“I’d rather be the one who loves, than to be loved and never even know.”
~ Josh Ritter
On a school bus driving through the Poudre Canyon in Colorado to see Josh Ritter at the Mishawaka
When you spend over thirty hours in a car with someone, and every waking hour in between, you’re bound to learn something about the other person, and if you do it right, a little something about yourself.
Some time around drive hour 20/song 4,345 on my iPod during our Québec City Adventure, Christina glanced at me and told me I’d make a good truck driver. Why? Because I don’t need a lot of sleep, I can entertain myself for hours, and if I happen to get bored, I can just plug in my music and tirelessly sing along to every song, which is what I was doing loudly at that moment. She had a point. Well this is a career I had never contemplated…until now.
Before I could get lost in my daydream about me and my fictional trucker dog Freddie Mercury making waves in the international trucking world, Christina asked me a question that abruptly changed the course of my thoughts.
“Have you ever not pursued someone you wish you would have?”
I thought silently for a few moments, already knowing the answer.
I remember watching soap operas with my mom when I was younger and experiencing major frustration with the idiocy of main characters for everything that happened. OMG. Just tell him you love him! He loves you too! I heard him tell that other girl! Wait, SERIOUSLY!!??! None of this would be happening if you would just TALK TO EACH OTHER. BE HONEST. Oh, for crying out loud. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!
Maybe those incredibly stupid soap operas taught me something. I am very open with my feelings. I don’t play games; I don’t lie about how I feel. If anything, I am probably too honest. I’m an over-sharer, I wear my heart on my sleeve, and that goes both ways. If I love you, I will tell you. If I am over it, I will tell you. I have been pigeonholed as a sort of a heartless man-eater in the past because of this, which is the furthest thing from what I am. The problem with me is you will always know what I am feeling because I cannot fake it. I dive in 100%. And when it’s over, I dive out 100%. Other people take time to process their feelings. I get in the shower, a thought hits me, I get out of the shower and tell my boyfriend that I can’t move in with him, and actually, I don’t think we should date anymore either. I don’t drag things on, because in the end, that spares no one’s feelings.
(Side note, this same ex-bf actually sent me a FB message a few years later thanking me for my honesty and abrupt break-up method. He was going through some weird messy engagement breakup full of dishonest sketchiness, and he said he appreciated the fact that I never pretended or sugarcoated anything. While he didn’t agree with me then, I didn’t yank him around. I felt strangely vindicated.)
So no. I have never not pursued someone I wish I would have. Am I too aggressive? Too persistent? Some people definitely think so, but others find me refreshing. Maybe some mysteriousness would do me some good, but that’s just not my jam. I can’t help but pursue those I have strong feelings for, because I believe in my feelings. What’s the worst that could happen? Rejection. Have I been rejected before? Embarrassingly often. But to me, that’s better than thinking about the What If’s or watching as someone you care about walks off into the sunset with someone else. I’d rather have it not work out or be rejected than not express my feelings. I’d rather know I did what I could. I’d rather fail than not try at all. I just don’t think I could ever move on if I didn’t.
If I am not with the person I want to be with, it will never be because I haven’t told them how I feel.