I’ve been fighting with my mother since I was a little girl. Honestly, though we love each other to death, as adults, we don’t get along. Maybe we’re too similar, or just too different. Every time we’re in the same room for too long, we fight. This has been going on for years and I expect it to go on forever.
But no matter how much I fight with her, we never mention ending our relationship. I’ve never told my mother, “I want to break up with you - I need to find a new mom who won’t fight with me as much as you do.” (Not seriously, at least.) Similarly, even though my sister and I haven’t seen each other in five years, we still fight sometimes, but never even think of ‘breaking up’. They are family and the option of not having a relationship with them is simply not there.
So then why is it that with the people we choose to be our family, like friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancés and spouses, we can use the term break-up so easily? Why is it that with people we choose to be with, we also, as quickly, choose not to be with? As the popular saying goes, ‘you can choose your friends, not your family’; or ‘friends are the family you choose’ – this being true, why is it so easy to break-up with people we have chosen to love?
I write this today because I am guilty of using this term, sometimes with friends, more often with boyfriends, very easily. Every time the boat gets rocky, I decide that the easiest thing to do is jump ship. And I claim to be the opposite of an escapist. Irony, indeed. Most often, I’ve jumped out of the ship and later realised that it was a good idea – that person may have been someone I had chosen to love, but our journey was charted for a limited period of time. Some were real deal-breakers, others, well, were perhaps an excuse.
But then I finally met someone with whom the option of a ‘break-up’ was never there. That person was not just someone I chose to love, but had soon had become an extension of my own being. Yet, somewhere down the road, the escapist-in-denial in me reared its head and I used the term. Many times, he fought and kept us together, for which, today, I am grateful. But after a point, even he gave up. And in retrospect, I understand why. I guess everyone has a breaking point (pun unintended).
Now the thing is, when a person makes a monumental, colossal mistake like this, and then genuinely apologises, admitting complete responsibility for this breakdown, what would you do? Give the person you love a second chance? Or punish the person you love, and possibly yourself too, by completely giving up? And for the person who is apologising, should s/he relentlessly not give up and try to make the person you love believe that you are sorry, or follow the famous “Let the person you love go, if you belong together, then s/he will come back”?
I know that most of my friends who will be reading this know what and who I’m talking about. I’m sure that the person in question may also read it, maybe even roll his eyes, and go back to his business, without a word. Who can blame him? But it is this same person who taught me not to give up on something you believe in, especially if the intention is right. And this is what I want to do – not give up on something, someone, I believe in. Maybe someday, when I truly stop believing in us, I will give up. He will move on and so will I. Will we ever find the same happiness? Right now, I have my serious doubts. But till then – hope (another quality he taught me) is what keeps us all afloat. I am a hopeful, perhaps even delusional, little ektu. Join me, will you?