Dear Heart #1: You deserve to be happy

​This is probably one of the most overused questions on earth, but I’m asking it anyway.

For you, what is love?

They say that our personal experiences shape our own definition of love or our perspective about relationships. This is why there is no universal explanation for this feeling. The only thing I know for certain is that we, you reading this post and me who’s typing this on my phone, deserves to be happy and loved.

I recently watched a Korean rom-com series entitled Lucky Romance, and although this realization isn’t directly related to the drama’s story, the actors (Ryu Jun-yeol and Hwang Jung-eum) had those cute moments when they’ll just look at each other, laugh giddily like kids, and hug each other so tightly as if they’re the only two people in the world. They’re so good that they made me realize that it’s what love is supposed to look like. That’s the definition of love I am not yet acquainted with.

You see, I haven’t really been in a relationship. But this doesn’t exempt me from having special feelings for someone, neither from heartbreak. Honestly, over the years, I have been so used to rejection that it has become my “normal.” It’s like I have already programmed myself to believe that everyone that comes in my life will reject me and I just have to deal with it because I have no choice. Although I don’t see love as a bad thing, I see it as a sacrifice. For me, it’s that thing I always have to endure alone just to see someone happy from a distance and that’s okay. This has convinced me that I always have to be the one who gives way. Isn’t that such a heroic act? But no one asks us to be a hero, no one will build us monuments nor give us medals for our one-sided love.

Is it too selfish for us to ask the heavens for someone who will love me back too? It occured to me just now that it isn’t. When you’re a 24-year-old woman who is not perfect but willing to love wholeheartedly, I think it isn’t.

While it’s true that love entails a lot of sacrifice and hardships, sometimes we forget that we also deserve to be happy.
Love might not always be about rainbows and butterflies, but at the end of the day, we should feel at home — in the arms of whom we love the most, the same person that loves us the most too.

We deserve the kind of love that makes our heart flutter and sing with joy. We deserve the kind of person that makes us excited to get up in the morning. We deserve a relationship that brings out the best in us. We all deserve to be happy with another wonderful human being, to wear a big smile like crazy, to hold hands and to hug as if it’s the only thing that matters in this world — no matter who we are or what we’ve been through.

We’ve already glorified pain too much, in books, in films, and in our everyday lives. In the Philippines, we call it the “hugot” culture and I have been a part of this thing long before it was labeled as such. Yes, I’m not usually this positive about love and life, but I am just a normal human being too: wondering how it feels like to love and be loved back.

Maybe it just really feels nice to be reminded that no matter how flawed or imperfect I am, I deserve to be happy. Maybe it gives me hope that one day, I’m not just going to watch people being happy with the one they love; I’m going to experience it firsthand too.

I am sure it will be worth the long wait.


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