I get it, we all want protection. We all want to feel safe, to be away from any form of danger. We want security, we want to feel protected. Because the thought of losing is just too much for some of us. Losing something stings. But what is worse? Losing something you once had? Or losing something that was never yours?
[Cue scenario] You are walking along the streets one day and you pass a pet store. In the store, a really cute, fluffy, white-as-snow rabbit caught your eye. You look into its eyes and instantly fell in love. You tap on the window and it began thumping its foot in excitement. Since that day, you never fail to visit the little rabbit. You swore to yourself that you would bring it home one day. You feel all warm and fuzzy over the thought of finally having a companion, all to yourself. Every day you look forward to seeing it. One day, you went back to the store and it was gone. Someone else bought it. Someone else beat you to it. And there was nothing you could feel other than a heavy tug of your heart, and all the ‘could-have-beens’ that accompanied it. You feel a deep sense of loss, a loss for something you never had; and regret for never taking action.
This is a feeling most of us would have experienced at least once in our lives. When something good comes and we revel over its existence just until it disappears.
I never knew losing something or someone who could’ve been important to me stung so bad. You see, we could’ve shared a wonderful companionship with the rabbit, there were so many things untried and left to explore. But just before we were even given a chance, it was taken away from us. It’s gone. Just like that. I thought my archaic tendencies were long expired and I was over this wary phase of being jaded. I assumed that the whole “once bitten, twice shy” mantra was enough to keep me off the edge of the cliff I was skipping on. But no. I never learn. And I am still standing on the edge of that cliff.
As cliché as it sounds, I understand why I was so afraid. I never wanted to open up to what was never going to be accepted. Why? Because you never know when someone will leave. And they do. People leave, sometimes before you get to build any sort of relationship. The fear of losing something that wasn’t yours is normal and trust me, you’re not alone.
I kind of broke my own heart in believing that I had hope in something I thought could mean a great deal to me. Reality struck, and I was reminded that people — no matter how much you feel for them — will leave eventually. And it made me ache a little inside.
The air was fresh, the sun was bright, and the sky was blue while it lasted. I guess, when I said I loved the rain, I forgot how all about the gloomy sky, and purging sound of the wind.
But WAIT. Does it, really?
Just before you think this is going to be a sob story of a sorry person lamenting about all her “missed chances” — nope. Not close.
The unpredictability of life made me realize how much I took my days for granted. How much time and emotion I had drained hesitating and holding back. Life, as it is, continues. And so do we. The regret of tomorrow (or even in 20 years) is the chance we fail to take today.
You see, the rabbit in that pet store wasn’t taken away from us. It simply went to someone else who made it theirs. Though the analogy wasn’t the best example for various reasons, it’s enough to show that things don’t happen for people who don’t try.
I don’t mean to completely disregard all circumstances and blindly take action. All I’m saying is, if we want something bad enough, we owe it to ourselves to at least try. To give it a shot. Remember that sting? That sting is a result of not trying. It’s all part of the gamble, but hey, at least you tried. You did your best. And now you can carry on with no regrets.
You have not lost because it’s simple: you can’t lose something you never had.
Also, it’s unrealistic to expect someone or something to be yours forever; they don’t belong to you. They are their own person, with or without you, and we have to respect that. Whether someone leaves or stays should be a choice they commit to, not something we expect in return. If we truly care about someone, we’d want the best for them, even if it means leaving.
People come and go, all the time. Life pretty much works that way for everyone. But that doesn’t mean we close ourselves off and go wallowing in our own pity party about it. Of course, it sucks. It really does. Feeling shitty is valid, and you are definitely welcome to take as long as you need to recover. But let’s not stop there, let’s pick ourselves up. People stay when they want to. And the ones that do, you never have to question. We can’t just shut people out because we’re uncertain if they’ll stay. If that were the case, are we implying that all future relationships we pursue should come with some sort of a contract or insurance plan? No. We go in, and we treat people like it’s our last day on earth. We treat them well because that’s the least we can do.
Because the best gift that we can give to the people around us is the best of us. Us doing our best.