Who do you love?

Today, I have a question for you – name all the people you love.

Come on, think before reading on. Stop, think and rack that brain of yours!

Who do you love?

Ah, faces of loved ones came rushing through your head, did they? Some are of friends, mentors, significant other and the like.

You now decide which comes first; is it your mom who carried you in her womb without so much as a complain and even welcomed you into this world despite the unholy number of stitches and marks you left on her skin?

Is it your dad who battled sleepless nights and body pain, played Santa on Christmas Eves, turned nights into mornings just to provide a sufficient living for your little family and even grants your little wishes on the side even if it’s not on the budget?

Or perhaps it’s your grandparents who comes first? Who never failed to spoil you even at a delicate age of 60, even when they don’t have enough themselves? When your parents were missing in action and your grandparents took the part instead, showering you with love and even if they sometimes play favorites, you know their love for you is always there – even when the time comes that they’re not here anymore.

Or was it your siblings who deserves the top place? When it gets hard to open up to parents because of their busy schedule, almost nonexistent presence and whatnot – your siblings take the spot. You’ve memorized your sister’s eye rolls and hair flips and on what phrase she does each but you know, her ears are all perked up and alert. Sometimes you’ll even share stories and gossip the night away. You’ve grown accustomed to your brother’s sarcastic remarks, tough pat on the backs and sudden wrestling matches, almost turning you into one of the guys but you know, it’s his way of protecting you, of making you strong. Hence, the scolding when he catches you with a see-through shirt or a skirt that almost broadcasts your butt.

Let’s not forget your best friend who almost steals the spot from everyone else, you talk her ears off and drink your brains off. One look at each other and you know immediately what that means. Afterall, you’re sisters separated from birth and given to different mothers because just one can’t handle the both of you, together. You learn to shut up because of the many times people thought you and your male best friend were a couple, you lost count and decided you wouldn’t waste another drop of saliva changing what other people think. So what? It’s your best friend afterall, you’re sure he wouldn’t mind – he’s done it several times before when some guys don’t seem to comprehend what ‘no’ means. He could be your soul mate, the perfect boyfriend – if only the two of you don’t look at each other like your belly buttons were connected at one point.

Could it be your significant other? The effortlessly beautiful lady you happened to come across on a busy street, when your mind is all too jumbled with problems and tangled thoughts but when you laid eyes on her and she happened to look your way too, damn, was it magical. You brushed your hair with your hands and straightened your shirt, a number of dates and attempts after, you heard her say yes and damn, was it really magical. That man you get so annoyed about because he’s a little airy but everyone seems to like him, men and women. He’s also a little sarcastic but funny and one too many times, you find yourself laughing at his jokes but before he catches you, you roll your eyes and look the other way. But one day, you were in an incredibly good mood that when you laugh at one of his jokes, you happen to let him see and that’s when you saw him – he stopped for a moment and looked at you, surprised that the lady who’s always rolling her eyes is now opening up and laughing. He smiled at you, no, not the teasing or seducting smiles but a boyish one – one that shows you a toothy grin and finally, you find yourself softening up to him.

Ah, but who can forget our mentors? Teachers, instructors and the like? Our second parents away from home, who sometimes seemed to act the part more than your own blood did. They taught you more than books and lecture plans are supposed to. They taught you about life outside the four corners of your Classroom, values that even class cards won’t be able to grade and lessons you don’t need to write down on your notes because it’s imprinted on the heart.

But maybe, just maybe it was the most uncommon of all – strangers. Complete strangers who you met along the way and treated you like family, despite the stark differences in skin color, shade of your eyes, hue of your hair and type of your blood. They share the same problems you do and eat the same food you eat and you realize, family isn’t always being related but being connected – in ways most people cant.

Well, would you look at that? I’ve written quite a list. I’m sure you have too, but aren’t you and I forgetting something?

Where has your name gone to?

When asked to name the people they love, do you realize that many tend to mention themselves last and some, don’t even mention it all?

 Ourselves, the only person we have when all else fails because let’s face it – not everyone is there in time of our need, even the ones who mean the most to us.
Our own selves, who despite the number of demeaning remarks and insults from people who never knew better and from people we value – we’re still here, scarred and broken but breathing. Despite the sleepless nights that you lost count of – because there were too damn many – where you ultimately question your existence and you don’t feel beautiful enough or smart enough or just.. enough, for anyone, ever. Despite the terrible image you see at the mirror or the puddle of water beneath your feet, you smile and live your life – like there are no demons whispering to you for the last ten minutes, twenty four hours or four years – telling you to break down and give up the fight for you can never withstand the storm. Despite the several attempts on writing, painting, throwing the perfect pitch or getting your words straight for an important job interview – you never stop trying. Well, okay you do but we call that rest, don’t we? In a matter of minutes or days, I swear, you’ll be back at it again.

Ourselves.

Who we always fail to appreciate and love.

We are so much better than people who throw insults and pull down everyone who try to value themselves, calling us vain and narcissistic when all they are, are people who can never love themselves enough so they break people who actually can.

We may be a tragic story, but majestic and brilliant all the same and honey, you are good enough – you always were. They just didn’t know how to be content and how to contain someone like you – with so much passion and love and forgiveness coursing through. They just didn’t know how to love someone like you – so fragile yet so strong, so flawed yet so beautiful and honey, no, it’s not your fault because you are you and they are them and one day, they will learn how and if not – if not, then someone will come who knows how to. You are enough, more than you will ever realize.

We may have devils on our shoulders, in our minds, on the palms of our hands and in the irises of our eyes but no matter how many, no matter how strong, no matter what and no matter how long- you realize that you do not have to withstand the storm. You break a smile that makes them cower but they’ll never show you but you’ll look at them straight in the eye and for the nth time around, you tell them – “I am the storm.” and maybe, maybe this time, you’ll believe it.

 

We may not be featured in our favorite magazine or online catalog, we may not even be recognized for the things we do but hey, atleast you’re doing the thing that makes you happy even if you don’t get commended because of it. Let me tell you, a hundred people – hell, even a thousand do shit just because they have to and you, you’re blessed to have passion – something not everyone has discovered. So let it move you, let it live in you because even nothing can became something with just enough passion and perseverance.

So, love.

Love yourself because it’s not wrong to do so. Love yourself because that’s what you deserve.

Love yourself, so that others will learn how to love you.

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