The other day I found myself with a few hours to kill, so went to one of my regularly frequented cafes, ordered a coffee and sat on one of their lounges to settle back with a book. This cafe has a couple of couches along a wall, some two-three seater and some single seater, so I took a single couch in the corner. I always chose this couch because it’s up against the wall, which means it’s facing into the cafe. And I like that because it allows me to observe people, which is always a good thing. I also get uncomfortable when I have my back completely turned to people and I can’t see who is behind me, partly because it’s rude to have your back to people but more because I get anxious at the thought of someone coming up and surprising me from behind. I have certain eccentricities, but just try to ignore them and love me regardless. Anyway, as I very much get absorbed in my books and lose track of what goes on around me as I start reading, I was looking forward to this little session, so I curled up my legs under me and started reading.
About 15 minutes into my book, these 2 guys sat on the couch opposite me and started chatting while they waited for their coffees. The couches aren’t very far apart, so if you don’t want to be heard, you need to whisper or huddle really closely to the person you’re talking too. These guys were relaxed and lounging on the couches, sitting about half a meter apart, so needless to say, I could hear most of their conversation. And can I say, it was hilarious and absolutely adorable. For the purposes of this tale, and because I don’t know their names, let’s call them B1 and B2 (I’m so original its genius, right?), but here’s a condensed version of the start of their conversation went after they sat down..
B1, looking rather nervous: “Bro, I gotta tell you something.” And yes, he actually used the word ‘Bro’ (shudders)
B2: “What bro, you’re seeing someone?” Laughs out loud at what he seemed to think was a hilarious joke.
B1: Silence and a shy smile…
B2: Stares at B1 and slowly sits up straighter, “wait, you got a girlfriend? Seriously?” As B1 starts nodding, B2 starts bouncing in his seat.
B1: “Yea, bro. I’m dating a girl. We’ve been dating for 6 months…”
Both B1 and B2 get excited and share laugh, before B1 starts to explain, in a lot of detail, exactly what his girlfriend looks like and how amazing she is and how his life will never be the same. Very, very cute. Oh, and did I mention these two guys looked to be in their mid twenties? Totally adorable.
I’ve known plenty of guys that have fallen in love, met the love of their life and settled down for wedded bliss. I’ve even had them share the details with me and sing the praises of their soul mate, and it’s a beautiful thing. But these two guys were a whole other level of cute and excited. I repeatedly had to put my hand over my mouth to cover my smile or stifle my laugh because of what they were saying. And I wasn’t laughing at them, I was laughing because I found them completely adorable and wanted to walk up to B1 and pinch his cheeks for being so cute and in love! His excitement over falling in love was something I hadn’t seen, not experienced in a while, and it was just lovely to see, especially from a guy. Despite the fact that he used the word ‘bro’, he was a sweet young man who spoke so highly of his girlfriend that even I wanted to meet her thank her and give her a great big hug for making him so happy.
I think what warmed my heart the most with this guy was how excited and open and honest he was about his happiness and love for this girl. He just did not care who heard him or saw his megawatt smile; he was happy and he knew it and he was showing it – that in itself deserves a clap! And that’s what’s missing sometimes, the raw honesty and joy. People fall in love everyday, but so many people don’t want to show how happy they are so people don’t think they are weak, or lame, or too girly or whatever it is that stops them. We are so concerned with how people will perceive us or what they will think of us, that we sometimes hide or hold back what we really feel. I know not all people are like that, but I honestly think that a big majority are. And I get that we need to be sensitive at times to what’s happening in the lives of people around us: obviously you won’t sit and gush at you recently widowed friend about how in love you are, but you know what I mean.
Those closest to me will confirm that for me, what people think of me is neither here nor there for me; I’m conscious of the people around me and I’m respectful, however I don’t seek approval or validation from people. My identity isn’t found in people but in Jesus. Do I want people to like and me be happy with me? Sure, who doesn’t? Do I want people to approve of me? Again, sure. But I don’t live my life by that. I am who I am and when I’m happy and excited and just glowing with sunshine, you’ll know it. The flip side of that is that when I’m angry, you also know it because the frown starts and my eyebrows join together to form a neatly trimmed monobrow. Regardless, I try to live every area of my life honestly and openly because I want people to see me; the imperfect, flawed oddball that has an obsession with the colour purple and who loves with every part of her being. That’s just who I am, it’s how I was made and although it has at times caused issues for me (that’s another series altogether!), I don’t want to be any different. If I love you, even when I want to gently high-five you to the face, you will know that I love you. Mind you, so does everyone because I generally talk about it or blog about it, just another part of the charming and unique package that is moi! But let’s live out our joy. Let’s show others that there is hope and joy and love and laughter to be found in this circus we call life. And for the love of all that’s holy in this world, if you love someone, tell me, because life can be short and fleeting and you may never get another chance.