A Hot Girl Can Change Your Life

Ashley Cleland
https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0eK34i_0Y85sqsC00Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Iavoided my hot girl for two years. Something about her made me afraid. I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly. Then I stopped avoiding her. I stopped avoiding her so hard that instead I wrote a romance novel inspired by her. That seemed safer at the time.

My husband said he knew that our marriage was over when he heard the plot of my novel. It was a coming into your identity story featuring a steamy affair with a woman named Summer in a sweet Southern town on the water. I think you can guess which element of this story he wasn’t okay with. (Hint: it wasn’t the Southern town on the water.)

My therapist had even endorsed the idea at first. She encouraged me to find a way to get this hot girl out of my system when I shared about this overwhelming attraction. Which wasn’t in and of itself that surprising, given she was, as I mentioned, pretty dang hot.

I can acknowledge that sexuality is fluid and I am only human. But this was different. It was lightning strike out of nowhere attracted. The kind of attraction that simmers through your veins, filling you up with unexpected desire.

There was that one pesky detail: I was completely and happily (or so I thought) married.

I didn’t know what to do with these feelings. I surely couldn’t act on them and this wasn’t a reciprocated feeling. Even if I had intentions, there was nothing to act on. So I got to know her. I used my interactions with her as inspiration for a romance novel that had been tapping on my heart for a long time.

The irony is not lost on me that in writing a romance, I found myself living the research/writing and then falling for your subject trope. Did I learn nothing from watching Never Been Kissed at sleepovers for years?

The answer to that is a big yes, apparently. I fell hard and my life as I knew it was simply not built for the fallout. This person and my feelings for her were extremely inconvenient.

As inconvenient as these feelings were, they were also an indicator of a much bigger problem. I was filled with a haunting ‘What if’ and tortured by my unlived life. I never thought I’d understand why people had affairs until I read that relationship expert Esther Perel refers to them as “the revenge of unlived lives.”

While I didn’t have an affair, I deeply resonated with the unlived life concept. At some point, my temporary fix, the romance novel, would no longer satisfy my curiosity. As the words spilled onto the page, there was my unlived life revealing itself before my eyes. A possibility I had never dared to consider. A big, important ‘What if.’

My unlived life was this inner wanting to be with a woman. What if I said something to this hot girl (or any woman)? What if I didn’t? Would I regret it for the rest of my life?

Spoiler alert: I blew up my life. I decided I couldn’t miss this ‘What if’ on my heart. Whether it was this particular hot girl or someone else, I needed to be with a woman or I would regret it later.

“Not regretting it later is the reason I’ve done at least three quarters of the best things in my life.” — Cheryl Strayed

Is your hot girl actually a ‘What if’ that you can’t miss?

Before you blow up your life chasing whatever your ‘hot girl’ is, ask yourself this. Will you regret it later if you don’t explore it?

In her column Dear Sugar, Cheryl Strayed answered someone debating whether or not to have children. He was content with their childless life but worried he may regret it later if he didn’t become a father. She encouraged him to fully imagine both paths (to have children or not to have children) from the perspective of his future self. She gently instructs him that thinking deeply about his choices and actions from the stance of his future self can serve as “both a motivational and a corrective force.”

But above all, she tells him: “Not regretting it later is the reason I’ve done at least three quarters of the best things in my life.” Looking back on the best things in my life, I have to agree with that statement.

I’ve learned that you’ll always have ‘What ifs.’ That is an inevitable part of being alive. And there are a lot of ‘What ifs’ you can live with.

It’s the well-timed hot girl, the ‘What if’ you can’t miss, that changes everything.

Whatever your hot girl is, pay attention. This might be a person, a job, an opportunity to live somewhere you never expected. Only you can know the ‘What ifs’ that wake you up and shake your soul alive. Your ‘What if’ may be sending you a very important message about your life. Think about what your future self needs from you today so you don’t regret it later.

I may never have the hot girl, but what I won’t have is a regret that I can’t live with. This won’t be one of those ‘What ifs’ that wake me up in the middle of the night.

The truth is, life is full of ‘What ifs’:

What if I had children?
What if I married this person?
What if I didn’t marry this person?
What if I took the job?
What if I didn’t take the job?

What if I finally traveled the world?
What if I didn’t?

What if I went after the hot girl?
Or, for me, what was infinitely worse:
What if I didn’t?

May you and I not regret it later.

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