Someone told me recently that I don't take enough risks. I spend far too much time alone. and I do. I retreat into a world of fictional characters, lose myself in books and television shows, analyze character development and relationships. All within the confines of my bedroom walls. I used to take risks. I used to reach out to other people and show them who I was. I used to open myself up to people in hopes that something wonderful would happen, but it never did. I would get shot down, torn apart & left to bleed and suffer alone. It got to the point where it was just easier to retreat into myself and avoid pain. He told me that by not taking those risks I was missing out on life, and what better reward was there than taking a risk and finding my other half? Except to me, that reward is out of reach; completely unattainable. That isn't in the cards for me. Plato derived that soulmates originated with the idea that man once had four arms, four legs and two faces. But the god Zeus was threatened by the power that they possessed and so he split them apart, condemning us to spend the rest of our lives searching for our other half, our missing piece--the other being who would complete us. Some people get lucky - they search for a time and stumble across that person, and finally feel complete. People like me? We aren't so lucky. We go through life searching and waiting, and trying again; giving away pieces of our hearts until we are even less complete than we were before and have nothing to show for it. And I'm tired of giving myself away to people who will only hurt me. I've become more and more rational in my decision making, not allowing myself to take a risk or make a gamble, deciding instead that I am better off alone. When you are alone, no one can hurt you. When you don't rely on anyone else, you have no choice but to be strong for yourself. And then he asked me what was stopping me from taking those risks; from making those gambles. He, the person who I had probably come the closest to finding my missing piece in; he, who knows me better than anyone, inside and out. He is the only person I ever 100% let my guard down with and the only person who ever compelled me to be 100% honest about how I felt. In asking me what held me back, he knew I'd have no choice but to be honest, with him and with myself. And so I admitted my fears; my fear of disappointment, of rejection, of all the things I believed about myself being proven true. And he asked where those fears come from. He of all people should know, but I answered him anyway. Goodbye is the only thing I have ever known. The minute I start to feel comfortable and let my guard down, it's as if an earthquake comes along and the ground drops out from beneath me and I lose everything. I lose all control. i lose myself. And it hurts. It hurts to be proven correct, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you are okay for a time, but you will never be good enough for forever. That you will always be left because no one cares enough to stay. That no one will ever be willing to fight for you because you are not worth fighting for. It's painful and it's shattering and I never want to feel like that again. So it is safer to hide away behind my bedroom door, in front of a television screen, in the words of fanfiction written in the early morning hours as night turns to day. It's where I feel safe, it's where i know that no one can touch me; no one can hurt me--I can never be abandoned if I'm alone from the start. And maybe I am missing out. Maybe there is this part of life I don't get to experience because I keep myself hidden away. But I find that I really don't even care anymore. It hurts too much to be abandoned, and I would much rather sacrifice finding my soulmate than open up and be left alone again, with nothing more than another scar and a little less of myself to show for it. I never imagined at 21 that this is what my life would become. But it has and it is, and somewhere deep inside of me, I guess I can't say I'm surprised. Maybe I did know all along.