The internet speeds where I live are so awful, we don’t get to use Netflix or ay other kind of streaming service in our home, only cable. This has led us to obsess over a Turkish soap opera, of all things: histrionic as they come, this one is the kind of bedtime addiction I used to sneer at derisively, like the media snob I am.
The male lead cries every other scene or so; the female lead is married to a horrible, horrible man who is emotionally abusing her with his wealth and connections to the Turkish mafia; everyone is related to everyone else somehow; everyone is, obviously, ridiculously attractive and fit and well-dressed in ways I will never be. The L-word gets thrown around a lot. There’s a rather high body count for a soap opera.
Most soap operas talk about what lengths one would go for love, and this one is no different: The male lead says he’ll kill the female lead’s horrible husband. The female leads cries prettily as she begs him not to become a murderer, then goes back to her horrible husband because he has threatened to kill the male lead if she ever leaves him. The abusive husband, honestly, just wants a reason to commit murder.
This has made me think, and conclude:
dying, and killing, for love is the coward’s way out.
I don’t want anyone to die for me. I don’t want anyone to kill for me. I don’t want to live as if I’m going to die tomorrow. I don’t want death hanging over me like an ultimatum, a thing to be feared, a noose around my neck. Because the truth is, death is inevitable and we are all hurtling towards it one way or another, and why should I worry over the one fact of life that is guaranteed to me.
Instead, if you love me–if you truly love me–, live for me to your fullest: fall in love with love itself. Laugh a lot. Dance like no one is watching. Wake up and aim to make today one of the best days you’ve ever had. Hop on a plane to a new city you’ve never visited. Hug your mom, your father, your aunt that saw you come into this world; hug your best friend and hug your kind-of friend and hug every dog you cross paths with. Send a text to that friend you haven’t seen in a very long time and you dearly miss. Leave sticky notes with messages such as “Hang in there!” and “You got this!” on your coworkers’ desks for them to see first thing in the morning. Flirt with strangers for the fun of it. Buy the expensive bottle of wine, just this once, and cherish every glass.
Live so fully you have no regrets. Love so completely you have no other choice than to be love itself. Shine so brightly everybody else becomes attracted to your spirit like moths to a flame.
Because dying is easy. Living is harder. Living the best, most beautiful life you can takes so much work, and it takes so much courage, and requires so much trust… and it is the hardest thing you will ever have to do.
Then, and only then, will i know you truly love me.