I've been thinking a lot about who I am and who I want to be. It's the nature of heartache I think. You can't be deeply hurt by someone and remain unchanged. Wounds will eventually heal and scar tissue will grow over previously tender places, but it never really leaves you. I refuse to be defined by the events that have happened to me though. What is more important is how I grow. How I learn. If I can find the strength to let go. To be kind. These are the things that matter to me most.
I can't control the world. I can only control myself.
Someone recently told me that I say "yes" to situations they would never to yes to. It made me think a lot about what that might mean to someone. Why it was seen as a negative trait. I think the fact I am willing to take chances is an admirable quality. Life is a wondrous, and sometimes cruel, gift that I can't help but revel in. Each moment has woven itself into this marvelous tapestry that has taken me to this very instant. How amazing is it that a complete stranger can become a person you can't imagine living without? How heartbreaking is it that that same exact person can then become a stranger again?
It's pure magic.
Everyday we take chances. Everyday we put our faith in people and situations for no rational reason. No one lives a life without saying "yes." To use a few specific choices a person has made in the past in order to judge them disregards the complexity and beauty of living. I have said "yes" to things I've regretted. Of course. I've put my faith in people who ultimately hurt me. But more than that, I have lived. I have experienced moments I never thought possible. I have loved people who I never thought I could love. I have made so many stupid decisions that sometimes I feel like I am going to be crushed under the weight of regret, but by god I tried. I tried and tried and tried.
And I don't regret that.
“Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying “yes” begins things. Saying “yes” is how things grow. Saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “yes'.”
― Stephen ColbertA ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. I may always play the long odds, but I'm okay with my choices. I'm okay being a person who says "yes," even when people can't understand it. I am someone who is vulnerable and brave and I am proud of that. If my recent struggles have taught me anything it's that I am more than okay with going all in, even to walk away with nothing, because it isn't worth anything otherwise.
If you were to list your biggest regret what would it be? Is it too late to change things? I like to think it's never too late.
Say "yes." It's worth it. I promise.