I used to think of cliché statements about relationships as empty. Mainstream sayings such as “there is only one happiness in life to be loved and to love” or “distance means nothing when someone means everything”. These repetitive notions about current deformed relationships lacks meaning and as people reuse these quotes over and over again, they grow even more insipid before becoming too repulsive to even hear, at least to me.
But then, as time passes (again, with time, realizations are born) I grew to understand that people don’t use these boring googled words as some sort of prophecies from a love bible, they only utter these to reassure themselves. After all, humans are creatures with constant need for reassurance; love, goals, meaning, we, me included live with at least a certain thing to accomplish, a certain goal that we rely on to assure us that we are doing something useful. Devoid of objective, we become soulless. I’ve also realized that I dislike these quotes due to me not thinking of them in the right way, or rather, I’m not feeling them. And speaking about feelings, I will never understand the need to cling to such words when I’ve never experience something that forces me to do so.
It’s like a pool of cold water. I know that the water in the pool is cold, but that’s the only thing I know. To experience the coldness of the water, to actually understand the reality of the coldness of the water, I have to dive into it, or at the least, touch it (which is still not enough actually). And diving into the pool filled with cold water is quite literally what falling into love is. Of course, we can argue on how diving is a voluntary action, while falling in love can happen unanticipated. But that’s not the point. The thing that draws the parallel between diving into a pool of cold water and falling in love is the sensation, the feeling, the experience. Suddenly, we’re in a different surrounding and almost instantaneously, the sensation of coldness (or maybe warmth in case of love) surges into our conscience. What matters next is what we do while we’re in the pool. Do we play it safe, and occasionally swim across the surface of the water, or will we decide to take the risk, and embrace the different experience of diving deeper? Then as we dive deeper, it is very important to rise back to the surface and take a breather so that we stay alive. Then, dive again. There’s always a limit to everything, and in this case of diving, we should be careful not to dive too deeply or else, we might find ourselves too far from the surface. If we’re lucky, maybe someone sees us, dives into the pool and pulls us back onto the side of the pool. But some people aren’t that lucky, some people struggled till their last breath, losing their strength in the process, and quietly die. Some people, sadly, decided that they’re going to die without even an ounce of struggle, and thus sealing their own fate willingly. Some people magically find the rush of adrenaline, the willpower that kicks them in the butt and reminds them to keep on living, forcing them to use all of their remaining life and swim to the surface, saving their own life, all by themselves.
The point is, what determines our fate in the situation of distress (in this case, a sort of dramatic love) relies on ourselves. And we also need to constantly be aware of the limits to which we can be in control, for example in the case of the sudden kick of adrenaline, the person who experience such thing isn’t guaranteed of survival. What if the depth of him being immersed in the pool is too much, that he runs out of breath while he’s struggling to reach the surface? In this case, the choice of what he did in the situation of distress didn’t do him the disservice, but his initial decision to dive too deep into the pool, which might be reached due to the lack of awareness.
Still, this isn’t a perfect analogy. For all we know, there’s so much more to love than the temperature of water. Some “pool” might be warm, some might be so shallow that it gets boring quickly, some might resemble more of the Southern Ocean with its vicious waves than a quiet still pool water. With all that said, falling in love is like diving into a pool. As children, we used to be so excited of the sensation offered by the pool. But as we grow up, we become more conscious of the repercussions. We slowly learn the reasonable depth to which we can dive and become aware enough to leave the pool when the time to stop is up. We now know that the pool isn’t the entirety of love but is just a part of the whole thing. It’s fun but muddling in it won’t bring any good.
The next stage is well, I can’t find the right way to represent it but one day, hopefully I will. I have this view that if I can draw an analogy from a specific idea, I can pretty much conclude that I have understood it.
Written by Ahmad Nuruddin bin Azhar, Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering