An Open Letter To The Almosts

I almost jumped. I could’ve. I felt my weight shift in my legs, felt them preparing to spring my body forward. I felt myself hang suspended in the air as if I were weightless, and in just seconds I was falling. And then I was swimming. And I could’ve jumped. I almost did. But my feet were frozen in place, and every muscle in my body refused to move, and I didn’t jump. I climbed down instead.

I almost canceled. I almost lied and said I was sick. It would’ve been so easy—just a simple text, and I could’ve spent my night binging on Vampire Diaries instead of pretending I liked whatever movie was playing at the theatre that week. Just a simple text, and I wouldn’t have had to ignore your strategically placed hand next to mine. I almost cancelled. But I already bailed once, and you were sweet and funny, and I didn’t cancel. I fell in love with you instead.

It’s a double-edged sword, really. Because why do we almost do or not do something? Because what if I get hurt? What if the water is too cold? What if I land the wrong way? What if there are rocks hidden below the surface? But what if it’s my new favorite movie? What if I let him kiss me? What if I’m the one with the strategically placed hand? What if we fall in love?

There’s no promise that everything is going to work out. But there’s no guarantee that it won’t either. Because what if I jump and it feels like I’m flying? What if I cancel and miss my shot at love? Life isn’t about the in-betweens, the almost dids, the almost didn’ts. People don’t reminisce about the time they almost did an exchange to Switzerland in high school. Lives aren’t changed because someone almost asked the pretty girl to dance but was too shy.

It’s a never-ending battle. I can’t reasonably believe that I’m going to say yes to every opportunity I am presented with. But what if I say no to the one that could change everything? What if I cancel on the love of my life? What if I miss the chance at my dream life because of “what ifs” and “almosts”?