I’ve been using the word “transient” a lot lately in regards to my lifestyle. Living on a cruise ship makes life feel so fluid. You step onto a boat that becomes your home for several months. You meet new people, and then the connections you make may not even last as long as your contract. People may only be there for a few more months, weeks or even just a cruise. When your contract ends, you go back home for a couple months, and before you know it, it’s time to pack all of your stuff up again to go to your next ship. People come in and out of your life at the drop of a hat.
Being an Air Force brat, I’m not a stranger to people coming and going. Most of the places I lived were only home for less than four years. Some of my closest friendships are with people I haven’t seen for years. Coming from a family of divorce, I always spend the holidays away from someone I love, and I have a ridiculous amount of family members that I haven’t even met yet.
In some ways, my life has always been fluid, and it’s a lifestyle that many people I know can’t quite comprehend. As an ESFJ, I have a love of people, so I jump at the chance to make genuine connections with others, but living a transient lifestyle also makes it easy for those connections to simmer into nothing and for friendships to be forgotten.
Brave isn’t a word that I would necessarily use to describe myself in most aspects of my life, but I will proudly own up to being brave with my heart. I love bringing joy to other people to the point of being a tad overbearing, but to me, it’s so important that people know I love, appreciate and think about them, even if I can’t show it all the time. I give my heart away a lot, and I don’t necessarily mean in just a romantic sense. When I meet people, I open myself up. I show my vulnerabilities. I put down my walls quickly because my time with them is so fleeting. I want people to know the real me from the get-go, and it’s a toss-up as to whether they’ll accept that or not.
I know so many people who look for temporary fixes knowing there’s an end date and no hope of a future. I’ve been guilty of this as well, but isn’t it a little sad? It doesn’t feel good to close yourself up and be a version of yourself that you think others will like more. It doesn’t feel good to give your heart away to someone who only wants you temporarily. It doesn’t feel good to tolerate another person and fake a friendship or a relationship until someone better comes along.
You should be brave with your heart, but also be smart with your heart. Be your true self from the very beginning and be willing to let others see the real you. Don’t give your heart away to someone who sees you as a temporary fix.
I can’t say my heart has been broken a lot, but it has been bruised, and I’m grateful for every imperfection. With each wound, I grew. I learned the sacrifices I would and would not make for another person. I learned to find beauty in my vulnerability. I learned my worth and what I deserved. I learned to respect myself. I learned to be okay with saying “no.” I learned that it’s okay to be selfish with your heart.
Yes, life is transient. Yes, everything is temporary, but that doesn’t mean you should close yourself up to the opportunity of letting other people in. You can live a life of “what if’s” or a life full of learned lessons, so I challenge you to just be brave with your heart.