Inside of me, there is a battle. One one side, the urge to be open and warm and enthusiastic at the risk of being made to feel stupid for over-enthusiasm or rejected by those who don't reciprocate my feelings. On the other side is the Protector - the tempting desire to be emotionally vacant to all but a select few; to hold my heart in a quiet room and only open it rarely. To be a cynic; to offer a small smile instead of a warm hug.
In my heart of hearts, I am a lover, a hugger, an overly-excited, jump-into-your-arms, everyone-is-my-friend kind of a girl. But for so long I've tried to quelch that and become more like the Protector version of myself. I think for lots of reasons, but mainly because there is nothing quite like the sting of rejection when you want to show love and warmth and are ridiculed for it. Do you know what I mean? That's not to say that I'm like the Evil Stepmother in Cinderella - if you know me, I hope you know that's not the case. But I do let a cooler side of me emerge when I feel threatened or unliked or alone. And I don't really think that's unusual.
I've pondered over this a lot - what side do I want to err on? Warmth or safety? Closed and comfortable or open and vulnerable? When I read this excerpt below from Persuasion, I made up my mind:
"Mr. Elliot was rational, discreet, polished, -- but he was not open. There was never any burst of feeling, any warmth of indignation or delight... She prized the frank, the open-hearted, the eager character beyond all others. Warmth and enthusiasm did captivate her still. She felt that she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped"
Even though it's a little scary, I've decided which side of me is the victor. Warmth wins. At the risk of sounding nerdy, feeling rejected or unwanted, I am going to stop this whole silly business of trying to be cool. I mean, what do I have to lose? I already gave my heart to the most wonderful person I've ever met, and he's totally in love with me.