In the second week of April, I wrote the following words:
I'm not the most emotionally available person I know. I'm so used to repressing my own emotions that I'm oftentimes left feeling numb and vacant, but something happened to me recently where I felt that begin to change...I met this guy.
I know...cliché, but give me a second to explain. I haven't quite figured out how I feel about this change; I don't know if I prefer having these feelings to the nothingness it supplanted. Because while the nothingness is unbearable, at least it's safe. It can't get any worse than it already is. That's not the case with feelings. Feelings are turbulent and polarizing. They climb so high and drop so low and I haven't figured out if the pain and pleasure is worth the madness.
I've spent my whole life being assailed by the significance of romantic love in every great work of art, but I've yet to experience this feeling myself. And while I can admit I do have a bit of FOMO, I'm not sure that really I want to. Perhaps my hesitancy is derived entirely from my self-proclaimed fear of commitment and perhaps my fear of commitment is nothing more than a fear of rejection. Is the thought of opening up to someone only to be left in the dust the real reason why I perpetuate this narrative for myself. Do I spew bullshit lines like I'm not looking for anything serious right now as an excuse to avoid any meaningful interactions or do I just say them because I don't want to get beaten to the punch? All I really know is that the more I open up, the more it hurts and the more my fears intensify.
Nobody wants to be rejected, or hurt or abandoned, but doesn't everyone say that the best things in life are on the other side of fear? It's why we're thrill-seekers, why we love roller coasters, and why we jump out of planes. Because there's no sensation like that of falling; it's the uncertainty. You can fall and land safely or you can just fall. And when you land on your ass it'll hurt like a bitch, but you'll get up knowing that at least you had the guts to leap at all.
I think I'd rather be brave than cowardly. I'm not going to shut down or run away because it's easier. I have never come this close before and it's good and I don't want to let this pass without saying how I feel like I always have. I want to say that if you want to fall, I will cushion your landing. Ideally, you'd respond in a similar fashion and I'd be safe to jump, but you may not. If you don't, take solace in the fact that someone wanted to love you. It doesn't come around that often.
I sit here now, at the end of this relationship, knowing that while I let my feet dangle off the cliff's edge, I never let myself jump. And for good reason. It's like my subconscious knew what my body and heart didn't; that I deserve better. I spent 4 months giving everything to someone who gave me so little in return, but I don't regret it. In a way, I'm thankful to him. He showed me what I'm capable of giving and I shouldn't accept anything less than my efforts being reciprocated. Maybe next time the person I'm with will let me fall and catch me when I get there, but for now all I can do is pick myself back up and wait for the bruises to heal.
...And just to answer the question proposed in the title, if you have the opportunity, choose to be brave; choose to fall. They always say it's better to have loved and lost than to never love at all. I still don't know, but I can continue to hope.