i've been making some big changes lately. well, more like one big one that has led to lots of little ones. but it started with a big mistake.
a couple weeks ago a good friend of mine came to town. everything started out great - a big group of us went out and he&i had eyes only for each other. but the next day, when i saw how happy he was to see me, i shut down and shut him out. this is pretty standard for me - i figure out what i want, i get really close to it, and then i become overwhelmed by a barrage of "what ifs?" and the potential consequences of honesty. i don't face this paralysis anywhere but in my personal life. it's much easier to keep the things i want at arms-length, but before this, i never realized what that can do to the object of my conditional affection. this time i saw the before&after of my bait&switch, and it affected me viscerally. when i saw how his face changed over 24 hours, from the full-on, eyes locked grin of that morning to the eyes-downcast, half-smile of our goodbye, it finally hit me that my behavior was unacceptable. this time the "what ifs?" in my head were all about him - what if he thought it was his fault? that he'd done something to change my feelings? it kept me awake at night. so, as i worked on a way to make it up to him, the gears in the back of my head were, apparently, churning, steeling my resolve to stop living with this kind of regret.
i've had wake-up calls before, but not like this. this time, at least for now, it seems to have taken. the weeks since have been unlike any others. instead of engaging in my typical two-steps-forward three-steps-back pas de deux, i've shot the liquid courage and taken decisive, unmistakable steps forward. toward the longtime questionmark, toward the bad boy. though these advances have been, to say the least, well-received, that's not really the point. the point is how it's changed the way i feel - there is real power in being forthright about your intentions. POWER. while these things raise as many questions as they answer (that could be because of who i choose, but that's a question for another time), the clarity in having any answers at all is undeniably refreshing. would i be singing a different tune if my advances had been rebuffed? possibly. i like to think not, but who knows? it's also not like i've been taking huge gambles. but i've got to remember how good it feels to actually take action. when you get down to it, making out is a lot more fun than running what-if scenarios all night long.