The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn
and feel and change and grow and love and live. – Leo F. Buscaglia
When boys started to show interest, in my early twenties, any and all interactions were catalogued and replayed in my head over and over. Independent of whether I liked the person, I always thought, "Finally, someone. I can stop exhausting myself with worries of being alone." Ultimately, they would lose interest and we would part ways, and it would feel like my ribs had been smashed and were piercing my lungs. I didn't realize at the time that I still had the wall around me, that I was so afraid of losing said person that I didn't take any risks in the relationships. I didn't let the person actually see me, a risk in itself, because I believed if they did, they would leave. And more often than not, they did.
I got tired, lonely, and resentful, spinning around in circles behind my wall. Any "relationships" I had weren't real; they were pantomimes. Only recently have I begun to be able to bring myself, my true self, to relationships. I realized that being in a relationship for the sake of a relationship wasn't worth it. When I close myself off from the authentic and don't speak up, I am left to fill in the blanks with my own delusions. When I take risks, and ask the hard questions or express how I truly feel, and the result isn't what I intended, it no longer feels as terrible, because I know I did everything I could. I am left with my authentic self, and I'd much rather that than a shadow of something unreal.