I have a boyfriend.
A bonafide, not-just-a-man-I-am-seeing/sleeping with boyfriend.
This is good for two reasons:
1) Before I had a boyfriend, I didn’t have any idea what I was going to write for my #VOWestablish post this week, and
2) I have wanted this man to be my boyfriend for 467 days, approximately.
But he wasn’t. For 467 days he wasn’t.
And we were both quite all right with that, maybe not all the time and maybe not always at the same time, but neither one of us was making a different choice.
Neither of us was using our words; we were choosing to forgo them.
Because words are fucking powerful.
One word—boyfriend—holds within its two syllables a good helping of commitment and a whole lot of choices made.
It’s not to say that using certain words makes us feel things; as Karen Joy Fowler wrote—
“We call them feelings because we feel them. They don’t start in our minds, they arise in our bodies….you can’t help the things you feel, only the things you do.”
And words are something we do.
Boyfriend is something done. It’s not just showing up; it’s stepping into the arena. It’s not just here for Friday nights; it’s up with you at 2 a.m. on Sunday mornings when what was served on Saturday night made you violently ill. It’s not an obligatory title; it’s a battle cry of readiness to defend what you’re certain is worth fighting for.
Yeah, boyfriend got me thinking about words this week. How easy, in theory, words are to say but how difficult it can be to use them and how significantly they can alter our lives when spoken.
Standing outside the arena is a wholly comfortable choice, and it is entirely too easy to be halfway into something. It is entirely too easy to be silent.
But you can establish things with words. You can build them. And I think it’s about time we started using them to see what we can make of this one wild and precious life.
I say, let’s take it up a notch:
Here’s to elevate.
Steph’s WITHDRAW Mantra: “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” Denis Waitley
Steph’s Song of the Week: You Get What You Give by New Radicals (P.S. We have a playlist for you now; check it out here.)
Be sure to read Lin’s post on #VOWestablish.