I spent most of my childhood years rebuking the fact that I was a romantic.

No matter the tell-tale signs, I was so determined to squelch that part of myself. So much so, that I carried a biased, unfiltered disgust for the colour pink, revolted against physical affection and still feel somewhat awkward in giving out tender sentiments.

But, what’s wrong with being a romantic?

Well, nothing. But for a kid wanting to be taken seriously by adults and peers, being one wasn’t something you’d broadcast. By its very definition (according to Merriam Webster) it can be summarized with these key words: romance, imaginary, impractical, idealist, hero.

Fast forward a decade or so, and I’d like to think I grew wiser. Though to be frank, I feel that the more honest description would be, as I grew older, I cut myself some slack. Over time, repressing a part of me just grew tiresome.

Being a romantic, I decided, isn’t so bad.

Yes, I am a notorious sap. My tears well up after a touching TV commercial, and I can’t bear to look at anyone crying in the eye, else I’d cry alongside them. I have a tendency to  romanticise situations, and I get easily excited whenever I see something cute or romantic.

Despite that, there’s more to being a romantic then just getting all teary-eyed over lovey-dovey stuff. It’s more than swooning over the crooning of Casanova or Romeo waxing poetry. It’s more than romance.

It means having the conviction that there is a positive to any upheaval in life. It’s being able to find and grasp onto a situation’s silver lining. The ability to keep looking at the small ray of light despite the smothering grey clouds

Being a romantic means being a stubborn fighter. In a world that at times, seem to be determined to squelch out any good, it’s a rare gem to be a romantic. Romantics are essentially idealists; dreamers that dare to oppose the cynical status quo.

The world needs a romantic’s faith, an idealist’s goal and even the dreamer’s vision. In a jaded world filled with pain and distrust, I say this:

I’m a romantic, and that’s okay.