As long as you want to be

I’ve never really liked flowers, and there’s one I really don’t want in my life.

Goodbye, pansy.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a history of being nearly incapable of feeling completely comfortable around guys I’m interested in. I always try to hide my feelings, and I constantly have friends reminding me of how ridiculous I’m being and that there’s nothing wrong with a guy knowing how you feel about him.

But they weren’t in my French class in high school.

When I was a junior, I had a crush on one of the guys in my class, and I did everything I could to make sure he had no clue. Against my better judgment, however, I let some of my friends talk me into letting him know. Well, I wouldn’t be the one to let him know, but we concocted a plan to let someone tell him. (Yes, I realize how silly it all sounds, but we were high school girls, so I really can’t explain much more.)

I remember the day after my friend’s boyfriend told him–I sat in my desk and felt my skin turn red and my whole body get tight (I also felt like I was a little bit on fire) as in my peripheral vision I saw the boy and his friend chatting in whispers near a book shelf and then turn to look at me. I couldn’t look at them directly, because I was certain whatever they were talking about wasn’t good news for me.

I suddenly wanted to be anywhere but French class in that moment.

The next day I found out from a friend that he wanted to make fun of me, but his friend who had been talking quietly with him had talked him out of it. God bless him. It’s not the making fun of me part that bothered me, because I don’t really care about that, but it’s the fact that me liking someone led him to want to ridicule me–as if I weren’t good enough for him, and that warranted public humiliation. I know he was just an immature high school boy, but it was something that stuck with me and made my reasoning for hiding my feelings seem even more justified.pansy

And it’s something I’ve had a difficult time growing out of.

I consider myself a very confident person, but there is something about my history (or lack of history, rather) with guys that somewhat diminishes that and always leads me to assume that anyone I’m interested in will never return that interest. I was talking about this with my sister the other day, and she told me I should just let guys know when I’m interested and not worry about whether or not they feel the same. If they do, things might work out. If not, then move on and forget about it. I reminded her that I would probably still be a pansy, and her response hit me pretty hard: “You’re a pansy as long as you want to be.”

Preeeeeaaaaccchhh.

What she said is so true in so many areas of life–you can be afraid and remain in your fear as long as you want, but you also get to make the decision when you want to be brave. Honestly, it’s scary to me to think about having those feelings again of my blood rushing and my palms sweating, not knowing how a person is going to respond knowing how I feel about him. It’s even scarier to think that I could be so repulsive to someone that he would rather laugh at the idea of dating me than just simply say “no thank you.” And so, rather than ever expressing my feelings, I choose to be a pansy and never let people know what’s on my heart.

But you’re a pansy as long as you want to be.

I hope that in the future I can be brave. I hope that I can make the decision not to be a pansy anymore. I hope that I will take my sister’s advice. I hope that I will always remember that someone else’s opinion of me doesn’t even matter.

Because I am adored by the only One I’ll ever need.

I hope that you, too, will not be fearful of telling people how you feel about them. You are valued. You are loved. You matter. Maybe you’ll get rejected. Maybe you won’t. But you’ll never know unless you make the decision to be brave. Because you’re a pansy as long as you want to be.

And I don’t want to be.

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