A Little Reminder to Myself …

Came across this the other day (thank you, once again, Yogi Teas, for your inspired labels), and I found it particularly applicable this week.

I don’t know what provoked it, but I’ve been a little down this week. Feeling a little lonely. Alone. Ostracized. Excluded. I guess I was due for it – this year has been pretty free of lows for me.

That’s the thing I’ve never been able to quite conquer – the fact that I seem to be somewhat of a walking contradiction. I’ve never been afraid to go after the things that I want the most, but I’m consumed by fear of rejection when it comes to getting the one thing I truly want more than anything in the world. I love being around people, yet I find myself so crippled by fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, or what other people are thinking, or of judgements, that I have a hard time really being completely comfortable around anyone until I know that they are receptive to my friendship.

Much in the same vein, I do have trouble letting my guard down, and being vulnerable. Maybe it’s age, or maybe it’s just oversensitivity, but I feel like the few occasions in which I have allowed myself to open up, I’ve ended up getting hurt. I realize that pain and struggle is part of the process, but so much of me wonders why it has to be so hard for people to just be real. Say what they mean. Mean what they say. Avoid conflict. Though I’m starting to think that in my attempts to avoid conflicts, I’ve hurt myself – squandered opportunities, been passed over for someone more assertive. And that truly hurts my heart.

But I’m not going to wallow in the fallout of a bad day (which, by all accounts, should have been a great day – had I not allowed myself to feel like the outsider looking in). I’m going to use it as a learning experience, and motivation to know that something amazing is at the end of the tunnel. A reward for the struggles. To finally get that ultimate happiness that is sure to be the result of overcoming what may now appear to be impossible challenges. As much as I hate the saying “good things come to those who wait,” I do hope it’s true – because as long as I feel like I’ve been waiting, something pretty amazing has to be ahead of me.

Why I’m doing this …

I think sometimes we got so wrapped up in what we don’t have, that we forget to be grateful for the things we do. We become so focused on how perfect others’ lives seem, that we forget that everything happens for a reason, and there’s a timetable attached to it – and it may not be the same as the “life plan” we’ve set for ourselves. If it did, I’d be living a very, very different life right now.

I’ve recently embarked on year #31, and I’ve decided to try doing  something that I probably should have been doing all along – thinking less about when my life is going to figure itself out. It’s time (probably past time, honestly) that I start spending more time enjoying whatever life throws at me. Because at the end of the day, I may not have everything I want in my life – but what I do have is pretty great.

So there’s my goal for the next year – and hopefully beyond – to live my life, and not compare my haves and have nots to others’, and not to focus so much on what I’ve done so wrong to end up so “behind schedule.” Because I don’t think that it’s so much that I’ve done anything wrong. It may be that I spent so much time looking for what I don’t have that I stopped enjoying what I do have. Or that I spent so much time working that I forgot what it felt like to be living. Or that I’ve been so afraid of “screwing it up” that I’ve held myself back from things that may have left me exposed and vulnerable – but could have been wonderful.

I’ll admit that it scares me to death. I’m a planner. I’d love to know exactly what is going to happen every day for the rest of my life. But I know that’s impossible (How does that quote go? Something along the lines of “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”?) So, yes, I’m scared. Terrified. But I also know that nothing scares me as much as the thought of doing what I’ve been doing, then finding myself looking back 20 years from now, wondering what my life could have been had I stopped worrying about when it was going to work itself out and started enjoying whatever it is that fate throws at me.