Heartbeats

It’s an odd moment. One of those fleeting moments of enlightenment where everything feels so clear.
 
I’m laying here, resting. And I can feel my heart beat. Beating, constantly, within my chest. I can feel it inside me. Pumping. Beat after beat. It’s strong. It’s healthy. But all of the sudden, I’m aware I’m mortal.
 
One day, hopefully after another 3-4 billion more beats yet to go, this heart will finally pump its last, and beat no more.
 
I will be dead. And this thought doesn’t depress me. It’s not dark or scary. It assumes I live a long and healthy life.
 
But it’s a life that’s finite. There are only so many days, so many beats, left inside me.
 
And suddenly, I wonder why I let myself be scared or shy for so long, afraid to ask out that cute girl. A delay, holding myself back, for what? To avoid some potential rejection?
 
Why do I waste so much time afraid to follow my dreams? Take meaningful risks? Recently, I moved to LA to live more from my heart and actively follow my dreams. AMAZING things have been happening since I did, even in a short period of time.
 
But how many years did I waste playing small, hiding, not taking risks, not pursuing my dreams? Years where I *knew* who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, where I wanted to live–but I was too scared, too full of self doubt and limiting beliefs.
 
I’m not being hard on myself. This is just a sobering moment. A waking up. A realization.
 
How many years have I held onto grief, shame, anger? Waiting for an apology that would never come? Waiting for forgiveness I could only receive from myself?
 
How many years have I indirectly waited, hinted, hoped, and prayed for love–rather than express my true feelings with someone, even if it meant those feelings might not be returned, or it might make our friendship weird?
 
What if it hadn’t? What if it brought us closer? What if she said yes and we fell in love and began a new romance–however long it might last?
 
But even if she “just saw me as a friend,” even if it did make things awkward and uncomfortable for a while… Wouldn’t it have been better to know then, so I’d be free to move on, and find love with someone else, rather than wait and be stuck in a no-man’s land of wondering and endless waiting? Never having the courage to take that chance.
 
I only have so many heartbeats. I want to spend them well. Share them with a girl who’s heart wants to beat back in harmony with mine. I want to spend those heartbeats doing jobs I care about. On work that’s meaningful to me. Regardless of what it pays. I want to spend those heartbeats living MY life–not under the rules or expectations of anyone who tries to guilt, shame, manipulate, or obligate me into living some life other than what’s true to my heart and inner calling.
 
I think, in retrospect, I have achieved that in many times throughout my life. It’s a calling I try to live by. But I don’t always succeed. Sometimes I get scared. Sometimes I shy away. Sometimes I let fear and doubt control me.
 
Maybe not as much with public things, like career goals. But definitely a lot in my private personal life, when it comes to relationships. And sometimes, and for many years, even public career things too.
 
I don’t want to be scared anymore. I don’t want to wait when I’ve found something good. I’ve waited long enough. I may not be ready. I may not be perfect.
 
But who is, really, at the start?
 
Many of my heartbeats have been lived with purpose. Many have not. Going forward, I want even more–the majority of however many beats remain inside me–to beat on purpose, with courage, with love, with hope, with faith, with kindness, with joy.
 
I’m allowed to make mistakes. I’m going to be imperfect. I will, I’m sure, experience a broken heart again, a failed attempt at a dream, times of sadness and sorrow and loss.
 
But I don’t want to spend any more heartbeats sitting still, being quiet, not speaking my truth, not expressing my feelings, not taking a chance–on someone or something​–just because I’m feeling scared or insecure.
 
Because I only have 3-4 billion heartbeats left. Maybe less. And then whatever awaits after this life will come. But this life, this body, will be spent. This life, this body, will be over.
 
So why would I be afraid of rejection, failure, or mistakes​ now?
Copyright © 2014-2017 David Michaels. All rights reserved.