So we were in the Christmas/New Year season again. Time to celebrate. Right? Well, feel free to jam. Just leave me out of it. I have not and will not take part in this year’s celebrations. It isn’t because I am rebelling against the jollof and Uncle Ebo Whyte play defined holiday that Christmas has become in Ghana. Neither am I being an overly unconventional Ghanaian in choosing not to indulge in Christmas because of my belief in animal rights and how chickens and goats have feelings too.
I am simply not celebrating Christmas/New Year this year because I am broke and I don’t have my driver’s licence yet. That is all. No deep issues whatsoever. Chale, man has come too far in life to still be waiting for trotros going to 37' in order to get to the national theater. I am done with that. Hopefully, next year will be better for me. If not, I will stay home again.
Anyways, let me not digress further from the intended topic: Being an unconventional Ghanaian during Christmas. So yeah, I am plenty unconventional as a Ghanaian. I am a tall, left handed, Ewe. (That may seem mundane but that is a very unconventional combination and it’s enough to make me one of the most marginalization-prone persons in Ghana). I am also very idealistic, I dislike money and I believe I have the keys to establishing a Utopian society here on Earth. Last but not the least, I am a hopeless romantic. Very unconventional. However, despite all these unconventional things about myself, I have realized that I live a very normal life and there’s nothing particularly extraordinary about the way I wake up, do my things or fall asleep.
This realization set me on a time of deep self reflection and I identified that my hopeless romanticism is one of the most important unconventional things about me. Yet, it is the most subtle and concealed. So in order to avoid an identity crisis, I tried to find the most prominent hopeless romantic I know of to see how being a hopeless romantic played out in his/her life.
If you are thinking anyone on the lines of Julius Caesar or Shakespeare’s Romeo as my hopeless romantic personality, you’re right. And they all died tragic deaths so I should be happy that my hopeless romanticism is subtle. lol. Okay, I should stop fooling at this point. They aren’t my ultimate hopeless romantic personalities. Honestly, the greatest hopeless romantic I know of is God.
Man, talk about being in love with love! God practically created the world, put us in it and has loved us since. He put the world in perfection because of His love. And what did we do? We spat forbidden fruit juice all over it and distorted it with sin. He still stayed on, giving us leeway to always have a spot in His heart even though we continuously flirted with His self fashioned rival. You’d think that such love, if unrequited, would crush any lover but no. He gave us Jesus, a second chance that, in itself, is a ticket to a million other second chances to be in a relationship with Him. And to crown how much of a hopeless romantic God really is, we must realize that Jesus left behind all of his majesty to come and preach Love to all us. He literally came to plead with us to love Him as well as each other. He did so despite the empirical evidence showing the human race’s seeming inability to reciprocate the kind of love that He had shown. Jesus Christ is the greatest show of Hopeless Romanticism ever.
“For God so LOVED the world, that he gave his only begotten Son. That whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
As a Christian, even before being a hopeless romantic, I realize that the way God has loved is the perfect model for us. He(God) asks us to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, as well as love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves (ref. Luke 10:27). That might seem unrealistic to most of us, especially with the knowledge that human beings are innately self seeking. How are we supposed to truly love our neighbors more than ourselves? Well, I think all the people who think like this also believe that hopeless romanticism is just a form of delusion. However, I, as a hopeless romantic, find the thought of giving free-for-all unconditional love as a welcome challenge. I relish the opportunity to love regardless of race, gender, social status or level of intellect. I want to commit myself to helping others get to the highest standards I have set for myself. I want to do things for the sake of other people even if it may seem negligible and as unexciting as my life already is. I want to love with the premise that everyone will love me back even if my love goes unrequited. I will do so because I know that God, another hopeless romantic, exists and is loving me madly.
How does this relate to Christmas? Well, apart from the fact that Christmas marks the genesis of the greatest show of love ever seen, the nativity story has a few characters who would be an inspiration to all hopeless romantics out there. Joseph is one for choosing to stay with Mary even after discovering that she was bearing a child that was not his. The inn keeper showed love by thinking through all the possibilities and offering them the most he could. The Wise Men, for risking their lives by not informing King Herod of Jesus’ whereabouts. They were all hopeless romantics.
Common misconception: Life is full of milk and honey for hopeless romantics.
Uhm, wrong! Jesus Christ, just like Julius Caesar and Romeo, died a terrible tragic death. Even Saint Valentine was beheaded because of love. There is a trend for all hopeless romantics; gruesome death. I know that I will have to face a tragic death of some sort because I belong to this hopeless romantic crew. But lowkey, I am not shaking. Because I know that we are in 2016 and crucifixion, murder and beheading are highly improbable. Nonetheless, I know some of my friendships, opportunities, pride and dignity will have tragic deaths as a result of my hopeless romanticism. As such, the pattern of death still lives on (pun intended).
Despite this, I am going to follow God’s model of love regardless of how things turn out. I will love my heart, soul and mind out. That is my only resolution for the new year. I will live life as a hopeless romantic because I have found hope in hopeless romanticism.
I love you.
Happy New Year.