Why I Am Afraid Of Reality (And You Should Be, Too)

Flickr / Mateus Lunardi Dutra
Flickr / Mateus Lunardi Dutra

Reality can be scary. But it is also beautiful.

When you start to discover who you are as a person and who you want to become, you start to notice changes and things about yourself that you didn’t realize before. Suddenly, when you are in college you seem to be constantly figuring out your identity, working it out little by little. Like, maybe you realize that you are really good at organizing your time, but no so much into controlling how may episodes of Netflix you want to watch during the day, or maybe you realize deeper things, important things, like how much you love your parents and how much you miss them when you’re away.

Regardless, in the path of finding these little and big things about yourself, you get to know yourself the best. There is this introspection that occurs in which you realize that you have been hiding. Hiding from reality. Because reality can be scary, but it can also be pretty beautiful. I know that I am a person who is distracted, who wanders too much, and who observes without really noticing the things or the people around me. I have no self-awareness and my head seems to live in the clouds most of the time which causes my mom to worry. She fears I’m not experiencing all there is to my time as a teenager, my youth, and everything that is associated with it.

I think, I told her, in our conversation, that I have a foot on the ground and one reaching for the sky to experience life more fully. I gather what I see from my surroundings and turn it into this beautiful magical place in my head where the possibilities are endless and I can control what happens. Like living made-up fantasies. To a certain extent I can see her point. I do believe I have to live and to experience things in the now. But at the same time, I want to be able to recount, from the young perspective I have now as a teenager about these experiences. If I think back on them, back on how this or that used to be, a few years from now, I don’t think it will have the rawness of how I felt at the moment I experienced those things first hand. That’s why I like living how I live now.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that this kind of thinking was an excuse. An excuse to run away from love. An excuse to hide and cover myself up in blankets so that from the safety of my covers, I could peek into the outside world. And then it all came to me in a rush. I don’t want to get hurt. I’m afraid to get hurt. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of being bold and being out there. Exposed. To be judged. When I’m home with my family, which is big and full of life, there is a constant vibrancy that surrounds me. There is an edginess and an excitement to the way I wake up and go about my day and so on. This energy is converted into parties and friends and interesting talks when I’m away from them, but you learn soon enough that one thing cannot really replace the other.

When I’m away, I feel as if some part of me misses that love, that vibrancy and looks for shelter in relationships, on finding love, to fill that emptiness. But this is also a lie. I don’t want to be that type of girl and I know I’m not. I want to be the kind of girl who loves passionately and abrasively with an intensity that surprises. I want to create heat, spark and flame. I want to live a life full of life. Full of that vibrancy. But I keep making excuses and it feels like I cannot take anything seriously anymore when immersed in the confusing dating culture right now. Or more properly said, I feel that I am afraid to love. And yet a part of me screams that I’m somehow not complete, that I still have to know myself. And in questioning whether it is really me, then I start to question the way I feel.

And the cycle repeats.

I am afraid of meeting someone who is not temporary and at the same time, I am afraid I’ll meet no one. I am afraid that I am not looking for anything, but just open to what comes my way. Not quite expecting anything and not quite waiting, but just being. I hate just being. I want to live. TC mark

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