A good friend of mine got engaged on Sunday (I’m sure it had more to do with the fact that it’s a long weekend and therefore more convenient for the out-of-towners, than that it was Valentine’s Day; we’re not that cheesy), one out of a string of people I know who have gotten engaged or married recently. I woke up on Sunday morning with two thoughts blaring in my head: that it was the first day of Chinese New Year, which meant I would have to drag myself out of bed to go back to my own house to be with my family, and that it was her engagement day.
So in my groggy stupor, I sent her a text message along the lines of: “As much as I may laugh at you, I’m still a closet romantic. So congratulations, darling, and have a lovely day today.”
Because when I remembered that it was her engagement day, I also thought, She’s really going to do it. This was a woman who, not six months ago, was proclaiming quite firmly that she wasn’t looking to get married again, having tried once before and come out of it with nothing to be glad for except her two sons and her freedom from her in-laws, and she was even more determined not to have any more children. She was, at the time, also not too certain about where she wanted to stand with the man she had just started seeing, content with keeping things as casual as society can view ‘casual’ to be.
So when she told me last month that she would be getting engaged soon, my inability to be anything other than candid made me blurt out, “That was fast,” and then try not to laugh because she looked as though she had agreed to marriage at gunpoint, and also because it was set for Valentine’s Day. As the weeks went by, she appeared increasingly agitated when talking about the engagement or wedding, and there were times when I was tempted by candor, but knew better, to ask if this was what she really wanted.
But when I saw a photo of her and the man who has been bestowed the greatest gift of all by God, I realized that it didn’t really matter what I wondered. It didn’t matter if she had agreed to marry him to dispel the insecurities he harbors, a trait that makes men so unattractive, or to put an end to her parents’ fear that she may become a cat-rearing spinster when her sons are all grown up. What mattered is that she did, that she was willing to try again, despite all the failures and the disappointments, to give love another chance.
We often spend so much time trying to heal from failed relationships and pulling ourselves up from the depths of our own dark places that we sometimes forget that no matter how low we’ve been brought down, there will always be a way to get back up, and always something to remind us that we can be as happy as we deserve to be. It may take a few failed relationships along the way, but those failures are the risks we have to take, and can only be lessons for us to learn so that when we finally find what we’ve been looking for, we’ll know it was worth the loss, and the pain.
So this is to Eza, who made her journey and came out on top, who believes (or at least tries to) that some things are worth trying for, again and again.