That’s not a sentiment you encounter every day, for obvious reasons. Heartache sucks. Whether a person has discarded your friendship without a goodbye, broken your trust, romantically broken your heart, or hurt you in some other way, you get that punched-in-the-gut can’t-hardly-breathe sick feeling. Sometimes it hits you hard and passes quickly. Sometimes it sinks in slowly and just about moves in for good.
No matter which way you look at it, it’s not a pleasant situation. It can taint any other goings on in your life and if you let it it can ruin you.
I can’t remember the context of the conversation I was having with people recently when this came into my mind. I believe we were talking about taking chances, and the way my mind works is that I can leap from one idea to ten more in about an eighth of a second and be thinking about something hardly related even in the midst of a conversation. So I think we were talking about doing risky things like bungee jumping and cliff diving, but my mind leaped from taking chances, to taking chances on people, to all the times I’ve taken chances on people and gotten a swift kick in the rear for my trouble. It’s not worth it. I’m done with those risks.
Or so I thought. Perhaps this conversation caught me in an uncharacteristically optimistic mood, or maybe I’m growing up as a person, who knows. (I’m entirely okay with either. Maybe the first is part of the latter.) But I’m not done with those risks because they’re more than worth it.
Yes, I’m young and have yet to spread my fledgling wings. I know that. But it’s surprisingly difficult not to be jaded by the way my short life has unfolded. I struggle with that on the regular. I doubt that’s something I’ll ever get into publicly on this blog, but it’s there. And because of that, a long time ago, I swore off on people. I stopped giving people a chance. Myself included. I got tired of risks, even everyday risks, so I stopped taking them. But that life is boring and bland and empty, and I’m not foolish enough to let myself go down that road forever.
So as my friends and I are in the car having this conversation, and my mind is racing ahead to other things, it hit me. I’ve spent some of the most potential-rich years of my life pausing and waiting and avoiding the risks and the heartache. But I’m ready now. I thought I wasn’t tough enough so I had to hide, but if experience has taught me anything, in truth it is the opposite. I am more than tough enough. I’m here, I’m me, I’ve gotten through shit I shouldn’t have made it through by all accounts. I’m even a little happy. I call that a win.
I realized, while my friends are still chatting away about how risky it is to jump into shallow water, that I am ready. I realized that I can take a little more heartbreak and a little more heartache. I know that it can reap beautiful rewards. And it might take me a little extra pushing of myself to allow myself to take these risks, but I’m taking the risks that are worth it. Because yes, people will wrong me and opportunities will fall through and hearts may be broken, but if it’s in the pursuit of living a full life, then between all the bad will be so much good. So. Much. Good. It’s worth it for that.
So bring on the heartache. I’m tough enough for anything, and I’ll prove it to myself one thing at a time.
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