Vanessa is one of my oldest friends. Since high school, she has been there for me throughout almost all of my boy problems and boy joys (Cute rhyming, right? Maybe the phrase will catch on). She’d listen patiently when I giggle through detailed recounts of great dates, and comfort me when I cry through explanations of why it didn’t work out. She’s also one of the rare few people who don’t look at me like I’m crazy when I draw parallels between real life experiences and something that happens in Harry Potter.
We are so close and comfortable with each another that when we used to both have super short hair, walking down the street together we received glances from strangers who obviously think we’re a lesbian couple. It was very amusing, but yes, we should all be so lucky that the person we’re dating happens to be one of our best friends.
Anyway, recently Vanessa comments that I’m very good about keeping safe. It’s true: I carry a pepper spray with me 95% of the time, I rarely use my headphones outside of the office or home because I like to be aware of my surroundings at all times, and I only very occasionally get wasted and I only do that when I’m surrounded by close ones. My dad grew up in a part of Vietnam that was pretty shady back then, so at an early age, I was taught the mindset to always be cautious: “If someone asks you for directions, tell them but don’t go with them. Write it down on a piece of paper if they insist.” “If a stranger offers to help you carry your luggage, say ‘no, thank you’- who knows if they’ll run off with it.” “Try to memorize the cab driver’s name or license plate until you are out of the car.” And of course- “Never get into a physical fight with anyone in their own home. They would know where the knives are.” I remember reading multiple books on safety tips for children as well. High five, parents.
So I tell Vanessa that, yes, I am very careful about physical safety but I am actually really terrible at guarding against others when it comes to matters of the heart.I distrust strangers until they earn it, but once I feel like I know someone fairly well or I consider them my friend, I become very trusting and gullible. I know this because in the past when people have betrayed or lied to me, it was usually an unexpected surprise to me, to which my good friends would point out all the previous warning signs. I’m also a big optimist and I believe in the good of mankind overall. I don’t like to be paranoid all the time, and I give people the benefit of the doubt so much to the point I may be putting myself in a vulnerable position. Occasionally I do wonder if it’d be better for me to be a bitter pessimist. To this, Vanessa responds:
“You have a big heart. No matter what happens, I think that’s a good thing. You might get hurt more but you also love more.”
I know that I’m not supposed to fall fast and hard, but I can’t help it. That’s just how I roll. You should see me when I go shopping: Because I know myself very well, when I see something, I know almost instantly whether I like it or not. It normally takes me just one time of trying something on and then I’m able to make a decision. The whole process probably takes 5 minutes. I think my gut feelings about individuals are just as accurate, but I’m often proven wrong. Don’t worry- The good thing is that I also get over it easily and quickly.
You can read Vanessa’s tweets @Bunnessa.
Cheers to other big and open hearts,