Ethan asked me out a few months after I had met him. He was funny, tried to act like he was a big deal, and wore a ridiculous headband in his overgrown hair.
I said no thanks.
True to his spirit, he stubbornly asked me out again a few weeks later, somehow mustering up the courage to still hang out with me (perhaps it helped that we were forced to see each other, as we worked together).
I said no thanks again.
Now I’m married to the guy and have a little kid that looks just like him.
For a long time, before I met my husband, I tried to be okay with myself. My self. Just me. It was a scary notion. After a series of long, pointless relationships and “hanging out but not together-ness” with guys who needed an emotional punching bag, I was tired of dating. The focus, I decided, should be on me getting where I wanted to go. Achieving my goals. Helping others along the way. Putting my heart into my students, not an immature college kid. So I focused on my courses. I worked three jobs at once. I ran my first half marathon, cooked for myself, and poured my extra change into spoiling the kids in the classroom I worked in. And I was decently happy.
Senior year- Enter Ethan, who just wouldn’t leave me alone.
The annoying thing about love is that it is always a choice.
When you love someone, I think it’s a decision you make. Some people might argue this, but I think you either want to or you don’t. Now, you can’t fake it – you can’t deny yourself what you actually want, but I happen to believe that there is a moment you subconsciously decide to like somebody. I wanted to fight it. I wanted to be by myself, to focus on me. I wanted to wait until I met the very handsome quarterback on our university’s football team and have him ask me out by re-creating the flash mob in Friends with Benefits. In front of me was a person who had asked me out three times, who I was sick of hearing talk about math problems, who drove me completely crazy, and who I wanted to spend all day talking with, every day.
What did I want?
Well, you know how it ends, because here I am.
Love requires risks. It demands you put your heart into the world and trust someone to keep it. If it’s safe, if you’re not scared at first, it’s not the kind of love that you’ll stay committed to. You have to close your eyes and just say yes.
“The power is YOURS!”
(Yep, that was definitely a Captain Planet quote. That little line of awkwardness is my Valentine to you.)
When it comes to love- love of family, friends, cats, sons, or boyfriends or whoever- you get to choose. You can watch your own back, or you could watch someone else’s. You could worry about your dreams, or make new dreams with someone else. You’ll get hurt at some point, it’s just inevitable. You decide if it’s worth the risk.
Choose wisely! Or you’ll end up like me!
(Just kidding. I have destroyed the headband, so it’s not so bad anymore.)