May bago akong gimik. Every Monday (primarily because Monday ngayon), magpopost ako ng isang blog entry ng friend ko to share with you. My featured friend this week is Joan. Wala lang, kasi binuzz nya ako kanina to read her latest — and very juicy hehe — blog entry. Here’s the link to her blog.
Heart Trumps Brain Everytime
by Joan de Venecia
I find that my moments of introspection spring from the most unexpected sources. Take this Saturday. I was watching the Babyface concert (awesome awesome concert by the way) when he sang one of his most beautiful songs, What If. The chorus goes:
What if we were wrong about each other
what if you were really made for me
what if we were supposed to be together
would that not mean anything
what if that was supposed to be my house
that you go home to everyday
how can you be sure that things are better
if you cant be sure your heart ain’t still here with me
Still wanting me
Now this song doesn’t have a particular meaning in my own life. I love it just because. But after the concert, I had a long talk with a friend over meatballs and vodka-sprite, and this song was discussed in the context of my friend’s life. It is a simple enough story. My friend once found the love of her life, a love that was amazing in a giddy-but-steady way, filled with passion and respect. One catch, the guy did not have a clear direction in life, and my friend is this smart woman with a promising career and a sense of purpose. The relationship faltered mainly because of this seemingly irreconcilable difference, until they called it quits. In the meantime, another guy came along — responsible, with a good head on his shoulders, with a positive outlook towards family, and financially stable. My friend grew to like this guy, even grew to love him perhaps. But not in that mad, passionate way. Oh no, far from it. When the ex asked my friend back, she was confronted with a tough choice, as classic as it is cliche. Whether to choose the ex–her heart, or choose the current flame, that is, her brain. Needless to say, she chose her brain. Fast forward to now. Lately my friend has been feeling that bitter taste in her mouth that I helpfully diagnosed as ‘regret’. Now you get why that song by Babyface is so apt.
This intense conversation with my friend was, to go back to my first sentence, the unexpected source of my current musings. Last night, I lay in bed contemplating my own story of failed relationships, one after the other, analyzing what happened and what went wrong, and ultimately, whether I’m more of a heart or brain chick. Mere ten minutes into my daydreaming (or nightdreaming?), I realized, heck, I’m oozing heart. No brain.. AT ALL.
Consider my first boyfriend, at the age of sixteen. The boy who two-timed me three times. I stayed with him for three long years in spite of the infidelity, in spite of the glaring signs of incompatibility, of intellectual disparity, of the lack of meaningful conversations. Why? Because I loved him. Or at least I thought I did. (What did I know?, I was just a kid.)
My next boyfriend was a vast improvement, as smart as he was attractive, caring, and attentive to my every whim and desire. I loved his passion for his chosen advocacies, I was impressed with his drive. Well, until he inexplicably decided to chuck his highly-appealing (to me) ‘fuck the norm’ mantra in the trash bin and joined a fraternity, on the pretense that the networking would enable him to help more poor people. Riiiiiiiight. (Eyes rolling) I stayed with guy no. 2 for two years despite our clash in non-negotiable principles. Why? Because I loved him.
Then came boyfriend No. 3. The boy whose parents called me uncouth and ‘walang breeding’ and labeled my family a family of carnappers (seriously. haha.). The boy who never defended me from such vicious attacks, and who, as classmates later told me when the relationship was over, was never happy when I gave a good recit in law school. I guess it was so tough for him to see me top the class, but hey, not my problem. Anyway, I stayed with this guy for 1 and 1/2 years. Why? Because I loved him.
Onto the fourth boyfriend. I was lucky with this guy. Handsome, kind, principled, and honestly?, my intellectual superior. What more could I ask for, right? It would have been bliss if he had only loved me just a tenth of how much I loved him. (I loved this guy to the moon and back. No kidding.) If he never told me that I am not a Christian woman; that my joining the defense team in the Subic rape case was anti-Filipina and anti-UP; if he did not propose marriage only to take it back. I stayed with the guy for a year despite our constant fights, our ceaseless arguments, all those hurtful words. Why? Because I loved him.
Finally, my American guy. The guy I loved the most. The guy who loved me the most. The only thing that went wrong with us was the distance. But I stayed for as long as I could, even through hate texts from malicious, insane people who said that I sold my soul to Americans because I fell in love with one (I never thought that love was supposed to be confined to one race, what the hell was wrong with me?!! [Insert sarcasm here]). Why? Because like I said, I loved him.
Throughout my ten-year relationship history, one thing is too plain for words: in choosing boyfriends, I always followed my heart. Sure, I considered the cons all the time. I considered the potential points of incompatibility, the prospect of heartache because of how we were together, of our circumstances. It’s just that in the end, I always ignored them. My thought process was simple: I love this person, I’m not hurting anyone, how can I not give this relationship a try?
The more brain-oriented people would probably say: Joan, your decisions are as stupid as they are irrational. You could have spared yourself the needless heartache and preserved your tear ducts for more tear-worthy moments if you only listened to your brain and stopped the relationship that you knew was not going anywhere anyway.
I know. I so know. God knows how many nights I cried myself to sleep because of these men. God knows how many times I hurt so much that the pain was already physical. But ask me whether I’d gladly do it all over again and my answer is an unshakable YES. A hundred times yes. Using the brain over your heart is more practical, true, it protects you from suffering, it shields you from sorrow. But it most probably will force you to settle. For less than what you deserve — in love, in care, in passion, in mutual respect.
Finding that perfect someone is indeed a tricky business. Case in point, me. The brain-over-heart people may say that it is enough to have felt that mad, passionate love once in your life, even if you end up being with someone else. But I refuse to consider that possibility. I refuse to believe that I’d end up with someone other than the love of my life. I shudder at the thought that I’d one day be forever married to, and forever wake up beside, someone I don’t really feel passionate love and respect for. I’d rather be utterly alone but content with my life thus far than settle for someone that’s pwede na, kasi baka mapag-iwanan ng tren. No way.
I will wait. For the magic. For the fireworks. For the love that lasts. It’s out there. It has happened to me a couple of times already, it will happen again.
Because in my life of pain and tears that I thought would never end, I find that I was never really broken. My heart is still okay. And if there’s one thing that I have never felt, ever.. it is that ever-present, hurtful feeling of bitter REGRET. All because I used my heart everytime. No what ifs for me. In all of my relationships, I finished the race, to its sad end, yes, but always, always, to the end. I never jumped ship and chose a lesser mortal before I was certain that I already reached the sad shore. No wait, I never chose a lesser mortal, period. And miracles of miracles, I am still very much whole, very much me.
So now, aided by 20-20 hindsight, the verdict is in: Heart Trumps Brain Everytime.