Our Incomplete Love

That particular scent that exudes from your body, the way your voice sound as you speak to me in bed at night, or how you kiss my hands in the public with your supple lips all make me palpate like three cups of Starbucks Venti Americano. But even so, my love towards you is a lot, but not enough; my love towards you is profound, but incomplete. And like my love, I know your love for me is fragmented, chipped, and washed away from the years of reality, years of failed love, and years of battle with life.
No matter how much I love you or you love me, our love will never be a hundred percent. And perhaps that is why sometimes we feel agony, despair, and loneliness in midst of such passion and desire. Because you and I are humans – we are at mercy of each other’s incomplete love. Despite that our cupid’s arrow are aligned in absolute perfection, our love 2% lacking, makes us wonder, from time to time, if we’re worthy of each other.

This imperfect love we have, is a predicament to our tearful nights, disheartening comments, and lonely, extremely lonely silences. Knowing this shrinks my guts and makes me stay wide- awake at night. Sometimes I just want to run away because this softened heart won’t stand a chance at even the slightest stab.

But I’ll love you because I choose to. I will love you everyday because despite your selfishness, I feel safe between your arms. I will work hard in loving you. Your incomplete love will sometimes leave me confused and abandoned, but I will endure for you – the struggles, the fights, the cold wars, and brutal silences. I will not flee when we disagree or lust in a stranger’s bed when I feel like your love for me has diminished. I will fight for the beauty our heart felt because I believe in the strength of us.

So I hope that when my love for you, my incomplete love for you, one day pushes you into a darker place – into a place that you can’t bear to stand – that you will still fight for me. Even if it’s against your logic, against your values, and against your ego – I hope you will fight for this raw, rare love we have. I hope that even in our worse, nastiest moments, you will choose to love me with your incomplete love.

Letter of Things They Carried

Dear Cal,

After reading the novel, “Things They Carried,” by Tim O’brien, I began contemplating upon the things I’ve carried through my journey.

Though incomparable to the daring adventure during the Vietnam War of a sanguinary soldier narrated by O’brien, I would say that my story is as interesting with poise.

There are many things that I have carried throughout my life; the fear of surviving a 17-hour long surgery as a seven year old, the fear of the student strike that spread epidemically throughout Indonesia in 1997, the fear of being unloved by my parents, the fear of being rejected by an elite high school that I have dartingly willed to go, the burden of carrying the family’s secret, and so much more.

All of the mentioned were turning points of my life that has mold me into what I am right now, and all of the mentioned are worth depicting with pages and pages of writing. However, of all the fragilities and instabilities and pain I have carried in my book bag of life, it is the shame and regrets of my reactions to these incidents– it is that that encumbers me the most.

Happenings that have only touched me physically are trivial. The student strikes and the forever long surgery was indeed a pain in the ass and did provide me thrills, but I’m a strong girl Cal.

Rather it was the incidences that were provoked by me or made me feel loss of my basic necessities, of love of family and support, the reaction to such incidents that scared me then and still burdens me now. I would not like to mention the specific circumstances and I much rather not narrate the story to you again in this very letter, I take that you have heard enough; the bottom line is that it did do much harm to me. Rather, the harm the situation itself gave me was much less than the consequences and shame that my reaction have bestowed me. The unwillingness to accept failures, the stubbornness to deny, and to give up on everything else merely to maintain a little girl’s petty pride; blithely unknowing that one girls futile rebellion against the world will change anything but build up speculation and break down trust and opportunities.

It’s only now that I digest the quote, “changes are inevitable [whether for good or worse], but growth is optional.” Due to my stubbornness, and my will to sternly blame the system for my failure, I’ve paid the debt that may alter my life forever. But I will not allow this cycle to continue.

Though my immediate reactions to these events were naïve, I would like to believe that my naivety were stepping stones to my greater learning and epiphany. Now, I have replaced my pills with paint brushes and swayed the canvas as my great advocate.

I’ve found tranquility in painting, and I hope to spread this anodyne among others who may share my same burden. With this Cal, I share with you, my greatest burden, a burden that has been hard for me to accept, and my flaw that have led to it. With all generosity, I hope you can keep this confidential.

Your patient in healing,

Tina Hsu