despite the fear, it's still worth it

Have you ever asked yourself, "What would I be doing, how would I be living if I had to answer only to myself?"

What choices would you make if you didn't have to worry about other people's reactions to your decisions? How would you live your life if you were completely free of outside opinions?

...take a minute...Close your eyes and picture your ideal life...

Now, believe that you can do it. I think that we need to start realizing that what we see when we close our eyes and imagine is actually possible, can be reached.

Yes, I agree: it won't be easy. Yes, you're right: people and things and life might get in our way. Yes, you have a point: you might have to work so hard at making your dreams a reality that at times you question if the dream is even worth it, if it isn't easier to just stick with what we know, with the familiar, even if it isn't inspiring.

I say yes to all of those questions. And to the doubts. And to the insecurity. Because I ultimately believe that the things that scare the shit out of us are the things that have the potential to bring magic and joy into our lives.

Last year, after a few months of dating, I realized that I was falling/had fallen in love with Tim. But, I hadn't told him. And he hadn't said those three special words to me either. So, what did I do? I thought about it a lot. Should I say it first? Is it bad to say it first? What if he doesn't feel the same way? What if this ruins everything?

Know what I realized, the conclusion I came to after asking myself all of those questions? I had to be true to my own feelings and tell him how I felt. I realized that I didn't want to be in a relationship with someone I couldn't express myself to. I didn't want to be with someone who I couldn't share my real feelings with. I also realized that my expression of love was something that I had to share, so that it could be celebrated. It was bubbling up inside me to the point that it was going to come out whether I had appropriately analyzed all the possible outcomes or not. And so I said, "I love you." First. And I've never looked back.

But, it was scary. And now that it's over, in hindsight, I can say it was completely worth it. But, what if I had told him how I felt and he had gotten scared and walked away from the relationship? Ultimately, if that was how he felt about love and commitment, it would have been better to find out then rather than now. So, still, despite the less-than-ideal outcome, it would have been worth it.

This is what I remember when I think about being scared of something, wanting to stick with the familiar instead of taking that leap into the unknown. I lept, I chose to take that chance, and I've never looked back.

So, I encourage you to fall into your life. Fall in love with your life, with what you have. And hold onto that ideal you pictured earlier. Take in the scene and notice everything -- what you're wearing, where you are, how you feel. And hold onto that. And know it's possible. You just have to be willing to take those steps.