Opening Up and Taking Risks

No one will tell you that I am a quiet person. I am loud, talkative, and almost always voice my opinion in a conversation. I’m not one to shy away from confrontation, and I am not afraid to say what I am thinking. This can be a good and bad thing. When it comes to politics and religion, my twitter tends to take a beating from Liberals and Atheists. But then it’s a great thing when it comes to friendships because it means we have great communication, and it helps with the whole awkward friend making process.

There’s one topic that I am not so good with opening up about. More-Than-Friend-Relationships. I am pretty darn great at giving ‘relationship advice’ but I am not so good at applying those wise words to my own life.

Yesterday was my 18th birthday. I am a college student now.As I was pondering over what 18 really meant, I asked my sister if I was supposed to start actually going out with people and she replied with “yeah that’s kinda what people your age do.” I realized that I have entered the age where people start dating-dating. Not high school boyfriends and girlfriends, not silly summer flings, but real dating. I know 18 is still young to be in a serious relationship, but I am out in the world now and apparently, that’s what ‘people like me’ do.

So I’ve encountered a dilemma. The thing that I was good at my whole life, and one of the things that make me unique, is now irrelevant. My ability to speak my mind clearly and to communicate my thoughts effectively doesn’t pertain to romantic relationships. I suck at that. And now entering into college I may have to figure out some way to work that out. Who knows, maybe I’ll be single for life and won’t have to worry about relationships, but what happens if I bizarrely somehow get asked out?

I’m cringing while writing this, but today I tried to take my first step in opening up in that way. I told someone in SC that I had liked them when I lived there, and to my absolute astonishment, they told me they liked me too. This wasn’t even the first time this happened. When I left Nicaragua, I told a guy friend that I had liked him, and he told me I should’ve told him because he liked me too. Why can I never learn? I just feel so awkward. I don’t like the butterflies in my stomach and I push them out by convincing myself I’m too annoying and ugly to be loved. I am confident in my faith, political views, friendships, and other opinions, but I can’t be confident in myself. I am confident about what is inside, but I’ve never been able to love who I am on the outside. I never fail to accuse myself of being too stupid, too hideous, too boring, or too anything to be loved. I’ve always waited for other people to make the first move, and that decision has obviously never worked in my favor.

Maybe it is time for me to open up, take a risk, and be honest with the people I care about in more ways than just taking a side in a conversation. Maybe its time that I stop caring about if something is going to embarrass me, and care more about how wonderful it could be if I speak up.

– The Loud Whisperer

 

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