36. Self-Help

On most days, you can catch me watching Youtube videos, strolling to infinite and beyond on Facebook, or reading articles with titles like “It’s All The Little Things” or ones with titles that says it all, such as “I Don’t Want It To Be Love At First Sight — I Want To Learn About You Over Time“. If you click on those links, you will be redirected to Thought Catalogue, which is my default go-to blog whenever I need a large dose of self-help advice and manageable numbered lists.

The other day, when I should have been spending my afternoon working on my graduate thesis, I found myself, instead, reading one article after another on everything from relationships to loving myself. It was at a point during this physical manifestation of my uncontrollable obsession that a question popped into my head: what am I really looking for in the words of others? God knows I won’t follow 99% of their suggestions and well thought-out counsel.

Courage.

I was searching for courage, for words that describe exactly what I am going through and then for the advice that inevitably follows. In the back my head, I already know what to do, but I need validation. I need to know that others have experienced what I’m going through and recommend the same steps I was thinking of taking. I need someone else to take responsibility if disaster ensues from my actions. I need some sort of sign, words of reassurance that everything will turn out alright, that I won’t be brutally rejected.

So I keep on flipping page after page, collecting bits and pieces of courage. I don’t know how much would be enough. I don’t know if all of the articles on Thought Catalogue combined will be enough to push me over the edge, enough to get me to confess, to take action, to be brave.

I know. I know in the darkest corner of my mind that it will ultimately have to come from within. But perhaps, there will be that one article, those final words of wisdom that will allow my courage to spill over the rim, to break through the self-erected walls of protection against rejection, heartbreak, and joy, to open myself up for fresh air, roller-coaster experiences, and all the world has to offer, to propel me forward into the Great Perhaps.

This hope is what has kept me reading, searching, shaking from the potential that one day, it will explode into a constellation of heart break, disappointment, humiliation. Or maybe, just maybe, there will be a love returned, a risk worth the taking, a new journey beginning.

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