How Will I Know?

The late Whitney Houston described the feeling perfectly in her 1985 song How Will I Know? The song describes her desire to let herself thrive in the excitement, joy and confusion of thinking about that special someone. To allow herself to enjoy every moment that the playful butterflies and Cinderella daydreams distract her from the everyday routines. The wonderment and joy of butterflies, thinking of someone who may be that someone is a gift like no other. But the fluttering feeling in your gut can also feel like a curse sometimes. The other part of Houston’s song is so utterly relatable as well. The struggle between hope, reality and logic. Houston expresses the inner turmoil perfectly: when the butterflies come, the mind and heart run, fly away. But it’s important to keep your brain and feet planted securely in the soil incase your heart and mind go and run too far chasing after dreams, your heart is going to need something to catch it if it falls. As Houston says love can be deceiving. 

I’m faced with two choices: to try or not to try. The easiest of these two choices for me right now would be not to try. I could just stop talking to him. I could politely excuse myself from any future interaction with him. I could kindly let him know that now is not the right time. In the two weeks I’ve gotten to know him, I’ve learned he’s kind and respectful, he would surely understand if I kindly slipped away.

I could come up with a thousand and one excuses to not go on that second date with him. I could let my fear of the unknown take away something, someone potentially very special. Potentially worth overcoming the fear and anxiety of being vulnerable. I could take the chance. Of course if I take the chance, there’s a possibility I could fail. And if it fails the heartache, the disappointment, the humiliation could break me. It could push me off the edge, falling back into the dark depths of my eating disorder. The possibility of failure, of disappointment could keep me from ever again feeling those tingly butterflies.

So yes obviously I could fail, I could be hurt, disappointed. But I could also try and succeed, I could flourish. I could find that special someone (even if it’s not him specifically), who makes me smile just at the thought of his name. The one who makes me giggle and laugh. The one who surprises me, the one who inspires me to go out into the world and be adventurous. The one who would pick me up if I fall. The one who even could actually help brush away the remains of the eating disorder.


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