Let me tell you a story about my co-worker named Sam.
Sam is a miserable wretch– or so he thought.
He likes to work more than 12 hours a day.
Even on weekend, Sam continues to work, and work, and work.
In short, Sam’s work ethics is pretty much like mine.
The only difference is, I never see him enjoying his work.
If, let’s say, we both are robots, then he never turn himself off.
At least I got to hibernate myself– but not him.
A week ago, I saw him constantly smiling and making small laughs for hours.
It was around 23:00, it was late, and there were only few people at the office.
Some people that knew him, including me, started to wonder what happened.
I mean, we never saw him that happy while working that late before.
He always made this emotionless, robotic face while working.
One of us stalked him by standing beside him quietly and looked at his screen.
Turns out, Sam was constantly chatting to someone while working.
Almost all of us instantly stood up and went to him.
I said almost, because I was still on my seat– I wasn’t interested in knowing.
I mean, okay, whatever, I don’t care about him and his romantic stories.
Those people that went to him bombarded him with questions about the girl.
Who is she, how did he know her, those kind of crappy questions.
Sam knew the girl from one of his friends, and he liked her instantly.
I scoffed, fully understood that indeed a girl could make a man happy and all.
Well, that night, Sam spent his whole working session with smiles in his face.
Three days after, Sam was still being the same strangely happy man.
He was still making smiles and small laughs while working around the same hour.
Again, one of my co-workers stood up behind him and looked at his screen.
But Sam wasn’t texting the girl, he was actually making a call with her.
I, of course, didn’t notice, and most of us were putting our earphones on.
At that time, looking at Sam feels like looking at myself more than a year ago.
And Sam made me realize something that is somewhat unimportant.
That it’s been more than a year since I was genuinely happy because of her.
It’s been that long? God.
Fast-forward to two days ago.
I was working late night as usual, it was pretty much just another Friday night.
Most of my co-workers were gone, well, it was Friday night anyway.
But not Sam.
I took off my earphones, walked to him and sit beside him, and talked to him.
I started questioning things about the girl and about why he was working.
I mean, they should have been outside, hanging out, or whatever.
Sam stared at me without any expression, and closed his laptop lid.
He then made a sigh and started to tell his story.
Sam didn’t actually met the girl before the first time he was texting her.
He knew the girl from his friend, but only through messages.
And few days after he called her, they met each other.
Sam described the girl as a smart girl and with a sense of humor.
He continued to say that the girl was amazing, they were a match and shits.
In short, he was readying himself to get to know her better.
Sam was thrilled by the idea of spending his whole life with the girl.
And here comes the but:
But there was one thing– the only thing that he just can’t accept from her:
The girl was taller than him for about like, 15 cm, or 6 in.
I literally cringed.
Well, I have to admit, Sam is relatively short for a guy.
He’s only like, 161 cm, or 5’3, and he’s way shorter than me and all.
The very reason I cringed was because what he said didn’t make any sense.
I mean, it did make some sense, but, with all the reason that he could came up with, all the reason in this goddamn world that could justify his actions to stay away from the girl: money, looks, social status, religion; he chose height? Really?
Sam continued to say that he was totally embarrassed to walk beside the girl.
Well, fair enough, I could imagine the scene him walking with the girl.
And I could arguably say it would look funny for some people– not for me, though.
I told him that it shouldn’t matter that much.
Okay, height is more than just a number for some girls, I understand.
And I understand that it’s way more sensitive for guys, like, usually, girls would be so self-conscious of themselves about their weight and all.
He said it was okay and all for me, because it does not exist in my reality.
That it would be easy for me because, somewhat for him, he said, I’m a tall, hard-working, successful, good-looking chap that could get any girl that I want.
Honestly, the way he said all of those things was fucking annoying.
Yes, I know that he was mocking me and all because I rebuked him about the height.
I continued by saying that it’s not yet exist in my reality.
Maybe it would, maybe I would face a girl that’s way taller than me.
Although I wouldn’t dare to entertain my mind with the ideas of loving a girl that is way taller than me, because that thing is impossible for me now.
The thing is, it would be okay for me, really.
I mean, I could understand the problem if I were in his position.
But I could also argue that it was all caused by his insecurities.
Sam constantly said to me that he actually is satisfied with his height.
But he was just embarrassed by the fact that the girl is taller than him, and he just doesn’t want to walk beside her if, let’s say, they are going out and all.
I said to him that he does not make any goddamn sense.
I mean, if he actually is satisfied with his height and all, then why would it matter? Why would that one fact, that the girl is actually taller than him would matter that much if he’s satisfied with his height?
I could saw right through him, right inside him: his insecurity.
He started to make excuses about it, that it was not all about him:
He said that the girl WOULD mind about it, that the girl would not want to walk beside him, beside a dwarf, that she needs someone taller than her.
I asked Sam if he have asked the girl about it.
I mean, I know it’s a sensitive topic for him, but at least he needs to know what she thinks about it, especially now that they have met each other.
And Sam said that he haven’t asked her, but he knows for sure that she would mind.
I immediately called that bullshit.
Sam was assuming things before asking the person herself.
And that, was his biggest goddamn mistake about all of this.
I know that there’s always a possibility that the girl actually mind about his height, but, there’s always a possibility that the girl doesn’t mind, too.
I mean, it’s always a Schrodinger until proven otherwise.
But it’s true that I’m not Sam, I don’t understand how it feels like to be a relatively short guy that have to face a world where height is apparently matters a lot for a guy, perhaps because of the goddamn “I want my boy to be this tall” standard that’s been set by most of the girls in the world.
As for me, well, she’s a physically little girl.
She even called me Shrek because she said I have a tall, and huge body and all.
Although I think, it was just because she’s being a physically small girl.
So I said to Sam that it was all his illusions.
That what he thinks about what the girl was thinking– it only exist in his head.
I mean, like I said, he’s assuming things about what the girl was thinking.
I asked him if the girl is still looking for him after they met, and he said yes.
Well, that’s positive enough of a sign for me that the girl likes him.
If Sam really want to know what the girl is thinking, he should start asking the girl instead of assuming things– because those things that he assumed was a projection of his insecurities towards himself– towards his height.
He said he really saw the girl and not himself, but I don’t think so.
I think what he saw or see in front of him is a mirror.
A mirror that reflects all of his insecurities, that made him unable to see the true intentions and feelings of the girl that (might) actually like him.
At this point, looking at Sam, I now understand why loving yourself before loving anyone else is just so important.
I know that your partner or the person that you love could help you to love yourself and all, but, in Sam’s case, he already pulled himself back before the girl even have the chance to say to Sam if she wants to love him or not.
And that, is one of the most stupidest thing in this world.
I rebuked what Sam was thinking numerous times, saying that he needs to ask the girl herself before making any assumptions, but he kept beating around the bush.
I guess he will need some time until he could say it to her.
Yes, he will need some time to break the mirror in front of him that projects all of his insecurities, and see what the girl actually is thinking about him.
I remember both of our insecurities.
Let me start with mine: I used to hate my own face.
I hated how big my cheek muscle is, to the point where people would say that I’m overweight when they are looking at my face even though I have a completely average or even slightly skinny body; all they did was looking at my face.
That’s why I always hate short hair, and I believe you already knew it.
That state of dissatisfaction with myself also explains why I always afraid that you might slip away from my hands– because I always project my insecurities in you, I always thought that you would slip away the moment you had the chance because you might not satisfied with what I have just like I did.
Remember the fight? Remember the time I always pester you with questions?
Yes, it was all about insecurities, I was so afraid that you might slip away.
I was so afraid that you might hide something from me about another guy.
Sad, wasn’t it? Good thing that it was all in the past– that I’ve changed.
Now, about you.
I still remember that you love to hide something about yourself, even at this stage in your life, at this moment, I believe you still hide things from me.
I know that you’re a great liar when it comes to hiding things.
Although, arguably, I could always smell something fishy when you hide those things.
The thing is, do you remember the time I asked you your address and you didn’t want to give me because of one reason that you didn’t want to tell me and all?
And turns out, it was just because you were so afraid that I might send you stupid things and all, that it has something to do with your past?
And you were still afraid of me, even though I constantly said that I won’t send you stupid things and I won’t do anything about it.
But you didn’t fully trust me about it.
That, was one of your insecurities.
Love, I could argue that yours is all about trust.
It was a ticking time-bomb that you wanted to get rid of but you can’t because you did not actually try to take the leap of faith to trust someone completely.
You were living with fear ever single day, fear that someone could catch you off guard and stab you in the back whenever they have the goddamn chance.
You built your trust as a house of cards, that all it needed was someone to came to you and pull one of the cards and make a wicked smile on their face.
And, it happened– someone did it.
You were too busy to look at the aftermath– to look at all the cards that were laying on the floor– the fragile foundations of what your trust once were.
You even forgot that I was standing right beside you with billions of packs of cards and glues to help you strengthen your trust– to build them once again.
Yes, you shoved me off because you felt like you weren’t able to trust me.
I don’t now which one is sadder: to shove off someone that just want to love you and trust you completely only because of what another person did to you, or being completely mistrusted by someone that you love because of things that you didn’t do.
I’ll let you choose.
Looking at you, me, and Sam made me realize something.
That, when the problem is within us, change becomes one of the most arduous and most heroic things we can ever achieve, for it’s not simple or clean or easy.
It’s the maddening equivalent of sorting through a pile of tightly tangled wires, as we’re forced to examine the behaviors we’re least proud of and what’s below the surface driving them for us, and below that, and below that, and below all that.
It requires that we crack open our whole hearts and lean into discomfort over and over again until we’ve come out the other side, lighter, and in some sense: reborn.
Love, what makes overcoming our most deep-seated, most internal challenges so difficult is that, each of us has got a little army of goddamn demons living inside us that’s fueled on our fears and self-doubt and insecurities.
This fear-driven part of us tells us to resist that which is uncomfortable and unfamiliar, for it coaxes us to slide back into our old and unhealthy selves.
It reminds us how soothing our comfort zones can truly be.
And it gently gives us permission to ignore when something about is unhealthy or spinning its wheels– it’s trying badly to keep us the way we’ve always been.
I remember that you were trying so hard to continue to trust me and people around you when the event happened the first time– I understand.
I remember that you even said to yourself that, whenever we are faced with hell, we just have to keep going, and going, and going– I believe it’s Churchill’s words.
Sadly, that one day made you ultimately stop your breakthrough.
And you pulled back, you pulled yourself back and gave up.
Love, I’ve gotten out of the other side of my insecurities.
There might be some others, others that I still haven’t known yet.
But, as you said before, yes, I’ve grown, and I’ve fully changed.
I have pushed past what I saw as an unfamiliar space, and now I’m here, in a place where everything is lighter, freer, and doesn’t feel like I need to be tamed or controlled– the space where pain and fear no longer govern my every move.
And so, Love, you saw how I changed myself– you saw that I have pushed myself our of my comfort zones and past all my known filthy insecurities.
Now it’s my turn to ask you:
Will you let your courage and perseverance come in when you’re faced with your biggest challenge: to fully trust me once again with all that you have?
Will you let our love won over your fears once again, like that time at the airport, where you hugged me tight like there’s no tomorrow ?
Will you let our love set you free, gives you wings, and make you soar high up to the sky, erasing that love-cage paradigm of yours that you have?
Will you, Love?