Love is Love

Taxis here are not as cheap as they are in Ruse; so I have to take bus to work and back home in Baku. My bus rides open me a variety of opportunities to observe fellow citizens of mine. Well, what I mostly see in those bus rides is negative people who are ready to kill or knock out one another with one simple punch; I understand people being cranky after tiresome and long work day, but I can’t get why they are being so aggressive in the mornings. There are so many stories I have heard, and observations I have made during my bus rides; just another book idea for my future self.

I have always liked to ask ‘Why’ questions most. In my curious mind, and also during our discussions with friends, I end up with several explanations for inexplicable behaviors we see in the streets or buses. Yet, I still believe it is all due to lack of love. And it is any sort of love; love to oneself, to life, to people etc.

People don’t love, but they pretend to do so just to show off. People don’t live for themselves, but they live for others. They don’t go after their own happiness, but they try to imitate others’. People do or don’t do so many things for others. If you ask who those others are. Those others change from loved ones to neighbors and sometimes strangers. The latter case happens quite often, and for me, it is the worst one.

I had started to write this post long long ago. It goes back to when Isa Shahmarli, an activist fighting for LGBT rights in Azerbaijan, committed suicide leaving a note behind saying we, every one of us is guilty in his death. Well, I felt ashamed myself for being a cause in somebody’s life, and sorry for his young life, dreams, and the future that was ahead of him whatever color it was.

I will tell you about my classmate at school back in Ganja. All the time he used to tell everybody “What do you care? or Mind your own business”. I used to fight with him a lot for that, because for me it was so inappropriate back then. Now, I see, in this society, you will have to tell people hundred times to mind their own business and sometimes thousand times. If only everybody minded their own business….

Now, here, there are hundreds of campaigns pro or against, the Eurovision winner, Conchita. Let him or her, whoever that person chooses to be, be and rise. Let Conchita have a beard and hair. Let that person wear, dress or I don’t know do whatever they want. If you think it spoils your upbringing style, c’mon there are worse things being advertised in the music world. And you call them normal and others abnormal. I so strongly believe there is no such thing called normal or abnormal. It is all so relative. One thing accepted as normal here can be abnormal somewhere else. We all know that.

So I wish Isa didn’t commit suicide. Or Europe didn’t feel the need to rise Conchita like a phoenix and shove into people’s faces. I really don’t know where the world is going. I don’t think I need to know at this point, because I am busy with my own life. If everybody stops checking other’s business then nobody would take their own lives, or nobody would have to show their differences in a different way to the world.

The campaign called “Love is Love” brought hundred people from all over the world to say Love is Love. Truly, love is love. My love is this way and yours is that way. What is the problem here?! It is not that difficult to accept it, just mind your own business and move on with your life.

I wanted to write a post for love, my love, your love and all the other loves out there that are being labelled as different or abnormal.

I also wanted to say some few things out loud for my father; every summer I try to capture my longing for him in written words as I can. For all the kids who have lost their fathers meeting new people is difficult. Because once you start getting close with somebody, time comes and you have to choose between sincerity and your privacy; you should choose at one point in the conversation what to tell people about your father. The best option, of course, is ignoring questions, but there are people who keep asking questions. You either make up stories about where your father is now, what he does, or you just tell them you have lost him and come up with a new conversation topic. The second one, the ugly truth, undoubtedly, is always hard to do. First and foremost, it is because there are some people who start pitying you right there or display fake sympathy. When I was a kid I hated those pity stares like anybody else. And growing up I wanted to share stories about my father, but still met those pitiful stares. They had made me feel worse about my situation. So, at nights, I used to ask God to put those people in my shoes in their dreams. I was hoping they would stop staring at me with stupid suspicious faces, or falsely avoiding talking about their fathers. The truth to be told, I really didn’t mind to hear their stories about their fathers, and also I wanted to share mine. What was different between our stories was that their fathers were alive but mine not. Yet, they didn’t know that mine was also alive inside my heart. So it was OK for me, if they gave up on their Not OK reactions.

So the other day I was thinking the world should go upside down for one day at least. Like those straight people who think LGBT people are abnormal, and shouldn’t exist, should find themselves midst LGBT society where it is totally fine to be gay, but not fine to be straight. I wonder how they would feel then. So everybody would find himself in the place of those whom they judge and call abnormal.

Maybe we wouldn’t need that kind of change, even for a day, if everybody accepted one another as they are, without trying to change them to be one of them. I believe it should be just OK to be whoever you are.

There are very few moments in life which have made me proud of myself. One of them is that I have always tried to be who I am which is not easy and not accepted by others easily at times. Three years ago, when I was struggling over my decision to accept study offer from Bulgaria, and after that, one of my now-friends, but once-trainees, Gretchen had written these valuable sentences.

Finding who you are will take a lifetime. I’m still trying to figure myself out. I’ve learned a lot about who I’m not. Be true to yourself, don’t adapt to what others expect from you, just be who you are… Being kind to others as well as yourself is good. Don’t judge others, be respectful of others, be responsible for your own actions, proud of yourself and live with joy in your heart. Love each day that God gives you and make sure that you’ve been kind to at least one person each day…even if it’s just YOU!! You will be fine. You are a kind person, willing to help…so just let others help you too!! You are a good person…Just enjoy this experience. A first flight…how exciting. Don’t be afraid. Eat the food, smile at the others, and enjoy. I remember my first flight to this day.

It was from our talk right before my first flight. I did keep smiling at strangers during that first flight. I have kept those words in my email, and I used to go back to it, in those times when I was starting to doubt my beliefs and values. Thank you, Gretchen, and so many others, especially my ducklings ( You know yourselves, who you are), my sisters and best friends for everything, if I put it mildly. I am thankful to you for being right next to me whenever I needed.

When I was a teenager, I was struggling inside with people when I was trying to let them know, my love for my father and my stories about him I wanted to share weren’t any different from theirs. They didn’t need pitiful stares. And now my love to a foreigner is not any different from theirs. I am sick of their sometimes incomprehensible questions. Love is love! So is yours, so is mine and so many others’ that society and unwritten rules collected under ‘mentality’ consider abnormal.

(It seems like I will never be able to finish this post if I don’t post it right away. My father’s death has taught me not to rely on tomorrow much; it might never come, so I wanted to thank my favorite people now, and say a part of what has been in my mind for some time already.)


Update: I wanted this song to be in this post.



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