Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On 愛

One of the very few things I've learnt how to write in Chinese (Traditional) is 'I love you' (我愛你). In fact, as I realised in a comment to Jess that this is the only phrase that I know how to write (side note: hopefully I can rectify this soon!). When I was learning to write this I had just learnt how to write 媽媽 (mum) and 爸爸 (dad) so in my child-like excitement, I scrawled notes to each of my parents telling them that I loved them.

I can't remember if any affection or happiness was part of their reactions, not that they would've been unmoved by the gesture. What I do remember is being told by 媽媽 to be cautious in my use of the word 愛. I must not use it so freely. I remember responding by telling her that she's my 媽媽 so what was wrong with telling her that? She conceded on that point although more so dismissing it so that she could continue stressing the importance of not using my newly learnt phrase.

Perhaps it's due to my growing up primarily Westernised that I'm more open with affection and my views on 愛 differ. However, I also think it's partly due to her views, her generation, her experiences, things that I'll never be able to understand — or at least things that will never reach me to the point of alteration. I'm glad for it. It's an important part of me — of great importance to me to be able to tell my family I love them, tell my closest friends I care about them (for this is the point that hits home to me in my grasp of this platonic love, and I don't use the term 'care' in a simple, superficial sense), tell the one I love how I feel about them...

Yes, I have different categories of love, and feel uncomfortable (and fake) using the word too casually. 愛 should not be used or given away too freely for like anything of value if given away too "much" it loses its value. Only in this case love (should be) is boundless in quantity and its not so much the volume, but given away careless or too freely... the principle still applies. What is the point of a word without meaning? It's not a feeling if it loses meaning. It's not a feeling if it means nothing, it's a lie.

I digress, but the point is I too have strong reserves about using this word, whether it be a cultural influence or another. Being who I am, as well as it being my life, I'm willing to take (shrewd) risks, although I heed my parents' warnings. I believe I have opportunities my parents didn't have and I am going to seize them for I feel that 愛 should play a bigger role in (everyone's) life. Everyone deserves 愛 and if there's anything I've learned from my parents it's that I cannot lead a loveless life.

Yesterday was my one year anniversary with D. I use 愛 with him against my parents' warnings, but it's my life. My heart (心). My choice. My happiness. It might not come easily, but it's something definitely worth fighting for, and this battle — this war, I vow to win.

This entry actually started out with three main purposes: to illustrate my encounters with perception of 愛; to commemorate one year of 愛; and to thank Jess and Kat for their support and 愛. So Jess and Kat, I love you both. Your support and understanding really means the world to me. Thank you.

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