I'm pretty sure that every single time I've posted a Facebook status that's along the lines of "Life is short. Never miss an opportunity to tell somebody how you feel about them," I've been secretly hoping that my phone will light-up instantly with a proclamation of love from the man of my dreams.
Because I am (and maybe we all are) by nature, extremely impatient.
Because it's hard to understand how we can afford to keep things bottled-up inside when our whole lives can end so suddenly.
But let's be honest here. How often do I come out and tell someone how I'm feeling right there in the moment I'm feeling it?
I'm more of a let-me-imply-my-feelings-over-a-several-month-text-message-exchange type of girl. Which, frankly, sucks.
Because it means I'm not allowed to complain about such frustrations as the anxiety of being unable to know what's on everyone else's mind when I'm not sharing what's on mine.
I am, however, allowed to read into every single piece of communication to create an elaborate picture of the mindscape of others- a picture that inevitably turns out to be miles from the truth.
From the picture I've painted of myself over the last year of blogging, I'm sure you're all confident that you know what I'm referring to: that the world needs to invoke a "must fess-up policy" for crushes.
But what I'm actually talking about is something more than that. Something that encompasses the entire spectrum of emotions.
Because it's not just love that we forget to share. It's anger, too. And it's laughter and it's tears and it's ticklishness.
I like to refer to myself as "non-confrontational," and to me, that has always meant that I will avoid conflict at any cost.
But I think I'm beginning to realize that what I really am is an emotion-avoider. I'll spill out my feelings all over a blog post or to my mom on the phone (which hardly counts as a normal interaction because she literally can't be surprised at this point), but I run like crazy away from situations that require face-to-face, nitty-gritty, heart-to-heart talk.
Because I get scared.
Always considered a perceptive person, I'm scared that I will have entirely misread a situation. I don't want to know that my friend always secretly hated the way I never made her a trophy when she successfully crossed the monkey bars. Or that my dad is getting more and more worried about my grad school plans.
I just want to be proven right when I think that you've missed me just as much as I've missed you.
But somewhere inside, we all know that a situation is never quite how it appears.
And that's why we may never be able to actually say just what's on our mind at any given moment.
So if you stuck with me through this frantic post, let me just ask you one thing: how will we ever break this cycle of confusion?
Okay, okay, maybe I don't need to ask you. Because I've already found the solution, at least for myself.
Stop pretending to have the world figured out.
Sure, I am very good at reading the nonverbal cues of how the people around me are reacting to a particular interaction. But that does not mean I am some kind of licensed master of future affairs. The fact of the matter is that we will never be able to fully understand people who are not ourselves, so we need to stop trying.
So allow me to offer you a revised quote. One that I promise to be offering with a clear conscious:
Life is short. Don't ever miss an opportunity to let people surprise you.
Peace, love and perpetual confusion,