We’ve been thinking a lot about second chances lately: when to give them, who to give them to, and how they’re earned. Second chances are complicated, because we all want to be one of those magnanimous, forgiving souls who write inspiring essays for O magazine, but at the same time, no one wants to be a gullible doormat. There’s a balance between forgiveness and foolishness; the trick is learning to walk the tight rope. Sometimes second chances are in order, and sometimes, in the cases of hipster bars or douche-y exes, it’s best to just cut your losses and move on. Here are 15 things that (almost) always deserve a second chance, and 10 things that strike out after one.
Things That DO Deserve A Second Chance:
1. Most people. Because, to quote Kid President, “We all mess up sometimes. The biggest mess up? Not forgiving each other’s mess ups.”
2. The vegetable you swore you hated when you were 10. It’s time to end the war on lima beans.
3. The therapist you didn’t quite connect with in the first session. Is it really her fault that you didn’t feel like talking about your mom that day?
4. A so-so first date. Inaugural dates can be marred by a variety of things: nerves, expectations, bad first impressions. If there was even a tiny hint of a spark, it’s worth another go.
5. The book you started writing four years ago and stopped because it was too hard. Whenever you’re ready, the world needs your book. Even if it’s Sasquatch erotica.
6. A two-piece swimsuit. No matter your size, you never know if you feel ready to rock a bikini until you try it on.
7. The vacation spot that you visited with your partner right before you broke up. Trust us, Maui looks very different without all the tears and silent treatments.
8. The workout you hated the first time. Zumba class #1: awkward and mortifying. Zumba class #2: “Hey this is kinda fun!”
9. The boots you decided not to buy but can’t stop thinking about. When you dream about a piece of clothing, it’s time to go back and get it.
10. The friend who was going through a hard time and treated everyone like shit. Give people a few month grace period to be assholes when they’re going through a hard time. Someday you’ll need it, too.
11. The trend that you got made fun of for trying in middle school. Your neon high-tops and bolo ties were just ahead of your time, girl.
12. The guy you dated in college who’s all grown up now. As long as he’s ditched the Baja hoodie, he deserves another shot.
13. The coffee shop down the block that just opened and didn’t have half & half. Give them a few months to work out the kinks, and realize that half & half is kind of important.
14. The book that you couldn’t get through your sophomore year of English. The specter of your tattered copy of Wuthering Heights will haunt you forever until you finish it.
15. Your new brother-in-law. Chances are he’s going to be in your life awhile. Make an effort to find somethingto like about him.