Just Tell Me How You Feel

While it’s true that I have constructed entire worlds of what you might be thinking, alternate universes in which I control the passage of time and the sentiments of others like puppets on a string, I now only want the truth. While it is pleasant to build a fantasy, to tend to it as one might a beloved garden, it is exhausting when continually compared to the barren silence of reality. Life makes a mockery of everything that happens in my mind, reminds me how little I am actually in command. In my world, you tell me everything I want to hear, mirror every sentiment I am constantly on the verge of shouting at the top of my lungs when we carry on an otherwise stilted conversation — but we are not in my world.

Living in doubt can be addictive, it can give a sense of burning hopefulness that, as long as it is not extinguished completely, can sustain someone for years on end. Sure, you’ll only be living a half-life of possibility and delayed gratification, but you’ll be alive. For someone in the throes of a heady relationship with doubt, almost anything is worth keeping the possibility alive. To know would bring closure and, though it could be positive, it risks bringing an end to the fantasies you’ve been entertaining for so long. Why take the risk, the plunge, when you could remain perfectly neutral in limbo for eternity?

At a certain point, the desire to find out begins to burn away at the edges of your soft, cushy cloud of doubt. You have surrounded yourself in the warm, familiar, unchallenging fluff of not knowing, but such complacency can’t sustain the human spirit. You may be able to drag yourself out for years without asking, but eventually the need for certainty comes to us all. The questions start coming at you from all sides, ringing in your ears, egging you on to finally pick yourself up and confront reality. For so long, I waited. I was happy to be ignorant, able to be in love with the possibility of you, if not you as a whole. It was safer that way, less demanding, less threatening. Even if there was no reward, there was no risk.

The time has come, though, where I have put aside my fantasies. I have packed them all up neatly and kissed them goodnight for the last time, said no even when they were clinging to the hem of my skirt. It simply isn’t healthy to live in a world where I don’t know where I stand, where I am constantly running the risk of making a fool of myself. I want to hear what you have to say, even if a small part of me doesn’t. It could be that I’ve been living in denial for so long and it was painfully obvious to everyone but me, but that’s something that I’ve always, in some way, suspected.

So tell me. Even if the words splash across my face like acid, burning my skin with their finality — I want to feel them. I want to bathe in rejection, if rejection is what awaits me. Yes, I may look at the ground while you talk to me, I may be unable to accept everything that is falling down around me eye-to-eye. But I will be taking it in, finally becoming big enough to live in reality. I would choose a reality of disappointment than a life of insecurity. Being unsure is cheap, it costs nothing, it puts nothing on the table. You deserve my whole self out there, naked, unafraid of the repercussions. And even if your words are a soft, embarrassed “cover yourself up,” I want to hear them.

There is, of course, the chance that you may feel the same way I do — the way I’ve always imagined you have. We could ride off into some technicolor sunset of perfectly matched sentiments and open, continual communication. I may never doubt again — it could be perfect. But I won’t get myself too wrapped up in the possibility, even if it is the most beautiful one I can imagine. Because I know what it feels like to cling, white-knuckled, onto hope, and I am ready to open my hands. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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