First Impressions. Second Chances. Third Time’s the Charm?

When you spend the time trying to figure out the ins and outs of why you make decisions in the way you do, you’re bound to run across patterns and traits for decision making that are less than ideal — not to say that they’re destructive or unproductive methods, just that they’re constricting.

Constricting methods aren’t bad when you need to make a basic decision, in fact they likely keep you from making the wrong decision simply by paring down the options you have to choose from. But in this — in dating — sometimes, even when you really have a sense of who you are, what you need, and what sort of partner you’re searching for, you still let all of those preconceived notions about the way they dress, the way they speak, and the way they carry themselves color your view of who they are and whether they can be your right.

This is not to say that I have a basis off of which to base this theory, other than a gut reaction, right now, that I’d be throwing away what could possibly be a positive and beneficial relationship.

When they say “jump”, they mean it. Being that I’m an over-planner, I tend to want to have my net figured out before I go jumping off of the cliff that is my current situation. But sometimes we have to just jump, without any sort of provocation other than the fact that WE WANT TO.

And I want to.

I know what it is to be somewhat reserved with my decision making process; to let my past experiences overshadow my ability to see the good from the bad, the right from the wrong, the beneficial and the not-so. I need to get over my fear of falling and just jump. Jump the fuck off this cliff. Jump the hell out of “safe”. Jump past all the things that I’m allowing to hold me back and just take the damn chance.

I have had safe. And I walked away from the possibility of knowing within a slim margin for error, what my future would hold. It wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination and I would have been content, but I wasn’t me. I was an abridged version of myself. I became Kate-inside-the-box. I needed to break away from comfortable, break away from safe, and figure out how to get the things I almost gave up on chasing. I took one look at the forever that I held in my hand and decided it wasn’t truly mine. Sometimes the things that seem to be ours are not, in fact, for us. We just need to let these things go, give them a chance to belong to someone else.

I did that, but with much less conviction and strength than I’m saying more people should be doing this sort of thing. But I did it none the less, with a glance that gave me away, and tears that betrayed my fear of giving up my one good thing. To think I almost let my self doubt and uncertainty cause me to lose out on the process that has followed — I’m glad a stuck to my guns.

The one big thing that this process taught me was that I don’t want to lose out to doubt anymore. I don’t want to give up because there’s the hint at the possibility that maybe, possibly, somewhere down the line, things might go wrong. I want to hold on to hope. Without hope, what are we? A being driven by a risk assessing algorithm with no desire to face risk as a means to solve, overcome, or challenge the “norm”.

To challenge the norm has only recently become a thing that I wanted to be able to do. For a decent chunk of my life, I wanted to be the most normal human in existence. I wanted exactly the same things that everyone else had, I wanted to be the same as everyone else. It took a while, but I finally realized that “normal” is settling. “Normal” is complacency. “Normal” is not a description that I want to have anyone ascribe to my life.

This is why I will risk making the wrong first impression to be truly me. This is why I’ll believe in second chances for myself and others. This is why I hope. Hope that things will work out. And enjoy it while they do, even if it doesn’t last.

I want to be done with the pain of letting go of something you want to cling to with an immense desperation. The last time I really knew love, I knew that it would last. I knew that it was what I wanted. I knew that I was done with the game of dating, and the feigning of disinterest that is how you supposedly “win” the game.

At this point in the process, I have options. And I’m trying to embrace the fact that I don’t have to make decisions right away. I can let things play out. I can see where they go. I can tell my brain to take a hike when it starts freaking out about all the potential complications that may come with the scenario I’ve been presented with.

What’s the use of “winning” if all you have to show for it is the satisfaction of saying you’ve done it, and then simply shrugging it off and moving on to the next potential suitor. I want to see where things go. I want to let go. I want to be ready when the good things come around. I don’t want to have preconceived notions of what’s right or wrong as it applies to my life, I just want to believe that — just as I want you to believe this of me — the “right” thing could be anything, with the right timing and set of circumstances. The “right” could be us, as unlikely as we are.

What makes us unlikely, more than a string of judgements, doubt of self, and doubt in the other. Most of my judgements come from my past, from other times, other people and other scenarios. None of which necessarily (or at all) apply to you. To us. To maybe.

After believing that it can/will/should work, you have to put in the effort to make it so. You have to be willing to live up to the risk you just walked into, willing to make the effort and take the time to be honest and true. True to yourself. Truthful with the person of interest. Truthful about the process.

So, honestly…


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