I settle. I’m a settler. I’m afraid of success and my life is a reflection of the poor choices I make as a way to negate success. I have always known this to some extent, but I never fully realized it’s depth.
Some time during my teen years I watched this show on one of those lifetime or women’s networks. It was a reality show before reality shows became the perplexing garbage that they are today. A group of women going through a hard time lived together with a few life coaches. Together they learned to heal themselves and each other. One of the life coaches told a woman during their session that “procrastination is a fear of success”. It’s not a sign of incompetance or laziness, it’s a fear to move forward in your life. More than 10 years later, it still resonates.
So what does this mean? How exactly do I define success? That’s a bit difficult to answer and in the words of Alanis Morissette, “I haven’t got it all figured out just yet.” But I have realized the way it ties into my relationships with people, specifically lovers.
I used to joke that when I entered a relationship, I always had one foot out the door. I thought it was because I had difficulty giving myself fully to someone and had a tendency to bail. That it was sheer fear of commitment. It turns out that I choose people I know it will never work out with because I’m afraid of real happiness. I guess I’m afraid that if it doesn’t work out when I really want it to, that I won’t be able to handle it.
I like to believe that life hasn’t broken me. That I don’t have a lot of baggage, but I guess that’s not true. When someone feels more comfortable in the chaos than in the light, something is broken. I don’t want to feel this way or be this person and I gave a valid effort in 2016.
I ended a toxic relationship with someone I realized I didn’t even want to be with because their life choices went against everything I believed. I thought I loved him, but the love was in the absence of hate. When he broke me down and made me feel unworthy, the hurt I felt came from a place of love. Only then did I realize my true feelings and that is not a way to have any kind of relationship.
I wish I could say that was the only time I felt this happened, but it’s not. Every person that I’ve loved except for one, has come from a place of sadness instead of joy. I always thought I was stronger, that I would never allow myself to be victimized. I thought I knew better, but it turns out I am fallible and human after all.
After that relationship ended, I got a new job, started taking university classes to finish my degree, I got excited about the prospect of dating again and I was able to get off my anxiety meds after a hell of a couple years. Things were looking up, so of course, I had a massive panic attack. I was happy, so why was I feeling the way that I was?
That was the moment it all changed. When I could no longer lie to myself. The truthiness was too real. It was like everything began to make sense, it all started to click into place, not all of it was pretty, actually most of it wasn’t, but it was there and I had to finally deal with it. Every day I walked to work and in the silence, my world would unravel. By the the time I walked through the office door 15 minutes later, I was in no position to do my job. Like a punch to the face, it was quite the wake up call.
As the months passed, the final truth came. I was in love with a friend of mine who I continually pushed away. We have been friends for 10 years, at times our relationship has been physical but always casual. I never told him how I felt, that I wanted more. I’m not even sure that I did. I was positive that he could never feel the same, that it wouldn’t work out anyway. I truly believed that he deserved someone so much better than me, so I never stood in his way.
Until Novemeber, when I thought, “Why not me?”
I don’t want to go into details because I am not ready to be that soul baring. I need to keep some things private, not only for my sake. I will say, that 2016 ended with me telling him exactly how I’ve felt all these years in a 2 page email. I probably would have prefered to say it in person, some of it anyway, but the circumstances wouldn’t allow it, and it needed to come out.
This is something I never would have been able to do, even a few years ago. I wrote a post about not doing this in high school. I felt like a weight had been lifted, but it also made me feel lost. Like, if i didn’t have this secret or any secrets, then who am I? It’s a crazy realization. I felt like I was floating and couldn’t ground myself. Nothing made sense. Blank stare emoji is what I became.
So, now it’s March of 2017, it’s taken me 2 months to finish this, to be brave enough to publish it. The final chapter of 2016, I am finally ready to move forward. No more procrastination. Let’s see what the future has in store for me.