As always before we begin, this blog series contains a lot of SPOILERS from the “How I Met Your Mother” television series. If you don’t want these episodes and the contents within to be spoiled for you, please look away + perhaps check out either of the other series that I run on this blog in the meantime. When you’ve watched the show to your heart’s content, I will always invite you to return to this post so you can laugh and cry and enjoy it in the way that my brain did.
In episode 30 of HIMYM Marshall and Lily drag their friends out to Atlantic City to elope, after they get there and go through tons of hoops to get married, the pair decide to hold off the wedding for a while.
It’s easy to get caught up in things. Especially for me. I get these crazy ideas and they are stuck in my head for a long time. I develop elaborate plans to go out and achieve all of these things that I have no clue how to achieve. Occasionally I search for things I don’t know how to find and I push myself harder than I should, most likely.
It can get hard when you’re going through life and having to make big decisions about what you do and don’t want. It’s hard owning up to it when you make the wrong choice but it is so, so worth it in the end. I think a lot about some of my own personal decisions. One time, back in middle school I had this huge crush on a girl in my class. I was pacing around after school one day and stressing about it because there was a dance coming up soon. My friend Jess was standing next to me, wondering why I was so wigged out and he asked me. He was my best friend, so obviously I told him what was going on. After I had explained that my nerves were shot and I didn’t know what to do he turned around and marched over to her to ask her to the dance for me. I panicked. I thought about running away. I thought about calling my mom to ask for help. I thought about how hard it would have been to move to an entirely different school because I couldn’t put up with the embarrassment that was going to come from her reply. I saw Jess turning back around to head my way with a big smile on his face. He approached me and I begged to know what had happened. Then he told me…
“She said that she would go with you if you asked her yourself.”
So I steeled myself and grabbed my backpack, stepping toward the girl and letting my nerves blow up in my face. I was chaos deep down, but I felt that I had already been accepted, which gave me the strength to go forward and take the plunge. I approached her, stammering as I spoke and asked her to go to the dance with me. She laughed and looked at one of her friends, then shook her head and said…
I was crushed. I had built this whole idea up in my head that we were going to go to the dance and have a good time and it was going to be so exciting. As I turned around and headed back to Jess, I pushed back tears. It was the first time I had really been turned down by a girl and it stung more than I thought that it would have. Jess asked what was wrong and I told him that I didn’t want to talk to him about it and the two of us went home.
Some day or so later, I realized something.
I simply didn’t care about it anymore. It had been this huge issue for a moment, but as soon as I had gotten back home and sat down to do homework I had all but removed it from my mind. This happened because I wasn’t really invested in the idea. I hadn’t clung to it so hard that it would have broken me. It was a nice sentiment but that was all. Of course, I didn’t realize that then and only understood it a few years later after it had happened a few other times with different girls in high school.
The point of this is, sometimes you get this idea in your head. There will be days where it seems like a brilliant plan, but it isn’t what you really want. Deep down, you know that. It will whisper in the back of your mind that it isn’t something to lose sleep over and if you fail when you are faced with it, you will walk away with a smile on your face. This life isn’t always about winning. Sometimes it’s about understanding that it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to wait. It’s okay to do things another way. It took me a few years to truly understand that concept, but its here and sewn into my head so I won’t soon forget it.
If you find yourself in international waters and you’re faced with a life changing decision, listen to the voice in your heart that is talking to you. I know you’ll pick the thing you truly want, despite any level of adversity or pressure from the other side. I hope you make the best decision for yourself. Then when you get back to shore, I’ll be sure to give you a great big hug and keep rolling on the road with you.
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Thank you so much for reading.