Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I'd rather be vulnerable than have regrets.

[Germany, August 2011.]
Right now my mama is flying across the big Atlantic to see me. All.by.herself! That's a big deal for her! I'm so proud -- and so thankful she's making the journey to visit. Now I know what she and my dad mean when they get "nervous" about me traveling. My heart is in my throat, my nerves are chattering as I think and pray that everything's going well on the trip. I hope people are nice to her. I hope she doesn't get lost. I hope she is having a good time.

At long last I get what my parents are feeling.

And I have to admit, they are troopers. With the amount of times I've called home sobbing about something, I'm surprised they haven't finally said "ENOUGH."

Instead they do what I feel they've allowed me to do since I was a wee babe.

They encourage me, trust me, simply let me be me.

In my life I've flown abroad eight times (with who knows how many connections and layovers). Seven of those times have been alone. I've taken more overnight trains, buses, subways, and boat rides than I can count. Not all by myself. But most with friends I've made along the way. I've only ever felt legitimately scared on two occasions. Thank goodness.

I wouldn't go as far as to say I'm an "explorer" of the world, rather, I can't seem to keep my feet in one place for an extended period of time. I attribute it to the fact I haven't yet found "my place," found my "aha, this is what and where I am meant to be for my life." (That's a bit exaggerated, but hopefully it makes even a tiny bit of sense... I keep getting side-tracked thinking about my mom...)

I would say it's because even though I'm terrified of being vulnerable, I am always drawn to be exactly that; Heart on my sleeve, take it or leave it, here I am, vulnerable.

Especially when it comes to love.

First I must confess that I am a letter writer. I love finding the perfect card and filling up all of its flaps with words. Letters to professors who've inspired, friends who've listened, doctor's who have helped, an ex after our breakup--I have this need to express how they have affected my life, and show my gratitude and perspective.

A few weeks ago, on one of the hardest of nights post-breakup, I began thinking about what I would tell him if I were completely honest. I told my friend JP about it and he asked what I would say. As I typed it all out, I began realizing things I hadn't consciously considered. It was eye-opening, therapeutic in a way.

JP said I had to tell him what I said.

I said maybe.

In the hub-bub of life and distance I wasn't in much of a position to tell him this all in person. And over the telephone is just not my style. So, in very 21st Century fashion, I private messaged him on Facebook and, after carefully crafting what tone and words to use, I hit send.

Then I threw up.

It was like handing him my heart and letting him have it on loan until he made a decision.

This is what I knew: I shouldn't expect a response. If it went viral on Buzzfeed with OMG and LOL badges, my friend Gabby said she'd still be my friend. But most importantly, I knew I had done all I could. It was out of my hands.

I received a kind reply. As kind as a rejection reply can be. 

But I didn't throw up. 

I was at peace. I was relieved.

I did all that I could do. 

I said everything I wanted, needed him to know.

And most surprisingly, I'm here to tell the tale. 

I survived and I have absolutely no regrets. 


That's how I hope to live my life, after all -- don't we all?
With no regrets.


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So no matter where I am in the world, what adventure I'm seeking, or the people I'm meeting, my parents have let me live it all though knowing I am a sensitive soul with a heart I wear right out there for the world to see---or write about on this blog...

...Then they comfort me when my heart gets soggy and they celebrate with me when it soars. But they let me live my life how I want to.


If that's not love, I don't know what is.



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8 comments:

  1. beautiful beautiful. describes the way i feel a lot of the time/ i often have to express how i feel in writing too xxx

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  2. I love this. Way to be brave, girl! It's not always easy, but it's so important for closure. You are lucky to have so many supportive people in your life!

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  3. Brave, brave girl. I'm proud of you. Not all of us can express what's on our mind, even in writings & not in person. And now it's all downhill from here, right? ;)

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  4. You are so brave. I couldn't do this- I would love to, but I couldn't. Oh, boys are so difficult aren't they? It's true though- putting ourselves out there genuinely feels like we will physically actually die if we say what we think. I'm not surprised you threw up. xx

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  5. i really love this. in six weeks, ill be leaving home for two months to live in a foreign country to study and work. i've never done anything this scary before and i'm not going to lie when i say that more then a few tears have been shed over this. but i'm excited, and knowing people (like you) who have done this before and been fine makes it a little easier!

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  6. I love this post. I'm trying to teach myself to put myself out there and love with my heart on my sleeve. Enjoy your time with your mum, it's always so exciting when parent's go on big adventures, I think! xxx

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  7. no matter what the reply is i think it's so important to say everything you need to say. the biggest regret i've had is keeping my mouth shut and not saying anything when my heart was breaking... would have made things a lot better and would have had closure.

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