Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Taking Risks

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 

Recently, I've been taking small risks. I learn the most when I leave my heart dangling on a limb, ready to be plucked and held close, or left hanging. When I was much younger, I felt a relationship to be the ideal, my ideal. It was what I wanted more than anything, and jealousy burned inside me when I saw my girl friends pair off, most often with boys whom I liked. I would embody self pity with hunched shoulders and a quiet voice, swallowing my feelings and building a wall around myself.

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.


  1. Sounds like we're both going through a lot of the same! I'm only just reaching a point where I don't feel like my life is lacking for not having a partner. While it would be nice to have one, I know being in a relationship isn't the key to sudden joy, and that for someone to love me, I have to be able to love myself first!

  2. Such a thoughtful post. When I was in my 20s I went trough a lot of really intense emotional shit and as a result was very needy and clingy in relationships which invariably then ended because of my neediness. I wasn't entirely unhappy about it either, because in our society, being heart-broken seemed like a totally legitimate (non-crazy) reason to be miserable. And miserable I needed to be. Or so I thought. It wasn't until a dear, much older friend told me one day that if I couldn't find someone who could be my best friend, they certainly would not be my true love/mate/partner either. It's so simple, but it totally changed the way I looked at relationships. Fairytale love, hot dreamy guys and intensity are one thing, but what all relationships have to be built on to last is friendship, a deeper understanding of another person.

  3. and thank you for reading.

    how true the realisation that life/relationships should not be a charade, but felt deep and true in your blood.