17 Mar Mahal Kita, 7 Years Na
JUAN SAYS: Growing up is never easy. If anything, it will be one of the most painful things one would ever encounter. Growth is hard. Growth is painful. Growth, we believe, is inevitable. It is the struggle of one person to shed off what is not working, what it is no longer serving its purpose. Sometimes we wish that we recognize the things that will not last early on so we can avoid the discomfort and the hurt that it will eventually cause. But oftentimes we are stubborn as hell that no matter the writings on the wall we continue to pursue our heart’s desires. There begins our downfall. There begins the pursuit of the ultimate struggle to get out of the system that we have managed to get ourselves entangled with.
If you’ve watched the movie “I’m Drunk And I Love You,” you would know what we are talking about. Carson, the protagonist in the story has been secretly in love with Dio, her best friend. And the love she had for Carson lasted for seven years. It is not a very normal occurrence to some. But to us, it hits home. There are people like us who have managed to be in love with one person, loyal to one person without getting any love in return. We don’t know how this happens, but truly it does.
Maybe we fall in love with the illusion, maybe we fall in love with the person that we are with 24 hours a day. Maybe we have come to like their flaws and everything that they are not. And maybe we have fallen in love with the idea that one day, the Dio of our lives will come to his senses and fall in love with us too.
However, in this movie, it is not the LOVE, the long lasting love that Carson had for Dio that got to us. It is her courage to set herself a time limit and being aware that what she is doing is actually stupid. “Time check,” sabi nga sa pelikula. She knows. We all know. Alam mo kapag katangahan na talaga ang ginagawa mo. Katulad ng sinabi sa pelikula: “ikaw na lang ang hindi sumusko. Kahit pag–asa sumuko na sa’yo.” Carson knew that Dio didn’t love her as evident by the number of girls Dio dated in the course of their friendship, yet she still hung on. Tanga lang diba? Not exactly.
Many of us were once upon a time in Carson’s shoes, loving someone without actually being loved back. If we had the choice to love someone else, we would have. In a heartbeat, we would have chosen someone else to love (and yes we did and broke our hearts like crazy. But that is another story). And if there comes someone else, someone who would take us, it scares us to take that hand because it is not whom we wanted, whom we prayed for and who crossed out all items on our checklist, or at least 80% of it.
We admire Carson’s courage to say how she feels to Dio. We admire her for taking a risk of being laughed at and putting the friendship at stake. We admire her for that one line: “Mahal kita. Dio, mahal kita, 7 years na.” And we admired her even more for resisting the advances of Dio trying to give her “love” or what he thought she wanted. And that to us is self-respect.
Love is not “awa.” Carson knew that Dio didn’t love her, and why would she put herself into much humiliation should she choose to have sex with him just because? We admire her for pulling herself out of the arms of the guy she so wanted for 7 long fucking years.
And then the realization, the acceptance of the consequences of her actions, Dio’s apology for not loving her. Our hearts went out to Carson when she told Dio that it wasn’t his fault that he didn’t love her back. There was no drama. There was no blaming. Just pure acceptance of what is.
And as the movie came to a close, we knew already how the story ended. It was no surprise as Carson laughed at Dio saying: “graduate na tayo. Gumraduate na ako.” With her finishing her degree, came putting an end to her madness. Tapos na. Graduate ka na. Alam mo na kung bakit hindi kahit na noon pa man alam na alam mo na kung bakit hindi naman talaga.
The issue there was easiest to accept. To know that the other party doesn’t love you the way you do, to know that the issue is between the two of you is probably the best answer one could ever get. One can’t truly blame the other if he doesn’t feel how you feel. May mga pagmamahal na hanggang friendship lang talaga, dahil yun talaga kayo. And to us, friendship is never a consolation prize.
So today, we unleash the Carsons within us. We put our hands up in the air and tell ourselves her parting lines: Graduate na tayo. Gumraduate na ako. We tell ourselves that the love we gave to the one who never loved us in return was never put to waste. To have them as our friends, as our best friends will always be better than the relationship we have envisioned. To have them in our lives, taking road trips, calling them when we are heart broken, laughing at our mishaps and enjoying their company in a platonic way is always better than having our hearts broken by someone who loved us in return. We get to keep the friendship, the one thing that survives, even after the love is gone.