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a mad masterpiece


Sometimes, we just need to say things out loud. There’s a power in it, but not one of pride or manipulation. It’s freeing to be honest, without expectation. To simply speak the truth, because it’s the truth. Because it’s what you feel. As you learn somewhere after the age of five, not saying something doesn’t make it less true.

As we grow up, we learn to hold a lot in – to keep a lot back. Part of it is probably self-preservation. But a big part – perhaps a large part – is fear. Fear will kill everything, always. We are afraid of the dark, so we keep the lights on. We are afraid of heights, so we stay on the ground. We are afraid of getting hurt, so we run. Intellectually, we may know that there’s nothing in the dark but darkness, that being up high doesn’t mean you’re going to fall, and running away never solves anything. But when fear starts to dictate your actions, you stop thinking reasonably. You stop thinking about all the ways you’re closing yourself off.

I once explained to a friend that I am all heart and no sense. It’s a phrase that I find creeping into my writing, although not intentionally. But it is true. I’m 95% emotions. The other 5% varies depending on the situation. I feel something, and I follow through. I don’t know any other way to be. But after talking to an extremely dear friend tonight (you know who you are!), I started to think about the things that I regret, and I know without hesitation that each one is something I’ve held back. Something I haven’t said. A conversation that I always expected to happen, but never materialized. At least one of those conversations can never, ever happen now. And that’s on me.

But life is a funny, epically weird, nonsensical, short, mad masterpiece. If there is ONE thing I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that things should be said when they’re felt. It doesn’t matter what happens. It doesn’t matter what the fallout is. It doesn’t matter if it all explodes. Because chances aren’t something you buy at the grocery store. You won’t find them in the aisle marked OPPORTUNITY.

Too often, we wait for the right time to say something. The perfect moment. A good time. But the truth is, there is no right moment. There is no good time. It’s a myth. It’s an excuse. It’s a way to put things off. Oh, this isn’t a good idea right now… It’ll be better to wait a week. I should let the holidays go by first. It’ll be easier after [whatever].

All of that is pure and simple horseshit. Steaming horseshit. (Because it’s, you know, fresh. You’re welcome for that image.) Those statements are things we use to keep ourselves from taking a risk. Because we’re scared. Because being brave isn’t easy. Because change isn’t easy. Because truth isn’t easy. But that doesn’t mean those things are important. Without bravery, change, and truth – who are we? And what is our life?

I am not a naturally brave person. I hate confrontation. I do not like uncertainty. But I hurl myself out there, because I’d rather look the fool than wonder. I’d rather be brave, instead of small. I would rather say the things that are true, simply because they are true. No agenda. No ulterior motive. Just honesty.

I don’t want to fall. I want to fly. But the only way to find out is to jump.

  1. December 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I so love your honesty, Ali. And I especially love the last part of this blog. I’m so passive aggressive, and taking risks are hard. But I do it. I force myself because in the end, you have to risk to live. And now I’m just belching nonsense. Ignore me. XO.

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