I think sometimes we all need to be more like Pepé Le Pew.
Well, in at least one way, anyway.
When I was a teenager—and continuing into when I was in my 20s—whenever I had crushes on or more serious feelings for guys, I did everything I could to keep those feelings to myself and not let those guys have any clue how I felt. You know where that got me? Thirty-two and dateless. I’m not saying all of those guys would have gone out with me, but I’ll never actually know.
Because I was silent.
I don’t think I’m completely alone in this type of behavior. Sure, maybe it’s more prevalent in some teenage girls, and perhaps not all people go to the same measures I did to ensure all of my feelings were kept secret, but I think we have a lot of work to do when it comes to being more open with one another regarding to matters of the heart.
Because people deserve more than silence.
There was a guy I fell for years ago and continued to have feelings for him for way longer than I wanted. You know what I did about those feelings? I covered them with jokes and the appearance that I wanted nothing more than friendship. Even when we spent time together just the two of us, I let a countless amount of opportunities slip through my hands when I could have put on my big-girl-courage pants and said something.
But, instead, I was silent.
I don’t like to have regrets in life, because I know that things are the way they are and happen the way they do for intentional reasons, but I have to admit that I can think back to a number of situations in which I bit my tongue when I wish I would have shared my heart. But I was scared. Honestly, though, what’s the fear? Rejection? Sure. Hurt? Absolutely. Awkwardness? You bet. Maybe it’s a hesitation to ruin a friendship—but can’t a true friendship withstand something like feelings? Saying what’s on your heart is definitely not easy, and you don’t necessarily know what will happen when you do.
But some risks are truly worth whatever ensues.
I think honesty should be a more common theme, even when it’s not for bravely saying “yes”; sometimes it means bravely saying “no.” I’ve seen many situations in which at least one person in a potential relationship is vague and leaves the other person playing a guessing game. If you’re not interested in someone, it’s better to let that person know rather than dragging things on. If you do feel the same way but maybe aren’t in a period in your life when you can pursue that relationship, what’s the harm in being honest about that? If it hurts the other person a little to do so, it’s likely a lot less painful than prolonging the inevitable and causing more heartache later. I’ve been on that other side of wondering how someone who won’t say anything feels, and it’s really frustrating. And annoying. And hurtful. And confusing.
I don’t believe we should all chase people like Pepé Le Pew does when they clearly don’t want to be chased, but I think his transparency is admirable. He loves someone, and he’s not afraid to let the world know. Why is it such a challenge for us to share our hearts? Why do so many of us feel the need to be so guarded?
In a world full of noise, why is there so much silence?
I’ve mentioned before that when I was in high school, there was an Avril Lavigne song called “Things I’ll Never Say” that I related to so well.
I’m staring at my feet
My cheeks are turning red
I’m searching for the words inside my head
‘Cause I’m feeling nervous
Trying to be so perfect
‘Cause I know you’re worth it
And then she goes on to list all of the things she wants to say but never will. That’s typically been me: I definitely still blush around the fellas who give me butterflies, and I used to never be able to muster up the gusto to look someone in the eyes and say what I really wanted to say. Somewhere along the lines, I realized I can’t be that girl anymore. I’m never going to be perfect, and I shouldn’t have to try to for someone. I’ve faced rejection before, and I’m still here. I’ve had my heart broken, and I didn’t completely crumble. I don’t want to be afraid to share my hopes and feelings when I need to.
And I don’t want to be silent when my heart has something to say.