“I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz
‘Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We’ve got a lot to learn
God knows we’re worth it
No, I won’t give up
I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use
The tools and gifts we got yeah, we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you’re still my friend at least we did intend
For us to work we didn’t break, we didn’t burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I’m not
And who I am
I won’t give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up
Still looking up.
I won’t give up on us (no I’m not giving up)
God knows I’m tough enough (I am tough, I am loved)
We’ve got a lot to learn (we’re alive, we are loved)
God knows we’re worth it (and we’re worth it)
Everyday, I wake up to Josh’s smiling face as he showers me with kisses. I laugh and he smiles, and I tell him to get off me and go to work. He never listens. After about 10 minutes, he finally gets off me and does his morning routine—washing up and working out. He eats his breakfast and I stay in bed, enclosed in a warm, warm blanket. He leaves at 6 a.m. on the dot.
This morning, I couldn’t help but be nostalgic. It’s the new year, one brimming with feelings of change, and I already feel giddy. I had a long chat last night with my good friend from back home. We talked about how crazy and quickly life changes. When I look back at my relationship, my marriage, with Josh, I can’t help but smile with a mix of cloudy eyes. We’ve been through a lot.
For us, 2010 was our lowest point. He joined the Navy. He lied to me about his past. I found out through other means, a jealous girl who was still angry. My father almost got deported because of his immigration issues. We lost our blue house on Neptune Street. Josh’s family lost their yellow house on 234th Street, one they’ve had for 22 years. We were apart for days, months. We got married, but the lies from his past caught up with us. The lies didn’t stop in 2010, and it kept overflowing.
We finally reached a breaking point. We finally reached the point where our love was tested beyond our means, and I had to decide whether or not I could live with Josh’s scarred past. The lies were too much to bear, and they overspilled on his family (with me becoming the scapegoat in the beginning). I was torn between the lies he told me and the lies he told his family. The miscommunication between so many parties became like a sea, and I was drowning. I drown.
But there was still this belief in goodness I held on tightly. I still believed in God, still believed the love I was taught when I was child. When it came to my decision to leave or stay, I said something similar to what Marshall told Lily (from HIMYM): “When I married you, I married your problems too. Even the ones I didn’t know about.”
I was really broken in 2011. We both were. It took a long time for me to fix myself. It took a long time for Josh and I to fix the beautiful mess we made.
And even though our marriage has been through a year of tribulation, it’s been a beautiful one. We’re happy. I’m smiling as I write this because I know our relationship is so personal and I write of it so freely on this public space. But I want to go shout on a mountain and tell the world: I’m happy. I’m in love. I’m still in love with my best friend, and I don’t give a damn what the world thinks.
This is why I believe in second chances. This is why I still believe in love and goodness and forgiveness. We made mistakes, big ones, but we were forgiven. We made mistakes with others, to family, but we were given love. Though the military and married life don’t go hand-in-hand, if you married your best friend, it’s possible to make it, even with the terrible distance and mistakes. I look at my past now and I smile, thankful for everything that has happened to me. I am sincerely grateful for every person that has been in my life. The choices that people in my life made in the past has casually affected who I want to be today. I may fall down sometimes, but it’s okay. Life, like love, is a learning process. Life, like love, gets better day by day. Life, like love, is all about finding the good in this world, in people.
Though 2010 was a hard year, it was still a good one. My ground was broken, everything I had believed in crashed down like a charred raccoon from a chimney (Dance in America reference). But I picked myself up from the rubble, and in 2011, I started piecing back everything I held dear in life. And the blessing is, I didn’t have to do it alone. I did it with the help of my best friend–my husband–and my family: my loving father, my motherly sister, my proud grandmother, and my loving friends back home. In 2010, I broke down but relentlessly tried to find meaning in my life, and in 2011, I was broken and found it–and it was love, the love given to me by the people who surround me. They are either by my side or are back home in Los Angeles, and I still feel their bond, their love, even if I do live 2,500 miles away. I believe that 2012 will be a wonderful, difficult, beautiful year too–one of transition and change. Throughout all of this, throughout all of the difficult things I’ve been through in my brief life, I’m so thankful to have love, all the variations of it.
In 2012, I hope you won’t give up, dear reader. Even if 2011 was your lowest point, believe me when I say it gets better. As for me, I too won’t give up on love. I won’t give up on giving people second chances. Finally, I feel like I’m at that place where I can look at the world in the eyes and tell it: thank you for making me stronger. After that, I feel like giving the world a big, long, loving hug.
I’ll end this personal blog with a quotation from a writer friend’s blogpost on the new year. When I read it, it moved me and reminded me of all the things I’ve conquered and experienced. I hope this moves you too:
“Also–I am more than aware that 2011 was an agonizing and horrifying and awful year for many of you. For me, the ‘worst year of my life by a mile’ was 2007. It ousted any of the years previous I’d spent depressed or dismayed or discouraged or broke.
But every year since then, I/we know that statistically speaking, nothing can be as bad as 2007. And that too, has made all the difference–to know where your bottom is, and to know you’ve survived that bottom (whether graciously or not, because in the end all that matter is that you survived), to have been broken and healed, and to know you’ve learned lessons, and to know you can make it through anything, go forward.
So for those of you who have had an awful 2011, I give you that hope. And now it’s 2012–and I hope 2011, now in the past, leaves you in the present with valuable lessons and knowledge and resilience.
My awful year gave me urgency, too. There’s nothing like a bad year to tell you what it is you really really want out of life. And you’ll spend subsequent years reaching for it.
I hope in 2012 you reach for it–and get it.”
— Christine Zilka’s blog 80,000 words.