Technologically apt kids and kids at heart these days just have a different dictionary all together. Their vocabulary often consist of abbreviated terms such as BAE (before anyone else, yes, it’s not short for babe) while others are your typical English words but bested with completely different meanings such as: basic (which means you’re ordinary), #blessed (you will be surprised that this often denotes sarcasm), and shade (means you totally went there in insulting another person).
One of my most favorite terms belong to the younger set is phrase “ride or die” as in used to depict a loyal significant other (think Beyonce & Jayz). In youngster speak, ride or die literally means being there through it all: good times, bad times, sickness, health, in the limelight, and when you’re out of it. It’s basically a vow that means your significant other won’t leave when things aren’t as comfortable as you want them to be.
In the world of quick “fame” due to social media, more and more kiddos are taking this term to heart and making sure that their significant others are of ride or die caliber (it could also be because it’s a really catchy caption to put on Facebook).
While some look to celebrities for inspiring ride or die tales, I don’t have to look too far. In fact, I’m blessed (with no hashtag sarcasm) to witness it everyday through the love story of my parents. My parents recently celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary and in my dad’s line of work, that is a very long time. Their love story is a unique one considering that they’re polar opposites: my mom born and raised koliheyala from Manila without any idea about basketball and my dad, born and raised in far flung Cebu. The story of how they met is also quite exciting and serendipitous at best, making me believe that happily ever afters do exist.
However, growing up in the reality of the said love story also exposed me to the truth that perfect love stories only exist in books and just like anything else in life, take hard work, dedication, and commitment.
My parents’ twenty-eight year love story denotes “ride or die” through and through. My mom stood by my dad’s side during the years of injury, his retirement from playing basketball professionally in 1995, and the adjustments that soon followed. When the lights were dimmed and my dad hung his jersey to move to a new chapter of his career, my mom was there with even more love than she had when she first met him. My dad through the years has also shown loyalty to the woman he has chosen and this has become the foundation of their solid relationship. As a famous song goes, you get back what you put out.
In a world that constantly hungers for fame, power, and money, it can be quite easy to associate love with what you can get from your partner. But a true ride or die partner shows you that true love has nothing to do with what you do for a living or how many people call out your name. The fame, power, and screaming fans (and groupies) go away, but one thing remains: true love.
True love isn’t constantly asking what’s in it for me, but instead seeks to make the other person better and decides to be there through it all. It is patient, it is kind, and most importantly, it is not self-seeking. It’s the kind of love that makes you feel secured knowing that no matter what tomorrow brings and whether or not you fail, it will still be there guiding you quietly and bravely telling you that the best is yet to come despite what today looks like.
It’s the kind of love I aspire to give and also inspires me to be the kind of woman my mom is: loyal and a true ride or die chick through and through.