New York City. 2008. There are about 19 million people in this wonderful crazy town. Every night, I walk out of work, the lights are still on in every building. I forget that sometimes, I work in the busiest city in the world. Night sometimes looks like day and day is like a never ending parade. It’s a lonely town even in all it’s 19 million crawling inhabitants and of course, the commuters and the tourists. Milan Kundera wrote in his novel “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” that New York is an unintentional beauty and “beauty by mistake’-the final phase in the history of beauty.” Sometimes this beauty, this romance is lost in this city of speed and change. Maybe the people have gone jaded. But to me, romance is never lost. It’s just misplaced in the rush of work and the loneliness that you feel in this city.
I recently rewatched My Blueberry Nights because it reminds me that I can move on. The main plot is about a girl who’s been spurned and she goes to a few trial and tribulation to find and redefine herself. For many I know, they say, why bother with a man who can’t see your worth? You are better than him. But this movie reminds us that in a relationship, when it ends, you lose a part of your self worth. I find that many of my American friends would say you’re better than he is. You’re too good for him. He’s not worth your time. But placing yourself in that pedestal fails to let you understand that you are not better than others. Aren’t we all born equal? Aren’t we all the same but only differentiated by the life we lead? There’s this Thai story I loved as a child and there’s one line I’ll take forever with me. Mr. Robadid asked Veerongrarng, “When will you realize that there is another man who loves you.” She responds, “When I see myself worth the value of his love, when I see that I am good enough for how he sees me, I will love again.” I won’t spoil the movie for those who haven’t seen it but what I take from it is what Veerongrarng said.
New York City doesn’t seem to allow for that idea to live. Many of us are so quick to jump from one relationship to another. There’s so many people, so many ways to escape, so many ways to forget without taking a step back and contemplating our true worth. Maybe I do live in a different time in that I believe loving yourself enough to feel like you could live up to another person’s love for you. I don’t want to hear a man say to me, “I’m not good enough for you to love.” But I say, an amour relationship is between two people. When the two realize that they are worth each other’s love, that they are worth their own love, that is when love is special and meaningful. When you start questioning, “how could this person love me”, you risk losing your self worth. In losing that self worth, you lose the knowledge and the chance at what love could be. Once you know what love is, you would never mock it because it is a fierce weapon that can slice you in half or protect you like an armor. And when you fall in love, you’ll want to be worth his love and he is worth your love. That is where the equality of love comes in, where the equality of two people trying to make it work make a relationship the story we tell children, the tunes we sing about, and the smile that we sleep at night upon.