Monday, August 13, 2012


Bravery can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. It can be rock climbing, extreme surfing, or jumping off some sort of tall thing onto a surface that will hurt like unbearably or break both of your legs if you jump wrong. It can be standing up to a friend, or taking that 11th shot of tequila, or putting your own life on the line for someone else. It can be going to a party by yourself, telling off a bully, making a sacrifice, or doing something you just don't want to do. It can also be an act of complete, bone-deep, nauseating honesty. And not "no, those jeans actually make you look fat, not PHAT" honest. I mean, "hey, this is what I feel and what I think, and I'm telling you because I want to see how you feel too" honest. That type of bravery is a whole other level of crazy, and 9 times out of 10, I run as fast as I can away from it.

Honesty becomes bravery when you have to figure out if your feelings match up with those of the someone you care about, or want to care about. I mean, let's just be truthful here. Is there anything more terrifying than going up to that person you like (or just thinking about going up to that person) and being all 'heyyyyyy....sooooooo....
yeahhhhhhhh *insert feelings*'. You don't know how they're going to respond. I mean, I imagine that others don't have the same awkward seizures I do when confronted with the objects of their affections, but either way, that stuff's terrifying. My personal favorite technique (and the one I have used so far on all the guys I've emotion-bombed) is to kind of side crab step up to them, blink a lot, and ask them in a painfully squeaky voice if maybe they have feelings for me because I like them lol this is so awkward is it hot in here? *pass out*.
Apart from the circumstances you have to go through to meet someone (that's a whole different conversation for another time), it's exhausting to get all your thoughts lined up with someone else. You want an emotional connection, the person you're talking to wants everything but. Or, on the opposite side, you're looking for something temporary and physical, and the person you're with is all like "yes, marriage and kids. I"m ready now. And have we discussed china patterns yet?" All of my guy interactions as of late have been a vortex of "here's where I am, but clearly we're not even close to the same wavelength". I recently went on a date where the guy seemed nice, but I was definitely not into him, and it showed as dinner progressed. However, somewhere after the bill had been paid and we were heading to the next location, he was throwing around the "L" word and asking when he could see me again to plan out "the next step of our relationship". While this conversation happened, I was trying to delicately and ever-so-politely claw my way out of the car to find the safest (and farthest) location away. While at a bar last week, I started talking to a guy, and  when I thought maybe there would be a little smooching, a little cuddling, whatever, there instead ended up being a literal 3 hour conversation regarding (I kid you not) the sociology of sexuality, the perception of homosexuality in the Brazilian military, and whether or not in my medical opinion, he should have the metal rod in his leg checked out. (For the record, I told him that yes, he should get more XRAY's). I mean, I'm all for a guy not being attracted, but must we discuss the TLC network (the blandest and least attractive TV channel in all the land) to prove the point? Even the most basic of statements can come with 10 different meanings. While I was talking with aforementioned metal-rod guy, he paused in our riveting discussion regarding international business policies to let me know that I was 'hot'. I'm all thinking 'yessss, we're finally connecting, work it girrrrrrl'. I then responded with a flirtatious and coy "oh yeah?", while channeling my inner Victoria's Secret Model. He responded with "umm, I mean, your skin is hot. Like sunburnt". Well...this is uncomfortable. At least I tried. 

Sometimes I wish it was more like the 18th century. That way, I could have gentleman callers, twirl a parasol, and giggle girlishly behind a fan. I'd have a fainting couch and smelling salts, and I would blush prettily at the mention of an exposed wrist. Apart from the fact that I'd lose all rights to vote/think/be independent, at least "courting" would be easier. A gentleman in gloves and buckled shoes would come to my home, ask my father for my hand, and after several uncomfortable social gatherings discussing the weather, we would be married. Boom. No having to read between the lines, no having to guess what the other person is thinking, and no having to endlessly obsess over what I'm saying/doing. I'd only be as attractive as my dowry and my corset size. Most of all, I wouldn't have to be brave, because I wouldn't have to try and put myself out there.

In reality, I'm COMPLETELY teasing about the whole 18th-century thing. Overall, though, it is pretty amazing that anyone ever gets together with anyone else at all, if you think about how scared we are most of the time. I currently have feelings for a guy I know, and I am ten types of terrified to tell him how I feel. I know that the worst thing that could happen would only be him saying "no thanks", but still. I'm pretty sure that if/when I try to tell him, I'll likely pass out mid-speech and concuss myself. Also, another thought: imagine how many relationships are waiting to happen right now, but aren't because most people are too scared to just say "I like you. This is how I feel. Do you feel the same?". Imagine how much more we'd get in life if we were just brave and honest and told people what we wanted. 

We all know those oft-repeated sayings in life, where blah blah blah, the only things that are worth it are the things you have to work hard/try for, blah blah blah (go to Pinterest, they'll show you a pin with this statement in a fancy font and some sort of inspirational Mason jar). I guess those sayings apply here too, because this type of honesty is hard work. In the end, maybe the first person you're really honest towards isn't The One, or even someone you should be with. But telling someone how you feel seems like good practice to me for the real thing, when you really need it. And after all, bravery isn't being fearless. It's being mind-crippling and body-paralyzing scared, but still going for it anyway, right? :)

1 comment:

  1. The second to last paragraph nailed it.