San Valentín en los tiempos de Social Media

San Valentín en los tiempos de Social Media

Hoy se celebra mundialmente el día de San Valentín, el día de los enamorados, el día del amor. Hoy se inundan las redes sociales de memes clichesudos, de frases romanticonas, de fotos de parejas perfectas. #CoupleGoals como dicen por ahí.

A pesar de ser un día en el que supuestamente vibramos en puro amor, para muchos no es más que un recordatorio de su propia soledad, de relaciones que quisieran tener y no tienen, de compararse con otras parejas que  aparentemente son más bonitas y más felices.

Que sea este el momento de recordar que esa vida de Instagram perfecta no existe. Que esas fotos hermosas de parejas que admiramos son solo una parte de sus vidas, esa parte que deciden compartirnos. Que jamás veremos sus discusiones, ni sus problemas, ni sus peleas pendejas por la ropa tirada en el suelo o sus peleas complejas por unos cachos. Que #CoupleGoals no es más que un hashtag y que la pareja perfecta es la propia, esa que uno tiene con la persona que ama y que también lo ama a uno.

Que tener pareja no es indispensable para ser feliz y que es mejor estar solo que estar con alguien por estar. Que la soledad es maravillosa para conocerse a uno mismo y que un día en el que se celebra el amor, también incluye al amor propio. Que es el día ideal para consentirse a uno mismo como si Cupido te hubiera flechado mientras te mirabas al espejo. Que estar enamorado es hermoso y no estarlo también. Que no hay normas cuando de vivir el corazón se trata y que eso está bien.

La vida trata de decirnos todo el tiempo que lo que somos y tenemos no es suficiente, que necesitamos más o necesitamos diferente. Solo por hoy, decide no compararte, no juzgar ni juzgarte, no sentirte menos o más. Que un día que tiene al amor como bandera no venga cargado de nada que no sea bueno para el corazón.

Si las redes sociales en un día como hoy, te ponen ansioso o triste, no las veas. No te exijas más de lo que puedes soportar, es mejor darse espacio y protegerse a tener que reponerse después. Y decidas lo que decidas, jamás olvides que todos, incluyendo esas parejas hermosas y perfectas, somos humanos lidiando con nuestros propios retos, luchando por vivir la vida que queremos.

Mucho amor por cada uno.

The love of your life

The love of your life

By Veronica Orozco @verozco

Translated by Juliana Achury (Craftisan Translations LLC) juliana.achury@gmail.com

I saw him crossing the street. I saw him coming out of his door and coming to where I was. He was taller than I expected and his haircut wasn’t even trendy yet in Medellín. He was wearing a black t-shirt and a pair of black denims. He smelled nice. “He primped himself up for me,” I thought.

I didn’t have the time to make myself pretty. When I saw him, and smelled his cologne, he was all put together and it made me self-conscious about my half-painted fingernails and my unthreaded eyebrows. Today wasn’t the day we were supposed to meet in person. That day was two months ago but it didn’t happen. Today was just a normal day. Office, work, traffic, home. As always, I left my house at 7am, not imagining that at 2pm I would get a message saying: “I’m coming to Medellín and would like to say hello.”

When I got the message my first instinct was: “NO WAY! HOW COULD HE THINK THAT?! I’m horrible, I need a manicure after work, I came to the office with my comfortable-old-lady heels and, well, you just can’t give such short notice. Besides, he knew he was coming at least two days ago, and he could have told me then.” But, after a while, I thought, “Darling, shush. It’s not like he’s the love of your life.” So we agreed to meet at 6pm. I would pick him up after work and we’d grab a drink somewhere in the area.

I had never heard his voice nor shook his hand. Our friendship was based on text messages, Twitter mentions, DMs, inbox emails and every possible social media. “What if he has sweaty hands?” I thought. “What if he has a squeaky voice? Ha, ha. No way. What if he’s gay? You can expect anything from online friendships.”

He crossed the street and hopped into the car. Time didn’t stand still, nor there was a love song playing in the background like when Cupid shoots an arrow in the movies. Thankfully, this was not the right time for it anyway. Nuns in my school clearly stated that you meet the man of your life and marry him forever. And, even if I didn’t say it out loud and hid it behind my modern woman speech, the idea of having already used my only chance at eternal love haunted me on daily basis.

His conversation seemed shy compared to my non-stop mouthful of nervous words. It is amazing how much nonsense you can say per minute when you’re anxious. But after a while we settled into a comfortable state and our energies stabilized. We talked for hours, interrupted only by our own loud laughter.

It was so easy talking to him. Looking him in the eye gave me peace of mind. Making him laugh made me happy. Too bad time didn’t stand still, or a love song didn’t play, or I didn’t marry him on what the nuns said was my first and only chance at love. Too bad, otherwise there was a beautiful possibility that he was the love of my life. We talked about love and broken hearts, happy and miserable jobs, divorce traumas, dream travel destinations. Accompanied by cigarettes and wine, we talked about every possible subject without censorship. It’s so nice to finally meet you.

We went back to the car and I drove him back. While driving, we agreed on meeting again. “When you go to Miami, let me know. I’ll do the same if I come back.” He opened the door to step out and looked me in the eyes. We didn’t say a thing, just smiled. And then time did stand still. And Can’t Fight This Feeling by R.E.O Speedwagon started to play on the car radio.

yo

Get back on the saddle, kid!

Get back on the saddle, kid!

Imagen: http://andthatswhyyouresingle.com/
Imagen: http://andthatswhyyouresingle.com/

By Veronica Orozco @verozco

Translated by Juliana Achury (Craftisan Translations LLC) juliana.achury@gmail.com

Even if you don’t believe it, and if the resemblance is not striking at first, divorced and sick people have a lot of things in common. We equally raise condescending and pitiful looks when entering a room full of acquaintances. We both have to tell the whole story over and over again, more times than we’d like to, and we are also victims of homemade remedies suggested by people who love us and want to make us feel better. They’ll do anything to get us back on our feet. But it is right there where divorced and sick part ways: while homemade cures for sickness range from exotic plant-based concoctions to colorful threads tied to limbs, remedies for divorce take more than a quick sip of the concoction – do not breath while swallowing please – and much more than the will to get better: YOUR WILL TO GET BACK ON THE SADDLE.

In a city, with a family, and with friends like mine, it’s very complex to explain that I’m not as sad as they believe. That, on the contrary, it’s been good learning experience to go grocery shopping just for myself, and that I couldn’t care less about my Whatsapp inactivity. But since “there’s no better remedy than company” and “you shouldn’t age alone,” is almost magical how it seems everyone has a “catch” to introduce me to, their ace under the sleeve: “Remember Memo Correa, my friend from college? Well, he’s been single since 1997, when you met him, and, I don’t know, wouldn’t it be nice if you guys went out and reconnect” – says a long time friend after just one sip of gin at a bar. “Honey, remember Martica Martinez’s son, the one that was suspected to be mentally challenged when you guys were little? Well, it turns out he wasn’t slow after all, he lived in Canada, just came back and he reads your tweets. Wouldn’t it be great if the two of you go out?” – is what I hear after a lunch with my family on a Sunday. Because another thing about divorced people is that, besides carrying the single label again, we also belong to the reduced and not very exclusive sub-group of the second-hand market. So we have no business dating Class A men – never-married, young, successful, philanthropic, dog-loving, Jared Leto lookalikes – instead, and as a punishment for our failed marriage, we have to settle for Class B men – other divorcees, male spinsters, medicated wackos, oedipians, closeted gays, and assholes. And then there’s also the Class C single men, but don’t make me go there.

Each guy is worse than the last one and, like in it the most absurd chick flick ever, where Drew Barrymore plays you, a chain reaction of disasters start to happen. Like the time I agreed to meet my friend’s cousin because we were all going out as a groups and I was told he was good looking, had long hair and a beard. He, indeed, had long hair and a beard – but in a Juan Tamariz kinda’ way –http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Tamariz– and he was a parapsychologist, so he, throughout the entirety of the evening, whispered in my ear that he could feel my dead grandma’s presence at the bar. Or that time when I went on a blind date with the new guy at my friend’s office, who conveniently told me he forgot his wallet at home when the bill came. He also wanted to come up to my place after dinner. The next day, when I went to pick up my friend at his office to get some lunch, everyone knew about our date. Nonetheless, the guy came and asked for a hug which he finished saying a “shhh… you drained me.” Not to forget about F.W., who came to me at a bar, asked me for my number and talk to me on the chat, sent me text messages, called and voice noted me non-stop. A month later was when he posted on Instagram a picture of his newly born son. His wife was also in it. Just a few small details he forgot to tell me. That’s why the 15th of February will always be remembered as “That’s-not-my-child birthday plus how-to-block people on Whatsapp.”

No one should be forced to get back on the saddle, to date when not ready. Because, as with a bad horseback riding accident, either you get injured or leave traumatized, but for sure not willing to get back on the horse right away. It’s much more likely to get a Twitter Direct Message from the person that will bring back to life your will to face that horse.

Yeeeeee haaaaaa!