For years I’ve run away from my true identity, the real me deep down inside. For years in grade school I hid her beneath a boyish persona and layers of baggy clothes. I hated the colour pink, frills and any unnecessary display of affection. After all “boys didn’t cry”. But all this didn’t stop my heart from hurting just a little bit at each missed call, uncelebrated anniversary and unnoticed valentine. Even though I was a part of the boys, my emotions bellied that of those of my playmates and refused to be masculinised.
So now years later, having evolved my look from the scruffy rugged appearance of yester year to the more sophisticated regalia I am fond of nowadays, I think it’s about time for a mental and emotional assessment. Anyone who reads my poems and stories usually comes to either one of two conclusions: either I am a feminist or a hopeless romantic. The former conclusion is a discussion for another day; today I’ll focus on the latter.
Many a reader, friend or acquaintance that is familiar with my poetry, stories, music playlist or reading choices has at one point or another voiced the opinion that I am a hopeless romantic. And I have always denied it. Always. I am not a hopeless romantic- I have always maintained. No matter how tragic the tales I weave might be or how sad the songs I listen to might feel, I am not infatuated with the hopeless unrequited kind of love. I am not a hopeless romantic. I would rather be quoted as saying I am a hopeful romantic. It’s a different kind of notion, right? Well allow me to explain.
The hopeless romantic I believe has been through it all, the heartbreak, pain and tears. They have spent years dreaming and fantasizing about “the perfect romance” but that’s what it will always ever be, a dream, to be relished and savored only in thought and imagination. They have entered into each relationship, hopelessly drunkenly in love and put in all they humanly could in the relationship only to have all that effort toyed with and under-appreciated. Theirs are hearts so used and abused that their heartbeats echo tunes with such lines as “What’s Love but a Second Hand Emotion? Who Needs a Heart When a Heart Can Be Broken?”
And in response to that, the Hopeful romantic that I am will respond and say, Love is not a second hand emotion and we all need hearts because no matter how broken a heart can be, the pieces can still be put back together and it can love again. The hopeful romantic accepts doors to be closed and opens each new door with hope, hopeful that each bitter tear previously shed heralds the sweetness of smiles in the future to be shared. Hopeful romantics never have unrequited love because they have the courage to pursue love meant to be pursued and the heart to move on when love fails. They don’t have happy endings but blissful continuities because they know that the story doesn’t end when Cinderella fits the shoes, but begins thereafter.
Hopeful romantics after having had illusions shattered and hearts broken still believe in second chances. They still believe that although they might have not found it where they thought they would, happiness still is attainable in the future with someone else. And this is why I refuse to be termed a hopeless romantic. I am a not so hopeless, hopeful romantic because love was never meant to be without hope, love was always meant to be with hope… hopeful.And so whenever you are tempted to label me as the hopeless romantic remember… I believe in the hopeful kind of love.