“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” – Marissa Mayer
I will turn twenty-nine this May and I can’t help, but marvel at all that has occurred in my twenties. I made mistakes. I lived on my own. I bounced around from job to job. I wrote a novel. I fell in love. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone every time.
But the single moment that was the turning point of my life was…
When I confessed my feelings to a guy I liked in university.
His crackling blue eyes still stir up memories. It was in my last year of university. I spent a good chunk of my life living in a middle-class neighborhood raised by protective, loving Indian parents.
In high school, I didn’t fit into any social group. I wasn’t quite the geek, cool kid, or jock. I was reserved and shy.
When I attended the University of California, Davis, a whole new world opened up. I explored, had new experiences, and made friends that allowed me to open up bit by bit. I also took on a heavy workload and managed to graduate in three years instead of four.
In that last year of university, I was a Resident Advisor and fell deep in like with a guy who was a resident in another building. He had just transferred from a community college and lived in the transfer program building.
I made rounds daily at several buildings to ensure the noise level was in control and every week, my heart beat faster as I entered his building and spotted him every time playing a guitar and smoking a cigarette.
Our eyes would meet and suddenly, nothing was in my control.
I felt intensely attracted to him. Every week, he greeted me and over time, I got to know him through brief conversations.
Nine months later, the realization hit me that I would graduate from university in less than a month and would move back home. But he would stay at university for another year. I had no idea when I would see him again.
A strange, nervous energy filled me that wouldn’t leave me. I couldn’t sleep at night. I couldn’t concentrate in my classes. I realized my heart and body were telling me to confess my feelings to him.
But I still didn’t listen. My mind conquered my heart, whispering fears:
You’re just going to make a complete fool out of yourself. You’re not good enough for him. Why would he like you? What’s the point? You’re going to graduate in a month anyway. And I obeyed. I decided to not tell him. I pulled the idea out of my head, but the nervous knot in my stomach persisted.
But maybe the Universe had listened to me. The day after my twenty-first birthday, I walked across the green lawn to meet a friend, when I suddenly bumped into him. I said hi shyly as the night sparkled behind us and not a single soul was around.
My heart raced wildly. My hands started shaking. This time, my heart decided to make me prisoner. I had to tell him. There was no going back.
And I told him that I liked him ever since I met him.
My breathe became stuck in my throat. I waited for him to speak. He looked away, turning beet red. After what seemed like an eternity, but was actually thirty seconds, he told me that he had a girlfriend. My heart sank.
I don’t remember what happened exactly after that, but I mumbled something and walked away, my face hot. I smiled at myself. I couldn’t believe what I had done. It didn’t turn out the way I expected, but oddly, I felt a gigantic balloon of relief, awe, and tinge of sadness.
Here are 4 Lessons I learned from that life-changing experience:
- Take chances and feel alive.
I’m not going to pretend that after the relief and awe I felt at confessing my feelings, everything suddenly became rosy and perfect in my life. I ran into him on several occasions afterwards and could barely make eye contact. I felt embarrassed and even sad, but the one thing I did not feel was regret. I was never going to spend the rest of my life wondering what could have been.
Throughout my twenties, whenever I was at a crossroads in life, I thought about this experience and took a leap of faith. It’s the only way I could grow and feel alive.
Things always seem impossible until you actually do it. Keep yourself open and push the boundaries of your comfort zone. When you’re seventy years old, you can look back and smile. The beauty lies more in the journey than the destination.
- Act on your heart or listen to fear.
The moment before I confessed my feelings to him, I had a choice: act on my heart’s deepest desire or live in fear. I chose to embrace my desire.
When an opportunity or moment presents itself, examine how you respond to it. Do you say yes or no? What do you do when life dares you to leap? You can transform your life by learning to act on your heart despite your fears and uncertainty.
When you stick to the safe and tried, you don’t lose anything, but your life remains the same. But when you seize the moment, you grow. You have a breakthrough.
- Listen to yourself.
My inner guidance told me to confess my feelings to him and it dramatically changed the course of my life. I learned to tap into this magical guidance every time I needed to make decisions and took inspired actions that aligned with what my heart truly desired.
When life presents you with opportunities that can change everything, you feel inner conflict. Turn inwards.
Connect to your serene energy and allow yourself to be pulled silently by your inner love-driven voice and feelings. The Universe will lovingly support and guide you when you find the courage to follow your heart.
- Being vulnerable is beautiful.
Most of all, being vulnerable is beautiful. I look back today with fondness and happiness that I had that moment in university. I am thankful for that experience and even though I have never seen him since, I am thankful to even him.
That experience was meant to happen. It taught me something valuable: the only way I could live an inspired life and fall in love was to drop my fears and walls. Being vulnerable allowed me to connect to my personal power and open up to receive all the miracles and beauty life had to offer me.
What is your biggest takeaway from this post? Please share with me in the comments.