“You’ve been hurt, right?”
I nodded, fogged by sleep. “In relationships? Sure.”
She paused, collecting her courage. “Then why do you keep seeking out relationships?”
I gave her an answer, one filled with the ideas of detachment, that future pain doesn’t invalidate current happiness, but I missed something. I missed something fundamental.
I seek out relationships because of a line in The Princess Bride.
Specifically, this line:
“Life is pain, princess. Anyone who tells you different is selling something.”
Life is pain. You don’t get to decide whether or not that is true.
What you do get to decide is whether or not you’ll give up and give in to the pain.
You get to decide whether you’ll take the chance of a large amount of pain with a relationship or if you’d rather just suffer the incremental slow papercut death of isolation.
I’m not talking about people who choose to be single; that’s a totally different category. I’m talking about those people who are single out of fear of the pain of relationships. Those people who no longer try for a human connection.
Because the pain comes anyway.
You do not have a choice in that.
The only choice you have is whether or not there will be happiness as well.
And happiness is something this tanuki always chooses.