“Hey you!” he says, smiling broadly as he comes over and plunks himself into the chair beside me. “Who are you writing about today?”
“Tom! Nice to see you! I’m reading blogs right now, not writing.” After a pause, I add, “But I wrote about a new guy yesterday. I think maybe I’ve maybe met someone.”
“That’s great!” he says. We talk for a couple of minutes about Will, and then Tom leans in and says, “I’ve met someone too. In fact, we just bought a house together.”
“What? Are you serious?”
Tom laughs at my reaction and nods.
“But you and I went out together a couple of times in October! How long have you known this woman?”
“And now you’ve bought a house together? I can’t believe you!”
Tom laughs at me. “You know what? She’s perfect for me. I call her my evil twin. Since I got past my fear, it’s been great.”
I’m still shaking my head in amazement, but I can see how happy he looks. “You’re crazy, man. But in a good way.”
He shrugs. “I’m 52. I’m not going to let fear stand in the way of happiness. I see too many people living like that, living from a place of fear or mistrust.”
I can’t see myself leaping with Tom’s abandon, but I admire his fearlessness. I’ve seen first hand what fear looks like in the dating world. I’ve seen the many ways that we protect ourselves from the possibility of further hurt. I’ve seen how easy it is to live in a place without trust. It takes enormous courage to put our past hurts and betrayals behind us, to allow ourselves to be open once again. To be open is to be vulnerable, to risk the possibility of heartbreak. But unless we open ourselves, we miss out on the possibility, the pleasure, the exhilaration of love.
It’s time for me to adopt a little bit of Tom’s courage. It’s time for me to risk a little, to open myself, to recognize when I’m living from a place of fear. I might not be ready to leap from the cliff, but perhaps I could at least take a peek over the edge.
When have you taken a leap of faith in your life? How did it work out for you?