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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Swan Princess

It was another family gathering with mum, and the situation can't be more different than 10 months ago.*

*Read my demise that time at:

Just like last January, I was bombarded with questions about my relationship status (which I happily unwilling to share, I have no desire to whet their thirst for hot juicy gossips). The difference is, this time I was also being showered with offers for eligible husband-to-be. Corporate owner, civil servant, pharmaceutical salesperson, wide variety of men with various age (Q: this man is slightly younger than you but he'd be perfect! Me: oh no thanks, I'm not interested in teenagers; Q: my long lost cousin is a bit mature, but he will take good care of you! Me: Does he has nurse from retirement home on call?). As my priest clan spread throughout Bali and we are interconnected with each other, the variety is unimaginable.


It is a stark difference compared with last time. I recall trying to helplessly to get someone from my clan (the women in my clan were obliged to marry a man from our clan else being kicked out of the family), but nobody was willing to introduce me even the slightest. Now, they are busy giving me offers and wanting me within their family. Something change in me, something that made me look, ah, better. Well, I am loved. And with that I grew stronger, become more beautiful, and shines brighter. The ugly duckling has turn into a pretty swan; and with a stroke of magic and love from her Prince, the swan will become a Princess.


Metaphores and childish fantasy aside, what's the logic behind my change? Is it because I am loved? Why is it being loved makes one grow and prosper? Why is it people who claimed they love each other end up in a worse state than before they are together? I believe love is important, but there I think there is one part of love that is more crucial than others: acceptance. Love is accepting someone for who they are, making them feel good about themselves, making them have more confidence and faith in themselves. Love and pampering will make a content ugly duckling; love, acceptance and proper endorsement will make her a swan.


I am very very lucky. I am lucky enough to be loved by a man who loves, accepts, and endorses me in the best possible way; but I am also very lucky to be able to acknowledge those things from him. I met so many women and men that lament how unsupportive their spouse is, even though to me I think their spouse has moved the mountain for them. Sure, it is easy for me. It's so happen that me and my partner have the same way of thinking, you can probably put half of my brain in his and vice versa and we can still live  our normal life (albeit strange tendency for me to peek cleavage and for him to devour chocolates). I know and appreciate his love and what he has done for me, and he know and appreciate my love and what I have done for him. We accept each other and this is, for me, what makes us a very strong team and differentiate us from most couple.


I will not argue that a man like him is hard to come by (and I definitely not trying to brag my luck here. I think I spent all my good karma to get him). However, acceptance is a choice. It is a commitment to find and see the good side of your partner, and to understand the bad side: what triggers it and how to ease it. Acceptance is a commitment to become "us". And as with all choices, it is yours to make. You probably can't make Johnny Depp/Mila Kunis in love with you, but you can choose to accept your partner for what he/she is even though he/she is not Johnny Depp/Mila Kunis/a hybrid of both (eerie!!!). After all, if you can't see the good side or can't (or unwilling) to understand the bad side of your partner then what is left in your relationship?


Back to the gathering, one of my distant aunt was reciting the cars that this certain potential-husband-to-be has (4 and counting. The bachelor is apparently rich). I cant help picturing a mental image of him with his car keys and my partner with his dobro. The poor bachelor doesn't stand a chance. Acceptance breeds comfort, comfort breeds trust, trust breeds loyalty. As if the prospect to be with someone who shines above the rest is not good enough, you'll get to keep him/her forever too. Acceptance is no small feat though, and my partner and I have spent arduous time to establish this. At the times where we just can't seem to accept each other, it was our commitment to become "us" (which, in a way, our acceptance of the concept "us") that keeps us in our track.


So fold your hankies and dry your tears. Throw that gin and tonic away, as well the mega triple bacon and steak cheese subway sandwich. Be joyous and hopeful as love and the joy of life is yours to keep. That is, if you choose to accept them.

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