she never gets tired of doing. I will not be surprised if she has compared you to an animal or an ugly inanimate object if you’ve been unfortunate enough to be in the same room as her during one of her diva moments. She acts like a baby which sometimes forces me to act like her nanny. There have been times when I’d want to just shove a bottle in her mouth to stop the whining. But I don’t because it’s not in my nature to do something like that to a person I’ve been friends with since childhood.
And then there’s this other girl who I love truly and dearly but who everyone else seems to have problems with. She often feels that the world has conspired against her to make her life miserable, and that her family is out to make her feel unloved and misunderstood. During the many times she has confided in me, she’s told me how alone she feels and how no one is there for her. This pinches my heart a little bit because I’ve never been more there for anyone than her. Countless of times I would willingly cancel my plans whenever she’d ask me if we could meet, only to have her cancel at the last minute. Countless of times. But I’ve never held it against her because I know the shit she’s been through. Lately though, I’ve been thinking that maybe, just maybe, the reason why her life never got better in her eyes is because she’s never considered getting a pair of glasses. Do you know what I mean? When you’re around people who do not agree with you, it’s easy to feel that you’re misunderstood. It’s a lot harder to actually try and be the one to understand them. But even if she would rather sit in her dark little hole than just take the hand I’ve been constantly reaching out to her, it doesn’t matter. She’s my best friend and I couldn’t care less if the whole world thinks ill of her. I’m staying until she drags me away from her, and even then I’d have no problems crawling back.
To be honest though, if these people weren’t in my life right now and if I just happen to bump into them at a party, I’d probably stay far, far away from them. But they are in my life, and difficult as they are, I love them.
Love used to be an extremely complex idea to me. I used to think that there are plenty of factors that go into loving someone, and that these factors vary when loving different people. Like, I could love a man who has a sever case of road rage if that man was my dad. Or I could love a woman who’s constantly running low on patience if she were my mom. But I would never love someone like that if I weren’t related to them by blood.
A few days ago, I was asked to define what love is. In my entire life, I have never been asked that question. Sure I’ve thought about it in my head, and of course I’ve had my own concept of love throughout my life. I’ve felt love for family, love for friends, love for a hobby and love for a significant other. But I was never asked the question point-blank. I’ve never had to say my answer out loud. At the time, I was already typing the first few paragraphs to this post, which got me even deeper into thinking, which, in turn, led me to this.
We don’t love people because they’re not bad or annoying or difficult. The same way we don’t love people just because they’re good or nice or beautiful. We love people because of reasons that will never be fully understood nor appreciated by the ones who are simply observing, sometimes not even by us.
We love who we love because, well, because we love them. And I think that’s all the “reason” we need.
In response to the question, I answered, “Love is willingly giving your heart to someone without reservation and without expectation.” You don’t love a person if. You don’t love a person only when. You just love them. And you don’t love a person and expect him to make you feel a certain way. You don’t love a person and expect him to be the kind of person you feel he ought to be. You just love them.