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    Flying By The Seat of Our Pants

           Yesterday, I spent the day and night with framly (that’s not a typo, and you won’t find the word in Webster’s. I just made up. “Framly” means “friends who I consider family”.). Whilst waiting to be seated at dinner, the cute maitre d in the sparkly blouse caught my eye. When she leaned over to say something to me in the busy restaurant, I liked the way she smelled. So, sizing up the situation, within three minutes, I knew the following: I liked the way she looked, I liked the way she dressed, I liked the way she smelled. I looked for a ring, and didn’t see one. Roger that, Houston. We are a go.
           After dinner, as we were leaving the restaurant, I asked her if I could take her out for coffee sometime. She smiled. She blushed. She stammered. Then she started laughing nervously. I smiled at her and humorously said “You’re laughing at me? I guess I’ll take that as a ‘no’ “. She kept smiling, and blushing, and laughing, and then said something definitive and clear, like, “Well, um, ah, yeah, I mean, it’s like, well......”.
           I knew she had just started working there, so she was probably caught off guard. Her reaction certainly appeared to have a healthy dose of surprise, and it was clear that she really didn’t know how to respond. After all, she could have easily just said, “No thank you”. Maybe she wasn’t versed on the restaurant’s management policy regarding socializing with patrons. Who knows. Anyway, despite the rejection, nebulous as it may be, I left with a smile on my face. She was still smiling as well.
           Being a deep thinker, I sometimes fall into the trap of over-thinking. To balance that, I consciously cultivate my awareness to discern when it’s best for me to just fly by the seat of my pants. If I had mind fucked all the possible reasons, professional and personal, why this woman could say no; or analyzed the logistics (for example, she most likely lives at least two hours from where I do); or dwelled on the fact that I had literally just met her and we knew absolutely nothing about each other; I could have easily talked myself out of asking her for coffee. Fortunately, I immediately decided that this was not a time for analysis, or even thinking. This was a time to act from within and go with my flow. She looked good. She smelled good. I was there. So was she. Ask her out. No harm. No foul. All she can do is say no. Which she did. Sort of.
           Whenever we put ourselves out there, seek a connection with another, ask for what we want, expose something about what we think or what we feel, share even just a little bit of ourselves, we run a myriad of risks. Rejection. Uncomfortableness. Ridicule. Shame. Not being accepted. Not being received. Not being liked. Not being loved. Associated with those risks is some level of pain; and the fear of that pain is what often prevents us from taking such risks. Even little ones. And certainly big ones.
           When I’m flying by the seat of my pants, I’m not thinking about those risks. I'm not thinking about the potential pain. I’m not even thinking about the potential reward. I’m focused instead on the here and now. On what feels fun and exciting and daring and sometimes even a little nuts. In the right context, that’s all I need to do. Like riding a roller coaster, life in these moments is best served by immersing oneself in the excitement of the moment, not on reminding oneself of the statistical odds of the track severing just prior to your initial descent.
           Take a little risk today. Talk to someone you want to, just because you want to. Open up to your friend, or to a member of your framly, or to your lover, just a little more than you might usually. Spread your wings, fly by the seat of your pants, just a little more brazenly, than you did yesterday.

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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