Love in the Era of Madness

By Devina Gunawan

They say, there is someone out there for you.

Snow White sang, “I’m wishing, for the one I love to find me today.” I find it amusing how that bloody song could get stuck in my head for so long.

But I grew up that way, thinking that there was a prince for every princess, and Aladdin for every Jasmine. Was it wrong? Perhaps not, but I figured that it was what has been screwing me up the past two decades.

I also grew up in a world that has rebels all over. I grew up in a world that questions, a world that struggles, and a world that wars within herself.

It is the age of changes, the age of revolution, the age of freedom. And what happens when you grow up among all of that?

What happens when you grow up dreaming of a Disney prince and listening to your parents tell you, “Girls have to be strong and tough”? What happens when everything feels conflicted?

What will that do to you? What will you become?

Will you choose one over the other? Will you choose your own faith? Or will you stay like me, confused and conflicted? Where do I stand really? I am more or less lost, neither right nor left, and definitely not liking the limbo.

You see, this problem has been a stumbling block in my search of true love. Not that I have been searching, really, but if I were it would be that rock.

“Out of my way, rock.” If only problems could go away with our commands.

Nick Fury would tell you, that whatever happens, problems are always there. There will always be problems, no matter where you go or what you do or who you are.

However, I am no Avenger. I do not have the strongest metal in the world. I have no Iron Man suit. I was not trained like the Black Widow. I am no god from Asgard. My skin never turns green. And I cannot even figure out how to work a bow and arrows.

I am just a girl who was born in the 1990s, grew up witnessing the transformation of cellphones, and falling into adulthood while studying women studies. It is the fight between the traditional women’s roles and the empowerment that women deserve more.

I would say, that is messed up. It is unfair to every girl in my era. We suffer from the Disney filled childhood into Oprah and Beyonce’s “Who Run the World (Girls).” Every bit of our inner conflict rests in the media we grow up watching and the words of our parents.

One day my parents told me, “You are a girl, and you have to be strong. You have to be able to take good care of yourself. Do not let a guy take advantage of you.” Another day they would say, “You will find a husband who will take good care of you and you will be a good mother to his children.”

Was I supposed to choose? Or was I supposed to be both?

Because the ugly truth is that, most men that I have dated do not like strong women.

They do not like a woman who insists on going after her career and believes that she is equal to them. They do not like a woman who thinks that she is better than them, and stronger too. They do not want to be with a woman who refuses to settle for just being a housewife but wants more in life.

So I am a product of a hardcore radio songs of feminism and a rotten brain of Disney’s fairytale. I am both a fighter and a dreamer, in the most twisted way possible.

And apparently they are right when they say that you are your worst enemy. For in all my life, I have never faced anyone as stubborn and hard headed as myself to deal with. Unfortunately though, my greatest enemy is also my greatest love.

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