For a long time, I honestly believed that achieving happiness was an impossible goal.
I was too flawed, too depressed, too ugly, too chubby, and too ordinary. Seeing the bright side was a foreign concept for me. Though I tried hard to stay positive and push my sadness aside, it never worked. I had no idea where to begin.
Now I’m more confident, at least when I’m on my own. I don’t know that I have discovered some magical fountain of self-love, but I’ve definitely adjusted my priorities. The truth is that I simply don’t care so much about stupid, superficial shit anymore. Life is short and I don’t want to keep on wasting it.
Unfortunately, all that maturity goes down the drain when I confront myself honestly about what I believe I deserve in a relationship and in my career.
I am terrified to really and truly … try.
If I sort of work towards my professional goals and visions, but always fall short of the mark, then I never fail. I can’t fail if I never put myself out there fully in the first place, right? The same goes for love. If I refuse to open up and allow complete vulnerability with another human being, that person cannot truly hurt me. Never mind that I then, in turn, also miss out on experiencing the true joy of bonding with another human without reservations.
I’ve been this way my entire life. No matter how much I may evolve and develop in the personal realm, that work inevitably shows massive gaps when it comes to applying my growth to everyday existence.
When I was a child, I was required to do everything perfectly the first time around. Now, as an adult, I don’t know how to let myself experiment, go big, and fall hard. I have no understanding of what it means to take risks and recover normally if they don’t go how I’d hoped. I don’t know how to play and show my sillier side without fear of being dismissed as a foolish human being. I’ve always been what one might categorize as too serious. The irony is that my fear dampens every ounce of passion in my body until I doubt that any existed in the first place.
Yes, I do constantly urge myself to get over this hurdle and leap for the heights, but it’s easier said than done. It’s not that simple to throw out thirty years’ worth of learned and reinforced behavior and start over again. If I succeed, then I can fall. If I love deeply, then I can be deeply hurt. I’m afraid. The fear still wins.
If I’m always near the bottom, then I can’t fall too far. It may sound pathetic, but it’s oddly comforting.
On the other hand, I’m perpetually dissatisfied and will continue to be until I get over this crap and decide to fearlessly unleash the potential that lives inside me.
I do not want to repeat the patterns of my family before me. The idea of doing so shames me, and yet I continue on in the same vein year after year, inching closer to change only to shrink back again.
I’ve gone from despairing that I could never become happy to understanding that it is, in fact, achievable. I even have glimpses of true contentment before my sabotaging brain goes to work decimating it. The problem is that I have to be willing to accept that with the best might also come the worst, and then go for broke anyway.
I know that I will never live my fullest life unless I rid myself of these crippling fears. The question is, do I have the guts to do it?