I must’ve spent an hour looking at two different rings. I went into ring shopping wanting to just say, “That looks nice. How much?” But as I stared at the rings the “Four C’s” now filled my head —Color, Clarity, Cut, and Carat. This was a lot more overwhelming than I originally imagined. But, on my way home from the jeweler, the truly overwhelming reality began to settle in: I am actually going to propose to Mimi.
This question haunts every man, it’s a thought that we’ll do anything to distract ourselves—video games, pornography, drinking, drugs—anything that will keep our mind off of it. It’s a question that paralyzes men from even wanting to try, paralyzes us from action. And as a result, prevents us from being who we’re meant to be and do what we’re meant to do.
No man wants to find out that their very best may still not be enough. I recently just heard a story of a kid who loved basketball and was the star point guard of his middle school team. But when he moved to another high school, he looked into the gym before tryouts at all the older, bigger guys. He filled himself with doubt, and never stepped on the court to tryout, giving up organized basketball all together. I feel for this kid, because I know exactly what it’s like to be filled with fear—afraid that someday, someone will find out I’m a fraud. It’s better that I don’t even try.
As I continued to drive the questions seeped into my head. Do I have what it takes to be the man she needs me to be? Strong enough? Loyal enough? Responsible enough? It was tempting, in this moment of doubt, to convince myself that I didn’t really want marriage or a family—that it is more responsibility than I can possibly handle. What if I fail?
I hit a red light. I said the words, “Stop!” I meant it. There is nothing I want more than to marry Mimi, to be a good husband to her, and to one day be a good father as well. I knew I couldn’t let fear of failure rob me of that.
I thought about how Mimi has shown me she loves me. I thought about her hinting and her desire to be married with not just someone one day, but with me. She believes I am a man who can make her happy.
When I was in elementary there was a poster I used to stare at, without really understanding what it meant. But now I do. It was a picture of an empty basketball gym from the point of view of the free throw line. The basketball was on the floor with no one else in the room. The caption read: “You always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
This was my shot to take, my moment to rise to the next step in our relationship. I thought about how much I loved Mimi, and remembered that she is the one that I want to spend the rest of my life with. I refused to let these doubts and fears control me. So two months later, at the end of a recreated first date, I got down on one knee. It has been the best decision of my life.
Do I still feel at the end of each day that I come up short ? All the time. But every day I try anyway because this life is the one shot I have.
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