By Katrina Liu

In a world as cruel and harsh as the one we live in, it’s natural our generation is trained to keep our secrets close to our hearts. Why risk the chance of getting hurt, right? Especially if we’ve been hurt before. 

That’s the thing. Most of us have been hurt by one thing or another, whether it be being betrayed, used or anything in that realm. Each time something pierces our wall of trust, we are tempted to shut down and fight away anyone or anything that even emanates warmth. 

Sound depressing? Perhaps it is. Yet there are people out there who continue to trust in others and let people in, despite the high probability their feelings will get hurt. 

I’m one of those people. And although I recognize the looming possibility of being hurt again, I still continue trusting people wholeheartedly with absolutely no regret. 

My philosophy is this: we learn the most about ourselves and the world when we put our all into our relationships, even ones that ultimately end up failing us.

Half-assing the process of getting to know somebody seems useless to me, because why waste that energy in the first place? I want to be able to go into every relationship, whether romantic or platonic, life-long or brief, knowing that I put everything I had into it.

It helps that I’ve always been an all-or-nothing kind of person. Or, at least, that’s the kind of person I want to be.

I know people who are the exact opposite. With the hurt they’ve experienced, why even risk allowing that pain to occur again? I totally get it. Our natural tendency is to learn from our mistakes and do the exact opposite of what we did before.

But I think we can only truly learn from our mistakes by continuing to let people in. Also, part of the meaning of life is discovering feelings during different situations that you didn’t even know existed. How can you do that if you hold back?

Does this mentality result in getting hurt more often and deeply? Maybe. Will I still continue to proudly wear my heart on my sleeve? Most likely. 

I’m not here to try to persuade you to do one or the other. Life is all about equilibrium, so having both of these extremes blend together to create a happy medium is probably the way to go. We also go through phases in which we sway one way or the other. That’s natural. We’re human. We fluctuate on the daily. 

Just allow yourself to trust. Even if you keep falling and falling, you took that risk and learned something from it. That’s a pretty nice reward.