1. You have mastered the art of making excuses for all the risks you did not and will not take.
It’s just one excuse after the other—“I’m not good enough”, “Someone deserves it more”, “I have the rest of my life to do that”. It’s always next time or someday with you, as if you seriously believe that good things come to those who wait.
But believing that is just another excuse—an excuse for not being a go-getter. When you realize this and start internalizing sayings like “You miss all the chances you don’t take” or “The things that come to those that wait may be the things left by those that got there first”, it will hit you like a big yellow school bus.
2. Questions like ‘What’s the craziest thing you have ever done in your life?’ make you want to crawl under a rock and stay there forever.
Throw in other questions like “What was the most life-changing event in your life?” or “How come you have never had a boyfriend?”, and you’ll have me rattled for days.
Then you start asking yourself questions like “Is my life boring?” or “Do I really not have interesting stories to tell?” You start questioning yourself and the choices you have made thus far. Did playing it safe all your life help you end up where you wanted to be? Are you really happy with the way you have been living your life? It’s just a cycle of questions that never really ends.
3. You are expected to be the goody-two-shoes, the responsible one, the voice of reason.
Because you play it safe, people know you as the one who always follows the rules—no matter how exaggerated or insignificant they may be. You have a reputation—a good one at that—that you feel both pressured and doubtful to keep up. Pressured because you feel like that is the only image you can carry, and because you’re afraid—because you play your life safe—to try to be anything other than what you already think you are. Doubtful because you’re tired of people expecting so much from you. You believe that the things you do or say do not make an impact on anyone’s lives or perceptions of you. But when you screw up, then they take notice, and then they hold it against you.
4. You keep everyone at arm’s length.
It’s safer this way: not keeping anyone close enough to hurt you, not letting anyone in so they won’t know how vulnerable you actually are, not opening up to anyone so they don’t take advantage of your fears and weaknesses.
But more than your general mistrust of everyone around you, it’s yourself you trust the least. You’re afraid of keeping people close because you’re afraid of hurting them, afraid of letting people in because you might just drag them down with you, and afraid of opening up to people because you might say something that might hurt or offend them.
5. All anyone knows about you are watered-down snippets of your emotions.
Because you don’t open up to people—even though there are moments when you really do want too—nobody really knows how you feel. Maybe you do this because you’d hate for people to think of you as an open book, for people to be able to see right through you. You’re already as insecure and paranoid as you can possibly be, what more if all your flaws and fears are exposed for the world to see?
You feel as much emotions as your friends who call you up in the middle of the night crying over their boyfriends do, or as much anger as your mom feels when she yells at careless, rude drivers. But for you, another day is just another chance for you to downplay your emotions.
In another universe, you’re the go-getter, the one who isn’t always expected to have it together 24/7, the teenager who occasionally wakes up with a hangover on Sunday mornings, the friend who puts all her heart and soul in every story she tells.
In another universe, you let people in. You take risks.
But in this universe, you’re still the insecure girl who makes all the responsible decisions and chooses all the right roads—only to end up running in circles.
Then you realize: you want out.
So maybe it’s time for you to make a couple of mistakes.