The secret message here? Do what scares you. What you've procrastinated or previously protected your heart from. Heartbreak. But that's the kicker. If you aren't risking heartbreak, you probably aren't using your heart. It's like heartburn. Not also not. I don't know, the metaphor lost its way there, but bless it, it did its best. Let's move on, shall we?
I know that it's what's written on all the guidance counselor's inspirational posters in your high school. I do know this. However, I have nonetheless elected to title my article today on that very statement. Do what scares you. Why, you ask? Because we still haven't done it yet, for the most part.
Most of us, myself included, still have much to learn
When I was feeling really down a year or two ago, I explicitly remember watching a trashy nameless rom-com on Netflix and they said something that really changed the way I go about my daily life. You have to be willing to fall flat on your face and fail. For all of you perfectionists and 'never enough' out there, I hear you. I feel for you. I am one of you, through and through. That said, this statement was damning, even in that knowledge. I thought I was getting better at being vulnerable and putting myself out there and ensuring that I was living my life to the fullest – even without the bounds of my comfort zone. Apparently not.
Despite all my self-delusions and perceptions of having been more open-minded, I still realised that I lived my life under the main prerogative that I didn't fail. Exactly the opposite of that. It's all well and good saying that we don't mind not being great at everything. That it doesn't matter if not everyone always likes us. Or finds us funny. However, it still leaves us with the feeling in our throat that we don't care to describe.
It's not a fun feeling, the feeling of failure. Truly, it isn't
Things in life are supposed to hurt a little. We are supposed to feel things. We can't go through it unscathed. Well, frankly, even if we tried to, how could we really be said to have lived? The way I live my life I sometimes reflect on the degree to which I actually live. Or do I just continue to exist? And not die.
Okay, I'm getting a bit gothic here. Edgar Allen Poe who?
I'm not saying that you need to drop everything and jump out of a plane. But also, you might need to just drop everything and jump out of a train. To borrow a very politicised and overused phrase: if not now, when?
'I can't do it' needs to be replaced with 'I could do something'. It doesn't even always need to be the solution to that specific problem. You don't always need to fix what's in front of you. Sometimes, you can just compromise, or simply do something different. If your accounting job is getting you down and you don't see a future there anymore. Quit.
I mean, what can you lose? There will always be something to lose
Every day millions of people fall in love. For the first time. Or the last time. Or the least advisable 'against all reason'.
You can look back on old relationships and think about the mistakes you made – both of you – and that can be really helpful. On one hand, you can figure out what it is that you want out of a relationship, and that may have changed over the course of the latest relationship, or been altered by having not been in one for a little while. Maybe you've grown more independent, but still need an emotional support system that the relationship offers.
It may be that you aren't looking for commitment in the way that you thought you were initially or that who you thought your dream guy was – well, maybe that has been updated too. We are all liable to changing and our tastes too, that's all about being human. Having new experiences, understandings, and mistakes that you can learn from. We all become more well-rounded individuals by looking at our mistakes in the eye and being willing to fall flat on our face in a relationship. If you aren't risking your heart – just a little – then you aren't really opening yourself up to it. Therefore, you don't stand to benefit from the rewards of a relationship.
In short, when you're single, it can be very easy to look around you and wonder why you don't have a partner.
Don't settle for less than the best
Try not to have heart eyes for everyone that walks into a bar. They don't all have your vested interest in heart, and they're rarely looking for the same things you are. Timing is everything. Confidence is gold dust. But you ultimately can't control everything in your life, and there will be aspects that don't match up to what you think you should be doing. That's normal, but you can't beat yourself up for it. Relationships by definition are two-way streets, you can't go it alone.
Even if you're ready for commitment, you still need a willing and able partner to go the distance with, to whom you are attracted and have common interests. At the moment it may seem out of reach, but you can have that. You don't need to sacrifice everything in a relationship just to get the bare minimum. Or to meet up to someone else's standards.
Off you pop, then. I hope you go out and 'get it' as the kids say.