Love & Loss

September 01, 2015


 


 

My fourth day in Puerto Rico was spent on this beautiful ‘poza’— which I went to with the first love of my life. He and I are still friends, and around every two years we meet for a day— it has become a little tradition of ours. We talk about how things are going, reminisce, and laugh about how immature we were two years before. On this occasion he took me here — the northwest part of the island, between Arecibo and Isabela, where you can find many hidden beaches like this one, often times completely empty.
We found one for ourselves— a beautiful isolated ‘poza’ to talk about this next subject I’d like to share with you.

It was new years eve December 31, 2005, I had just turned 16 two weeks before. I thought it was going to be the best night of the year-- it had been a pretty bad one. He, my “first”, had asked me to spend the night with him. It was the first time I had been in love, or so I thought. He and I had been on and off throughout that year. Being that he was on his first year of college and I was still in high school, we had little in common other than insanely active hormones. But he was cute, smart and confident— everything I wanted.
That night we went to a party. There, he made up with his ex-girlfriend an hour before midnight and I found myself completely alone while everyone shouted the year-end countdown. I thought it was the end of the world. It was my first heartbreak— a pain I had never experienced before. Little did I know very soon I would be grieving an even greater loss.

Two months later, on February 2006, my dad passed away. After many years of battling cancer, his body had given up. I had witness the slow deterioration of my his health since I was 11y/o— just a kid in sixth grade. At such a defining age, seeing how the person who's supposed to take care of me slowly die is needless to say an impactful life-altering experience. After the first years of witnessing this, I got to a point where I couldn't bear to see him. I didn't have the emotional intelligence needed to handle it. He could barely walk, barely speak and when he did, his very few coherent words were like slow stabs to my heart— his voice the synonym of pain.
Being home, close to him, was the last place I wanted to be. I couldn't continue to witness my father slowly dying. I was loosing a little bit of him every day, until I lost him completely.

These two experiences— although very different— have in the end something in common, they were losses that shaped the person I am today. Back then, I didn't know how to navigate the pain that loosing a loved one brings. The only thing I knew for certain was that I didn't want to feel the pain of a loss ever again. The obvious solution was not to let anyone get too close.

Now, 10 years later, I finally understand that losses — heartbreaks, deaths or any other form— are imperative lessons of life. Amongst many of the things I have learned from my losses, I’d like to share with you two, which helped me become a more mindful human being not afraid of letting people get too close.

1- The losses of loved ones have taught me to live the present moment more passionately. I’ve learned that the future is uncertain and that permanency in any relationship is only an illusion. Loss is an inevitable part of life, people will and come go— by death, breakup, having to move because of school or work, or any of many other reasons. We can’t escape loss. The only thing we can do about it is accept that the length of two paths being parallel is uncertain.
Once I made peace with that, all relationships in my life grew stronger and deeper. I don't take people for granted but I also don’t expect anything other than the here and now.


2- In summary, the losses of loved ones taught me that the only certainty in any relationship is uncertainty, and that certainty, that knowledge, transformed me into a more certain, more confident woman. Interestingly enough, yet not surprising, when it comes to “partner relationships”— in my case, men— I noticed that this state of mind made me more desirable. Why were people in general more attracted to “free spirits”? I dwelled on this for a while, discussed it with friends, and even read books on the topics of love and seduction. After a couple of weeks, it all made sense. The reasoning was very simple. When one stops seeking the illusion of permanency and starts to enjoy life as it is, here and now, one becomes confident, approachable, loving and free— traits all humans are attracted to. One wants to live life to the fullest, not afraid to let people get too close but instead wanting and achieving the opposite, deeper and more meaningful relationships. One makes the best out of every moment we get to experience with someone, so when a loss occurs, one is at peace— you gave the best version of yourself throughout the relationship and you have no regrets, only wonderful memories.

 

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