If every time we open our mouths, we risk, then there are some days when I simply cannot bear that risk.
I am not a passive person by nature, but I am also not as boisterous and as “commanding” as many people would assume. On many days I would be content to sit at home, in my dim little cave, with a book, my writing journal, and a nice cup of black tea, idling away the hours in quiet repose with the dust settling around my shoulders and the music playing softly in the background.
I am best that way, contained and cool.
But most people often meet me in my weekday living, at the office and at the bar, in private clubs and trendy restaurants, where I am on. This is my public life; this is my public face. I am well-trained to provide a charming introduction, witty riposte, clever insights and rousing argument. I am glittering, even dazzling (a good friend once told me). I am a lion, untamed and garrulous, afraid of nothing, mighty, and capable of crossing any “gap”, of riding headlong and heedless into any “chasm”.
So most people have the public face and they don’t get to meet, or don’t care to dig beneath to know, the part of me that is self-contained and simple. The part of me who neither wants nor feels capable of being the first to:
- Say “I like you” or “I love you”
- To cross the great Rubicon
- To make amends after an argument
- To start a difficult conversation (which could easily become an argument or severe disagreement)
- To reach out after an extended quiet period in any type of relationship
Sometimes, I get tired.
Sometimes, I fear rejection, too.
Oftimes, I overcome both, but sometimes, sometimes…
I don’t want to bear the risk. I can’t. I need the other person to do it.