“It’s 2014, Cat. No one’s going to judge you if you’re going to be the first person to move.”
Before anything: This post can really go on and on. You may pick something from it, you also may share your thoughts. Because I may also have the attention span of a talkative 8 year old, I may or may not be able to tie things together. You’re free to critique, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂
Last week I posted a status off one of those Instagram quotes shared by a friend. It said: Torn between “If it’s meant to be, it will be” and “If you want it, go get it.” To which earned me a couple of favorites and retweets (a.k.a. “amen”) and a reply from a good friend: “Always the latter,” he goes. I replied with “Won’t it be too aggressive or ‘pilit’ (forced)?”
Often times, we’re faced with situations where we either blame the stars, Mercury in retrograde, or what have you for things that don’t go as planned. We can also say it’s karma or that it just wasn’t our day. (What ever makes us sleep at night, right?) But for over thinkers like me, there’s always that lingering afterthought that goes: What if I kept going? What if I persisted? What IF I tried again?
What if’s and miracles
The thing with “what if’s” is that you’re never going to be assured that whatever you should have, could have, or would have done is going to end up in your favor. It’s that risk that we MIGHT once again find ourselves at a loss (which obviously no one wants to experience for the nth time) that scares us from persisting.
Countless times have we been reminded that persistence is key and that failure is necessary for us to grow and learn as individuals, but it is also in our culture to believe that something or someone far more powerful and otherworldly has ultimate control of how things transpire. “If it’s not written in the stars, no matter how much we try… it will never happen.” Nothing hurts us as much as knowing we’ve reached a dead end.
The faith in our stars and our destiny also lead us to put a little trust in something less than rational or realistic. The idea of being helpless and hopeless especially to the optimistic almost never comes full circle because at the same time there’s also magic and miracles to believe in. We have countless viral success stories, movies, fairy tales, and the song “Miracles” to thank for that. It is the thinking that there is something pre-destined for us and that our whole life has already been planned ahead of us that make us a little less persistent and a lot more “go with the flow”.
More often than not, this is what I believed in. It’s a lot easier to say that it wasn’t meant for me or that there is really a fault in our stars than to get up, fight and actually do something about it. But you can’t just blame indifference or carelessness, too. When I begin to calculate the risks and think that the outcome may not be worth the effort OR that I will probably have more to lose… I let go of the reins and say, “This is beyond my control. I can’t force it.” Is that wrong?
Applicable to everything, especially love
My mindset when it comes to career opportinities have always been the opposite of what I mentioned. My motto was always: Per aspera, ad astra (Latin for “through hardships, to the stars”). I’ve learned that playing smart, taking risks, calling bluffs, and simply playing your cards right are all pivotal to getting where you want to be. Is that the case when it comes to relationships, too? Is persistency applicable to everything?
To most guys, making the first move is but natural. The ladies have always been the ones waiting. Honestly, things would be a lot easier if we got to the point and told each other up front how we feel about each other and not beat around the bush. Given there’s always things to consider like: (1) he/she isn’t ready yet, (2) he/she has a different love language therefore doesn’t express interest or admiration in the same way you do, or (3) he/she has other options, too… the fact remains that communication is important for us so we don’t waste time, effort, feelings, and move on. (Read: Communication = talking = actual words that come out of the other person’s mouth. Please, never assume!) Don’t you just hate blurred lines?
Yeah, you do.
But you’re also playing it safe, aren’t you?
Those who play it safe have either been hurt really bad before, have a lot of ego and therefore think and believe that they have a lot to lose, or believe a great deal in “meant to be, will be”. It’s empowering to know that it is now socially acceptable that girls make the first move. This change also boosts guys’ egos for sure. (Gwapo mo lang!) But what happens to the girls stuck in the old school habit of courtship? Is merely “settling” what it will come to?
When people let off statements like, “If you really wanted it, why did you let it go that easily?” OR “There’s no harm in being the first person to say something”, I end up being such a hypocrite when I justify where I stand. No longer will you see the “do good, get dirty and fight for what you want” alpha attitude that I have towards my career. Instead, you find a girl who thinks that the only choices she has are the ones spelled out for her. There’s probably room for improvement there.
Maybe my friend was right, maybe it IS the latter. Maybe I should have the same outlook in love and life as in my career. The risks we take are measures of how much we know and believe in ourselves. At the end of the day, all we really lose is time if we keep playing safe (Egos are easier to mend).
Persistence ends when No’s are communicated clearly. You can quote me on that.
P.S. If you like the pictures I shared here, you should follow me on Instagram: @sinosicat!