Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Safety Net of "IF"

Life is made up of millions of little moments. There are many moments that just pass us by without so much as a second thought, and there are special little moments that stick with us for a long time forever. Today's blog post was inspired by one of these special kinds of moments. It's based off of a conversation that I had a few weeks ago with my boyfriend.

At the beginning of March, I accompanied Justin on a trip to his Aunt's work for a visit to 'check in' and introduce me to her. While we were there, she reminded him of his grandmother's birthday and family function that is taking place on the long weekend in May. I absorbed all of the information/details that she gave to him (like the good girlfriend "sponge" of information that I am... (so that I could later remind him of this event)), and we went on our way. While we were having lunch about an hour later, he asked me to go away with him and his family on that long weekend in May. I agreed to go, but in the back of my mind I had the thought that I might not end up going because that was still 2.5 months away, and this was a new relationship... who knows if we'd still be together.

A week or two after this little moment took place, we had another one of these 'moments'... I told Justin that I was flying home to Nova Scotia in August for my best friends wedding, and asked if he'd come with me. The conversation went a little something like this:

    Me: Uhh, it's pretty far away, but I'm wondering if you want to come home with me in August.. if we're still together?

    Justin: When we're still together... and yes.

    Me: Well no pressure, I know it's a while away... but if we're still together I'd love for you to come home and meet my friends and family.

    Justin: Stop saying "IF" we're still together... we'll still be together, and yes.

At first I thought this conversation was cute and made me get all girly for five minutes thinking 'ooooh he thinks we'll still be together - that's a good sign', then my mind immediately switched back to normal mode and said 'but be realistic here, Faith... this will be amazing... IF we're still together'. Now before you start thinking that I have an absolutely terrible negative mindset, I want to clarify something - I depend on the safety net of "IF".

Last week, I was having a heart to heart with Juliette about this conversation and told her my thoughts on the whole scenario. While I loved how Justin kept reassuring me that we'd be together in 2 weeks... 2 months... 2 years... even 20 years, I was being realistic. I always tend to hope for the best, and prepare for the worst - I don't think this necessarily makes me a cynic, but more so relying on that safety net of having a back-up plan IF life doesn't go as planned.

Juliette and I had the realization that we both depend on a simple two-letter word to keep from getting too excited about something that could potentially not work out. That little safety net of using the word IF means that we're not putting our whole heart into something... to help protect ourselves from disappointment. During this conversation I had an epiphany that I do this far too much in my life: weight loss, love, career, etc... I use that little two letter word to prevent myself from facing disappointment whenever and wherever possible.

Later that day, I started drafting a blog post (just so I would remember to blog about it at a later time). Justin happened to be at my house when he saw me typing the words "The Safety Net of "IF" into the subject line, and asked what it meant. I told him that I had this conversation with a friend and how I felt about it and he listened very patiently as I explained why I do this. He calmly explained in a few simple words that this was how he had chosen to live his life a long time ago. He believed in saying 'when' instead of 'if' because if you have positive thoughts towards something and believe them to be true, then it's more likely that it will happen. Honestly, I couldn't agree more.

I never realized the impact that such a simple two-letter word can have on a conversation, a situation, or even on your own outlook on life. Thanks to these discussions, I will be doing my best to take this word out of my vocabulary. If you currently depend far too much on 'the safety net of if', maybe you should consider extracting it from your vocabulary and just having a little faith in the future.


allieology said...

I love this so much. And I can't wait until I get to come visit you in Canadia and be there WHEN all of the fun this in your life happen. Like WHEN you become Mrs. Panda cause I just know it's gonna happen.

Jay T said...

I don't know why but this made me get all teary and girly. You wrote it perfectly and I am so happy that you have Justin. And WHEN we meet it will be AMAZING.

Sami said...

Love it Faithy! So well written and something I think a lot of people really struggle with :)

Whitney Alison said...

I think a lot of women live in the safety net of 'if'. I'm guilty of it myself. Thanks for posting this girl. Gives me a lot to think about.

the Florkens said...

I love this. I think it is so true. For me, I only really fell in love once I quit waiting for each guy to disappoint me. It was only when I set my mind to, "Who knows? Anything can happen.." that I was open enough to fall in love with Adam when he entered my world. I am fully convinced that had our paths crossed at any other time, I would have been too negative to even begin the relationship... I think this post is a powerful reminder that our own perspective has true influence on our lives!


Brandi said...

It's so true the way the IF could hold you back versus the WHEN! Love it! Thank you to Justin for the reminder and to you for posting about it!

Lindsay Landgraf said...

This is beautifully written. My new "when" mentality starts today!

Kirsty W said...

Loved this post!!!! I never realised what a dangerous little word if is until you pointed it out!

The Rachael Way said...

This is written so well :) You're a gem, I tell ya.

Anonymous said...

I'm totally an "if" girl too! This was truly a lovely read! :)

Becca @ Becoming Adorrable said...

This is so well written. I'll be honest, I probably should be more of an "if" person. I'm totally one of those people who gets too excited, too involved early on.

Anonymous said...

This post is so relatable and so amazing. I so often struggle with that "if" and it causes me to worry that I will never find a guy who will stick around. It makes me so happy to see that you've found such a great guy who is so good to you!