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8.03.2012

on calling the guy. or not. and the best advice yet given..


a day shy of turning twenty-three my mother gave me the best advice of my life.

i was just out of college, the month was october, the weather was heaven here in new york--or just outside of it, in montclair, nj--to be exact--something tells me this retelling needs some exactness--a level of precision.

it was night and i was sitting on my mother's bed and we were talking about a boy. and i use that word deliberately--at just-shy-of-twenty-three the male in question was still very much just-a-boy, as i was just-a-girl.

this boy and i had been talking and messaging and beginning something-or-other and it was ever so thrilling--as it is when you find some version of the right person at the right time and there is even a hint of that nameless affection that cannot be pinpointed or dissected or explained away.

but we had hit some sort of wall. and there had been an exchange of words that wasn't terribly clear or terribly kind.

and it was nearly my birthday and i hadn't heard from him.

so my mom listened and then looked right at me and asked: do you want to call him?

and i just sort of stared at her for a moment, thought about it, took a breath, and revelation: you know, i don't. and that was that. and i've never looked back. i've never wished that i did call or did try harder or done any one thing differently in regards to that moment in time.

that question: do you want to call him? was so simple and so easy and so very much the point.

none of the well, i've called twice now or i've not waited a sufficient amount of time since getting his last text--no rules or regulations or impossible to follow tenants as handed down by the dating-gods (also known as other-girls-flailing-in-much-the-same-fashion). just a simple: what do you want?

as i'm getting older i'm coming to realize the simplest advice is usually the best. the path of least resistance, the most efficient--go figure!

want to act well? put the brilliant playwright's words into space. just speak the language. that's it.

want to lose weight/be healthy? stop with the counting and measuring and time-tables. eat actual food and move your body when you can.

want kindness in your life? show kindness to others.

want to talk to the guy? take a chance and pick up the damn phone.

of course, there are always exceptions. sometimes it's not so easy. sometimes it takes a little more work. sometimes you can't just pick up the phone because there's been too much time and too much heartache and something in your gut is telling you that you must wait.

but maybe sometimes it's as easy as doing what you want. following that gut feeling that says yes or no--that gut instinct so unrelated to pride and pomp.

because at least then you're owning you're own experience. at least then you make the rules and it's easier to live with the good or the bad that eventually follows. because you did what was right for you. and that's no small feat.

23 comments:

Lauren Quinn O'Neill said...

I was faced with a huge crossroads today and this definitely it home. I went with what I wanted to do, it's that simple.

Your words are always so poignant, thank you.

Sierra Penrod said...

I have learned this lesson before, yet I still manage to overcomplicate everything. My emotions. They complicate everything.

Rose said...

I think I need to follow your words, but it is so hard. How can simple seem so difficult? I'm sure it's only momentary, but it doesn't make it any easier.

~BB~ said...

I love this. A few months ago, at a cross roads in my life, my parents (the wonderful wise souls they are) did the same thing for me: they looked at me and quite simply asked "what do you want?" Hands down, it was the best thing they could have said. And when posed with such a simple question, I found that the answer itself was quite simple as well.

Laura said...

Umm can I just say that this is exactly what I needed to hear and this time. Your words are beautiful. xx

Raquel said...

listening to ourselves is just about the best thing we can do. :)

Diana said...

Love this. I'm still at the point where I'm trying to figure out what I do want in order to pursue it. Sometimes it feels like one want is always coming at the cost of another.

Adriane said...

I love this. I needed to hear this today. Thank you!

hannah debbie said...

God, your writing. It gets me. Every single time. I so needed to hear this; I often make up so many worst-case scenarios in my head or imagine every single possibility or just over think things to no end...why not just go with your gut and leave it at that?

alliespence. said...

beautiful. love this!

Mae said...

I love this! In fact, I didn't realize how much I needed this until I read your words. Thank you!

Ritika said...

'owning your own experiences' - i want to live knowing this for the rest of my life.

Mel said...

"at least then you make the rules and it's easier to live with the good or the bad that eventually follows. "

This is so right. I've found it's always dealing with the heartache of disappointment rather than unanswered questions.

Well-put, mom! :)

Francesca Forzoni said...

beautiful x

Anonymous said...

"because you did what was right for you. and that's no small feat" ...I love this ...right for me right now is perfection, at any cost and this is a large feat.

Alexa said...

"because at least then you're owning you're own experience."

yes.

Ruth said...

Of course, yes. Thank you to your mother :)

Erin {pughs' news} said...

I love this. It's so simple and so perfect.

And I have to ask... does this mean you decided, "Yes, I'd like to bring some banana bread to that boy next door" and then you did?

Ramona said...

Don't know anything else to say than I agree. Sometimes we take too much time trying to figure things out, trying to understand, thinking thinking thinking instead of just getting out there doing what we know in our heart to be right!

katilda said...

i am so in agreement....but realize more and more that the "do what i want" often involves consciously doing things that are bad for me. sometimes i call a boy when i know that he's not going to take me seriously, even if he does want to see me for one evening. i call anyway. i can tell myself not to, and eventually i get it and i don't call...but until i DON'T WANT to call...there's no point in telling myself no. because i'll just resent stifling myself and i'll never move on. sometimes i think it's putting myself in the direct path of a few emotional kicks in the face (oddly enough because of situations i WANT) that finally help me let it go in the end.

Alexa said...

This thought is absolutely lovely Meg. I think it is so true that sometimes, the simplest thing to do is just trust our instincts about what we want.

Sarah Tucker said...

each time I find myself on TWAWWOBB (: ... it's like picking up my fave book where I left off.

this is so true. to hell with games.

Molly Yeh said...

omg. write a book already. this is amazing.