The two words that have plagued me for as long as I can remember. The "What ifs?" that tell me to wait for the perfect moment, to wait for a better idea, have no regard for a future. They are simply a voice of caution in a world more dangerous than we admit, yet made worse by our own inaction.
In this life, we are encouraged to live safely, yet thousands die in preventable ways. We are encouraged to love without fear, yet I find myself living as a member of a cold-blooded people. Our values and goals have become inverted, putting death around the corner and love into myth. Maybe it is the fact that when the adrenaline hits, safety is forgotten, explaining the unending accidents in the world. And what if people are not open anymore because of "what if?"
What if we were hurt in the past? What if what we thought was love was something else? What if we are afraid of letting go of someone? What if we are afraid of letting someone in? To be...ourselves, unfiltered. What if someone sees the real you and doesn't like who they see? What if you lower your guard and someone sees how broken you really are? What if you waited too long, and you never know what could have been?
In terms of physical safety, what if is the greatest thing since hand rails. If no one thinks about the damage that their actions could cause, then this world would be a lot crispier. But the frustrating thing about people is that we are not simple creatures. Yes, we are motivated by pain and instincts, but there is so much more to life that cannot be put into simple terms. And it is times when the complicated things go unsaid, that other kinds of damage are caused. When a word of comfort is withheld, and a friend turns to other means to cope with pain. When a compliment is bitten back in fear of sounding too soft. When love is never given a chance to burn, and the world becomes that much colder for it.
Why? Why do we stay silent about the wrong things? Why do we find it so cathartic to complain and get angry over foolish things or lose our minds in the endless memes and clickbait that dominates media? Why do our pastimes involve doing nothing but scrolling as if we are waiting for life to happen on-screen when it is literally passing us by? As I have entered adulthood, I regularly find myself drifting into that oblivion of scrolling; looking at images I forget the second after I see them. It's sickening.
We spend our lives waiting, passing the time until something happens. Bad news, nothing is going to happen unless we try. Because as humans, we are afraid. We fear the unknown, the "what if?". What if we are afraid of living? Death is effortless if we wait, living requires action.