The Innocent Years.

As consistent readers of my blog will notice, for some time now, I’ve been writing majorly on relationships and stuff like that. I’m going through that phase in my life when being in a relationship makes up a huge part of the things around me. Well, maybe not ‘being in a relationship’ per say, because that in itself is a broad topic. It’s more like having someone to lean on, understand you, and share intimacies with. Yeah, that’s more like it.

In my blog post Learn How to Stand Before You Start to Lean on Someone Else, I talked about how, as a teen, it’s best to be independent and gain a footing on who you are before you start looking for ‘the one’, because even though you’re only young once, there are plenty of years left to fall hopelessly in love.

At the moment, I’m reading this e-book named P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han. And that book’s making me see how complex ‘love’ or ‘being in love’ can be. It’s making me yearn for – y’know – ‘love’ of my own. But these yearnings of mine are false, I can tell. It’s just what books or movies with romantic edges do to people. But it’s also made me realise something: Americans don’t care much about how many boyfriends a girl has had, they don’t care as much as we do about going down under. They only care much about going down under (by ‘down under’, I mean having sex) with someone who is worth it, not just some cheap player. 

In high school, (let me just compare it with secondary school) they’re already talking about love. But what I like about the way they talk about it is that they don’t rush to tell each other that they love each other; they make sure they really are in love. But in the meantime, they kiss and get all touch-touchy

Of late, I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships, how unreal 90% (or more) of secondary school relationships are. Honestly, there’s no actual love in secondary school. Yeah, sure people can fall in love in secondary school – I’m not saying that’s not possible. But love is only love when it’s being shown without restrictions.

I say I like the fact that Americans don’t rush to say that they love each other because love – real love – is a complex thing. In my definition, it is understanding someone, never wanting to hurt or let hurtful things come the person’s way, making sure you are always there for the person, supporting the person in the most important aspects of their life (even if to you, those things are not too important), being the best part of them, the person that encourages them to be good and positive with lots of advice, being their support in any weather. Note that in all the things I’ve listed out here, I haven’t mentioned anything physical about love, because physical things only make love more enjoyable – but they aren’t what makes love what it is.

I used to say that there’s in use in having a boyfriend in secondary school because you guys will never be able to do the things that a real couple does without being labelled as ‘bad children’. It’s also no use because if either of the two move away, or go to a university that’s far away, it’s almost the same thing as the relationship has ended. They might make promises of fidelity and loyalty and say a lot of “I’ll wait for you” ‘s, but it’s easier said than done when you go to new place and meet new people. Even though, I know, true love never dies – it just grows cold for a little bit. 

But all in all, being in a full-blown relationship in secondary school is not very possible if you don’t care about what it will do to your reputation (if you’re know as a goody-goody, a respectful and obedient church-person), your academics (if you aren’t very good at planning and drawing the line between emotion and academics), your relationship with God (if there is any solid one).

But I think I’m making it seem like having a boyfriend is something bad in all ramifications. Sorry for that impression, because it isn’t bad in all aspects. It’s okay to be floaty and undefined with that friend of yours you like, because when you’re undefined, you don’t have any real commitments or obligations to each other. You both can relate with each other without worrying about who’s watching or who’s saying what, because you’ll have the satisfaction of mind that you aren’t doing anything wrong.

And if you’re worried about the other person starting to like someone else, you guys can always talk about that. Talk about whether or not you guys will be okay with you having other people you like. (It’s okay to do that, because treating your feelings for someone they don’t mean anything isn’t necessary if you both know that you really like each other and being a couple sometime in the future is something you both can see happening and are working for at present, in small ways. In the meantime, though, no matter how sure you both are, don’t get physical). 

If you guys can wind the secondary school and foundation years over and still like each other, you should be sure that you both then love each other. And from there, other steps can follow.

It’s more important to arrange the things in your life than to please anyone else. You don’t have to live up to other people’s expectations before you know that you are worth something.

Just because you are a star student, a church-girl/boy and an all-round good person in your neighbourhood and family, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have experiences that are important to your life. Again I refer to my blog post, Learn How to Stand Before You Start to Lean on Someone Else. There, I wrote about how I got a taste of seriously dating (without getting physical, of course), but backed out when I found out that I wasn’t ready for that. I wrote there that I had a lot of other things to focus on than bending to make a relationship work.

By that experience of mine, I write this blog post with a lot more experience and first-hand knowledge. Although I am kind of a star figure in my family, school and social circles, I did not choose to not live the experience (notwithstanding the fact that it started out unassumingly and blew out into what it was). It now serves as a personal point of reference for the future where need be.

As a closure, let me say this: Live your life so that one day in the future you will not feel wasted. Tell yourself that you don’t want to be all grown up one day and begin to count all the guys that have gone down under. Live your life so that at a point in your life, you will not feel like there’s nothing precious and untouchable about you anymore because you’ve let it all go. Let the innocent years be the innocent years, and let the adult years be the adult years.

Yeah, this is a childish outlook – it’s a very childish outlook. But it’s those innocent moments in your life, those things you did and said back when you didn’t know anything, that will make you flush and blush and smile when you remember them years later, when you must have grown older and wiser. I relish these innocent years, these innocent feelings. And you should too.

Loving my share of innocent years,

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