Sometimes I wish I didn’t know better because it gives me an excuse to stay. It gives me an excuse to wait. It gives me an excuse to turn a blind eye to the red flags. It gives me an excuse to believe in maybes.
I wish I didn’t learn the hard way that people say a lot of things they don’t mean and their words don’t always reflect their feelings. I wish I didn’t learn that words don’t mean anything without actions. I wish I didn’t learn that people can say the exact some words to multiple people to make them feel special without any intention of loving them. I wish I still believed in the power of words only.
I wish I didn’t see so many marriages end in divorces and so many relationships fall apart. I wish I didn’t know that love alone isn’t enough. I wish I wasn’t too involved in heartbreaking stories and husbands cheating and people lying and people leaving.
I wish I still had the patience to wait for people to make up their minds; when I used to believe that waiting is part of love, when I used to think that waiting for someone will make them come back to you because it means you care. But I know that waiting only hurts and sometimes nothing comes out of it but a colossal waste of your precious time.
I wish I didn’t understand the game so well. I wish I didn’t know the rules or the tricks or how to win. I wish I was still a rookie because it was fun to learn, it was challenging and it was exciting. But now the game is over for me. I’m tired of playing it and winning doesn’t make any difference. Love is not a game.
I wish I didn’t love myself as much as I do because it makes me run away too soon. It makes me leave too soon. It makes me reject anything mediocre and it makes me not want to settle.
I wish I didn’t know better because knowing better makes you realistic and logical and calculated. It makes you curb what your heart really desires. It makes you leave. It makes you do the right thing no matter how hard it is.
And I don’t know which is better knowing for sure you don’t have a chance or innocently believing that maybe you’re the exception, maybe you’re the lesson, maybe you’re the muse.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t know that if you have to use so many ‘maybes’ to defend someone, then the answer is clearly no.
Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book All The Words I Should Have Said, available here.