Why I Will Never Wonder “What If” Again

Just ask him. You don’t realize it now, but you are about to spend fifteen years wondering what would have happened if you just asked him to dance.

You’ve had a crush on him for six years, and after this summer you won’t see him for a whole year. Who cares if he says no? By the time you are an adult, you’ll have heard many more “no’s” that hurt way more. A “no” at your age will only be a blip on your life journey.

So just ask him to dance. 

I know it’s the worst time of your life with your body changing, your hormones running rampant, and your life starting to take form. But what if he’s been harboring these feelings for the past six years as well? He clearly is too shy to ask you, so be the bold badass you’re destined to be.

When you grow up, you are going to remember this moment and seize every opportunity so you never have to wonder “what if” again. 

When given the opportunity to enter a dance competition, you’ll lose terrifically and have wonderful memories. When given the opportunity to sleep outside, wrapped up in bundles of clothing, to get two tickets for your parents to watch a scrimmage, you’ll end up finding your favorite hobby — Duke basketball.

At the age of 18, you’ll have to make the heart-wrenching decision to move to a city where you don’t know anyone, instead of the comfort of moving to Manhattan with all of your friends from school. And it will end up being the greatest decision you ever made.

You’ll make incredible friends who will do anything for you — who will hold your hand in the hospital and send you cookies when a boy breaks your heart. You will save enough money to travel the world and have enough free time to discover your passions.

So, eleven-year-old Julia. When I first wanted to talk to you, I wanted you to ask that boy to dance. To put yourself out there to be vulnerable and face your first potential rejection. Or find the first love of your life.

But because you stood back and because you spent fifteen years wondering “what if,” you built a life absent of “what ifs” for yourself. 

You pushed yourself to try things and explore yourself. You hold onto that feeling and tell yourself you’ll never allow yourself to wonder again. What would have happened had you just leapt?

Now, I know to leave you with these words. Don’t ever stop wondering “what if.” Instead, use it to fuel you and power you to take chances in your life. Explore.

Remember that night as a time when you decided that you would never stand back and watch life pass you by again.

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