July 11, 2010

at the crossroads.

Opening your heart is no simple task.  

Being open, after all, means being available, exposed, free---free to discover joy and love and success, of course, but also free to face fear or pain or rejection. 

It's a big gamble, keeping an open heart. A giant risk.
But a closed heart, I think, is an even bigger one.

I'm over a year out of college now and nearly everyone I know--including myself--is standing at some sort of crossroads. There aren't only two choices, either--left or right. No, because that would be too simple, wouldn't it? Instead, most of us are planted at the center of one of those European roundabouts like place d'etoile in Paris, where twelve avenues radiate away from the Arc de Triomphe. 

The world has become one massive choose-your-own-adventure novel, only we can't cheat and read where all the possible roads will take us; the answer isn't as simple as turning the page. There are job prospects and love prospects, the chance to move here or travel there, opportunities knocking and just begging, pleading, daring us to open the door.

And we stand there, skeptical, all of our broken hearts scattered like dried rose petals at our feet. We weigh our every option, wondering all the while whether we would possibly have the strength to rebuild should we fall again.

Because that's the thing---we've been here. We've faced choices before, A vs. B, and made the wrong one. We've opened our hearts to new people, new places and new opportunities only to be hurt or disappointed or refused.

So open doesn't feel so easy.
Open, in fact, feels absolutely terrifying.

Safe, we decide, is closing up shop---curling up in the quietest corners of our hearts, pulling the blanket over our heads, and sinking into what's familiar. Safe is standing still, we think, where nothing and no one can push us. If we're pushed, we could fall.

... but I say---be open. Fall. Flat on your face, nose to the ground. 

Because open is unpredictable and uncertain and the only way to live, the only way that things actually happen... because otherwise, you're just standing at the center of the roundabout watching life and love and all those other knocking possibilities pass you by.


Claire Kiefer said... [Reply to comment]

It's true, being unafraid to mess up is so important. Also: forgiving ourselves when we make mistakes! I am leaving you a bloggy award right now :)

TaperJeanGirrl said... [Reply to comment]

But some of us just can't handle the pain of opening up and falling, over and over again anymore.

Mary Cee said... [Reply to comment]

I love this. Thank you.

Rebecca said... [Reply to comment]

wow i feel this is where i'm at right now. i love this post!

britni @ Antika Moda said... [Reply to comment]

This is so true, what beautiful writing! Life without risks isn't living.

s a m said... [Reply to comment]

oh laura. you never cease to amaze me. the image of the roundabout is perfect.