I once had a choice between two men; two very different men. One was logical, traditional, certain of the path he wanted in life — wealth, house, land, wife, and children. The other one… oh, the other one. The other was passionate, adventurous, emotional — not certain of the circumstances of his life yet, but he was self-aware — and that’s all that really mattered.
I had just broken up with the logical one (let’s just call him Plan A) on account of insanity from arguing with him; it was like arguing with Spock. Then, head-first, I jumped into the arms of the latter (let’s call him Plan B); he took me to meet his family a month or so in.
Plan B was so refreshing, after all the insecurities I felt having been with Plan A. He was completely open, communicative, and he accepted me for me.
But then, a different set of insecurities grew within me. Plan B, with his charisma and passion, scared me. I felt inept and small, with my soft-spokenness and strict Asian upbringing. I lacked experiences. He loved them and collected them like people collect stamps, and would have had me go on his adventures with him. I’m afraid of heights and velocity, and he goes mountain biking and is somewhat of an adrenaline-junkie. He liked projects and creating things, and I, in my utter boring-ness, just liked to read and do yoga. I didn’t have many friends. He certainly did not lack for them, and was well-liked, and — oh, the horror, he would’ve introduced me to them, and me, with my introverted ways, would’ve disappointed them. And him.
It was too scary. There were too many opportunities to fail him and embarrass myself… and there were too many opportunities for self-discovery. I broke it off with Plan B.
In case you don’t know, I picked Plan A. And Plan A is nice — he’s stable, sweet, and even though it can be like arguing with Spock sometimes, he is a good foil for my sometimes turbulent behavior. He is the more predictable path, the path more widely-taken.
Don’t get me wrong. Plan A and Plan B are both truly outstanding, in their own ways. But I picked Plan A because he was what I needed at the time; someone whose focus on a quiet, calm life presented a comfort for me. I’ve always been more cautious, less willing to fling myself out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t ready to become a different person, or to be with someone who was so different. I needed the familiar.
But sometimes—actually, many times—I wonder, would I have become a totally different person if I’d stayed with Plan B? Would I have become a more vibrant, more majestic version of myself if I’d stayed with him? Less terrified of the unknown, and more lusty-for-life? Or would it have ended anyway due to our differences?
I feel like now, for me, life is a balance of learning how to be this more vibrant and majestic person, without anyone’s help. I am learning that if I want to grow, I need to do all the watering myself, and not just wait for the rain to come. Because the rain will come, but I have to find a means to nourish myself without aid, by writing, reading, exposing myself, asserting myself, slowly but surely, I have to learn.
Life is about the choices you make, but the person you want to be cannot be forged and created by picking the right person. It certainly helps accelerate the process, but in the end, the path you choose—whether it’s the tried-and-true, or the less-trodden—is less significant than your will to fulfill your ambitions and become the individual you’ve always wanted to be.