Modern Love Recap: On Cancer and Self-Sabotage.by Chiara Atik on March 12, 2012
The author discovers a lump in her abdomen, and immediately assumes the worst. But instead of grief or fear, she reacts completely calmly, spouting off instructions to her husband in regards to who he should marry next, how to take care of their children, etc. She realizes she felt relief upon her diagnosis: having always assumed she’d die early, she was glad to avoid the sorrows that come with the second half of life. Getting old, losing a spouse, watching her sweet children become disillusioned adults: those were the things she was really afraid of facing.
Not to take a serious topic (cancer) and compare it to a less serious topic (dating), but I feel like people sometimes let fear of heartbreak hold them back. It’s like when you break up with someone simply because you were starting to suspect they would break up with you, or when you keep a fling from getting too serious because you don’t want to risk ruining what you already have.
On the very far end of the spectrum, it’s the equivalent of not asking someone out on a date for fear of possible rejection. You’re so afraid of the (temporary!) sting and embarrassment that you forget about what you’d be getting: a good date, butterflies in your stomach, the chance to fall in love, the chance to be happy for a long time.
Which is, of course, what the author of Modern Love did. She forgot about what she’d be getting with life: the opportunity to hug her children, to listen to her husband, to have more time with them, to be happy.
In other words, (and, yes, this is cheesy, but there’s no way to put it) life (and love, which, let’s face it, is life) is always, always, worth the (inevitable) pain and heartbreak that come with it. The good parts are better than the bad.