Home > advice -- not that you asked > Love and Risk are Nothing More than What You Dare

Love and Risk are Nothing More than What You Dare


When my first instinct is to run, I do the opposite. When fear creeps in, seizing my heart, causing it to sputter and panic in my chest – I stop and breathe. Fear is, generally speaking, no one’s friend. And while I have walls like everyone else, sometimes the walls come down. Sometimes, the lines are crossed, crossed again, and then erased with an unquestionable necessity. If I decide someone, or something, is worth it – I don’t know how to back down. I don’t know how to give up. I don’t know how to walk away. And even if I did, I wouldn’t want to. No matter how terrifying. No matter how scary. Not matter how uncertain the world suddenly seems.

As a writer, and someone who studied writing, I know that everything means something. There is no neutral word. The world is full to the brim with meaning. How we choose, or are able, to interpret that meaning depends entirely upon our outlook, experiences, and hearts. When studying literature, we’re taught to read closely (ie pay attention to the words). This is also a valuable thing for life, to not only pay attention to the words we hear, but the tone as well. That is how meaning is discovered and offered.

So, it shouldn’t come as a shock that I do not speak without purpose. I can be the quietest person you’ve ever met or the loudest, silliest clown. Sometimes, I stumble and fumble with the words. I say them anyway, even if they are not easily spoken. Even if they are fragile. Even if they are frightening. Because at the end of the day, I’d rather be honest than not. I’d rather strip everything away and be foolish, than to wonder what-if or maybe.

There is nothing noble or beautiful about maybe. It is a caterpillar that will never be a butterfly, daydreaming about the moment it gets its wings. I think that the worst thing you can do is promise something, only to take it away. To offer a butterfly, when there is none. Which is, I suppose, why I go to great lengths to attempt clarity. To say I like you or I care about you or You are important to me. Because, as hard as it can be, I want to remove all sense of doubt. It doesn’t matter if you are a friend or more, I want you to know. Because, let’s face it: life is full of confusion. If we can cut that down, why not?

There are moments in our lives where we have to take risks. We have to try, because doing otherwise is a kind of death. Because staying still and small might be easier, but it’s not better and it won’t lead to happiness. Taking a leap, making a change? It’s scary. Anyone who tells you differently has either never taken a real risk or is possibly a sociopath. Either way, not good. But (to paraphrase Nin) when the day comes (and it does – it always does) when the “risk to remain tight in a bud [is] more painful than the risk it [takes] to blossom,” bloom. Don’t hesitate. Don’t run. Don’t cave in to your weaker self, rife with insecurity and doubt.

Bloom. Leap. Love. Promise. Ask. Try. Create. Sing. Dance. Whatever it is, do it. Offer it. Ask it. It might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but the hardest things are often the best things. Only those who dare to reach for what they want and need –run the miraculous risk of actually getting it. Only those who put on armor or take it off – either to engage in that much needed battle or to surrender to themselves in a moment of perfect vulnerability – can grow and gain. Because we either fight for what we need, despite the difficulties, or we give it up. Because we either expose our hearts and ourselves, or we shut them in the dark where they inevitable diminish. What – or who – we fight for is never an idle thing. Our dreams. Our hopes. Our possibilities. They are all stitched into the lining of our souls. It is not an easy thing to recognize, but often when the day is done, and the sky is painted brilliantly, we know what we want. We know, even if it’s hard to admit.

When night falls, and the world is covered in blue, remember that the stars come out. Everything, then, is possible. Everything is waiting for the right cue, the right moment, the yes that has lingered and waited. At the end of it, the sun rises again, and possibilities becomes realities. That is what is hope is. That is what happens when you dare to believe.

“She seems so cool, so focused, so quiet, yet her eyes remain fixed upon the horizon. You think you know all there is to know about her immediately upon meeting her, but everything you think you know is wrong. Passion flows through her like a river of blood.

She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrows start here.”

Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things

“Because,’ she said, ‘when you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.”
Neil Gaiman, Coraline

  1. September 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I couldn’t agree more m’dear. When we want and/or need something, we must fight for it. Things aren’t going to just magically happen without any effort or initiative on our part, however scary it might be. Beautiful post, as always.

  2. September 10, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I ❤ this so much 🙂

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