i stopped writing about love and relationships the day i realized i suck at it. but people still told me i gave good advice. so probably the issue was with the writing. so here goes, a post about putting your heart out there…
a lot of our teenage years are spent in nursing broken hearts and asking the question “why me?” over and over again; listening to inspirational quotes that tell you that a better question is “why not me”; listening to songs that describe your situation to the dot and make you feel you are not alone (the same songs make you want to laugh at yourself later on in life). we spend our time crying over shoulders of best friends, who interestingly do not seem to be undergoing any similar turmoil and without giving any advice whatsoever, seem to be the best counselors. in our opinions, the same best friends should charge for their services and then we take credit for the career path we have unknowingly discovered for them.
while i had my own share of crushes and heartbreaks, i belonged to the “friend” category. the friend that listened and was the unpaid school counselor. owing to my own aforementioned “share”, I was well aware of the fears and consequences of putting your heart “out there”. so i always gave the same advice “forget him/her, there will be others… and you should always consider the ones who approach you, not the other way round”. this worked well, as this is what the sufferer already knew, but wanted to hear from someone else. in return, i got hugs, a wet shoulder, and the proud glow that comes only after giving completely selfless good advice. some had the question, “why do you cry so much, when you seem to have all the answers?” to which i never responded that i cried (a lot! but not always due to aforementioned reasons) because there were things that i knew, but i too wanted to hear from someone else’s mouth…
as i grew older and wiser (…?), i felt “forget him/her” was probably not the right thing to say. there is still the fear of rejection, utter humiliation, terrible embarrassment, and image of the friends’ circle of your crush pointing fingers and laughing at you (deterred yet?). and why give way to oodles and oodles of regret and thoughts of turning back time?
but a worse regret is finding out months or years later that your cowardice was your biggest foe. you find out that the person you were interested in was also interested in you, but was, much like you, too much of a coward to admit it (and cowardice something you both have in common, amongst other things!). what then? your thoughts get consumed on the lines of “what could have been” and “if only” and there you are, wanting to turn back time again. while what is said can never be taken back, in the future, you can still laugh about that one goofy crush you asked out. but what you don’t say will eat you up from the inside, day in and day out, till you are a living, breathing, walking ball of misery. while you know the outcome of what is said (or asked, depending on the context), the unpredictability of what is not said (or asked) is just too much anxiety for one to bear.
so go out there and put your heart out. think of what’s the worst that could happen. rejection, and maybe a lot of laughter from behind. but there’s also a chance of something good happening. so why be pessimistic always? don’t think about the future (immediate or far off future). what matters is the answer of the present. knowing where you stand is always better than trying to find an answer in your own thoughts. if you ask, you might get it. if you don’t, you’ll never know.