cour·agenoun \ˈkər-ij, ˈkə-rij\
Sometimes you choose to play it safe, but somebody plays for you. I know more couples that are unhappy than happy. Some stay in bad marriages because they made a vow, for the kids, for financial reasons and status or maybe because somewhere along the way, they decided it was just easier to stay in it, than to go through the process.
For some, it's a classic case of they'd rather be together for the wrong reasons, than be alone for the right ones. They think, this might be the best they can get or deserve, and they settle. To me, it takes a great act of courage to walk away from a bad or toxic situation. There is nothing wrong with having standards for your life and happiness. Just because you make the decision to "hang in there," doesn't guarantee that the other person will. How much of your life are you willing to risk on that gamble? Chances are, if you are unhappy, so is the other person. Eventually somebody is going to break. Hopefully... for both of your sake, somebody will have the strength to do something about it. That doesn't necessarily mean walk away. That could mean recognizing a great flaw in yourself that is ruining the relationship. At this point, you must take ownership of that flaw, put your pride aside and apologize, and then take immediate action to correct it. If you truly love somebody and want to salvage the relationship, there is no other answer. Hopefully you do this before the damage is so great, it can never be repaired. If you can never admit you have done something wrong, then you will never take the steps to fix it.
Sometimes hindsight is a mother fucker ain't it? There are times that you walk away from a situation and then realize how good you really had it. Or maybe the fear of the unknown kept you from your chance at happiness, and now that opportunity is gone. Our friends and family have a lot to say about how we live. Sometimes we ask for their opinion, and sometimes we get it whether we want it or not. We need to be mindful when giving advice to the people we care about. Is that advice what is best for you or what is best for that person? Are you more concerned about being judged for your association to that person or are you truly worried about the judgement placed on them? Is it more convenient for you socially at a tailgate or party for them to stay in their shitty marriage? God forbid their overall happiness interferes with your social agenda. I mean...what will the neighbors think? It seems like everyday I come into contact with more people that are worried about what all the insignificant people around them think, than what the people who truly matter and love them think. They are willing to sacrifice their personal happiness, to make everybody else happy. More times than not...that sacrifice isn't returned. When was the last time somebody sacrificed their own happiness for yours?
The gamble of life doesn't just apply to romantic relationships. It applies to friendships, jobs, goals...the list goes on and on. I recently had to make the decision to "throw in the towel" as far as my own fitness goals are concerned. Which for some people, isn't a big deal. But when fitness is your work and your play, it is. For a long time, I stretched myself way too thin. I wanted to be the best at everything. What I ended up being was mediocre at everything. So I decided that I would pick one goal and focus on it so I could be really great at that one thing. I chose running. For the past couple of years, my main concern was running as fast as I possibly could. I wasn't concerned about being strong, flexible, building muscle or anything except...getting faster. I was blinded by my own obsession. Eventually, because I neglected all those other areas, my body started to breakdown. I have had one injury after another which in turn has caused nothing but weight gain, depression, and slowing down to the point of coming to a complete standstill. Just a week or so ago, the only time I was not in pain, was when I was laying down hopped up on drugs. Just like the loss of a life or a relationship...I had to go through the stages of grief for my dream. There is a pretty little picture above breaking down those stages. I had to make the decision to give up that goal and start a new one. And for a stubborn bitch like me...that was a hard pill to swallow.
I know some of you are rolling your little eyes at this because it is not something that is important to you. But it is important to me. Just insert what IS important to you into the model and keep moving. Maybe you have worked really hard for a promotion at work and they gave it to somebody else. Or maybe you had an opportunity for a better job, but chose to stay out of loyalty only to be laid off or fired. Maybe you worked your entire life to pay off your house and the moment you did, a hurricane took it away. Maybe you had your life savings in the stock market and it crashed. Maybe you stayed in your shitty marriage only to have the other person choose to trade you in for a younger hotter model.
We all reach these crossroads where we have to choose to gamble on a better life, or stick it out and hope for the best. I think a balance of persevering and gambling is ideal. At some point you have to stick it out and fight for the things that are worth fighting for. The grass is not always greener. Sometimes you got to get dirty and stay in the battle to win the war. But you also have to be willing to take chances and accept that you may very well fall flat on your face and fail miserably.
The worst thing you can do is nothing.