I had that recent realization that I have to stop living in fear about my loves. I remember telling a friend not too long ago, “I’m so happy I’m terrified”. Ever get like that? The thing is that I see silver linings all over the place and I’m a optimistic person, but.. but I’m often waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I don’t like admitting this about myself. It’s not a thing I’m proud of. But I’m betting I’m not the only one that does this and it’s a happiness and love killer. I’m not saying that keeping your feet under you is a bad thing in adventures and love. I’m not saying that heads in the clouds are bad. I actually like these two things together. I am saying that keeping my one foot out the door (just in case!) is a thing that makes me unhappy and hurts my relationships. I’ve been feeding my insecurity.
This makes me think of something the character Rob said in High Fidelity-
Rob: “I can see now I never really committed to Laura. I always had one foot out the door, and that prevented me from doing a lot of things, like thinking about my future and… I guess it made more sense to commit to nothing. And that’s suicide. By tiny, tiny increments”.
It’s not perfect, because I do commit, but I do the same foot out the door thing and it IS suicide by tiny tiny increments. It feeds my fear and insecurity and is like a little hole in my bucket, always draining just a little at a time. I periodically scan the faces of those I love for the signs. I fear the worst.
It’s not just sexual/romantic loves either. I worry often when I visit friends that I’m overstaying my welcome. I wonder when I call or text anyone if I am bugging them or feeling like a burden. I call people and text people. It’s not a crippling thing, but it is there at the edges of my mind. When I laugh really hard I worry that I’m annoying and too much. I have never in my life gone to someone’s house without calling first no matter how many times they tell me it’s okay. When friends become really special I sometimes fall in love with them in a way and I worry that I will commit a faux pas and they’ll just take away their affection.
It’s a thing I haven’t thought about in a long time, these little fears and cautions, because I am a positive person and I have generally pretty good self-esteem.
I know I have wonderful qualities and I have come to a place where I feel if I weren’t me I’d be my friend or date me. I’m funny and kind and thoughtful. I’m intelligent and sincere and a very good confidant. I am trustworthy and I’m fun to be around. I’m honest and silly and I like lots of cool things and can have fun anywhere. I’m independent and self-sufficient. I have a lot of talents. I’m good in bed and I’m creative. It’s not that I don’t see these things or that I think I suck. I don’t think I suck (most of the time.. I have a weak moment here and there). I know I have good qualities and I think I’m a good addition to a circle of friends or to a romantic relationship or a family.
It’s that I’m afraid to ever “be a sucker”. I can’t stand the feeling of being a big dumb dog and chasing affections. I don’t want to be weak or vulnerable, though of course I am sometimes. I hate when people talk about me being a feeling person because in my head I think they mean histrionic. I know what we think of feelings and emotional people. We look up to logic and reason. We negate intuition and smile indulgently at the weak wishy-washy world of emotion. I AM a clear and rational thinker, but dammit I AM an emotional creature too. Most of the time it works. It makes me really good at my job and able to understand people. It took me a long time to see empathy as a gift. I revered in myself only my reason and tried so hard not to be a person of feeling. But thankfully I came to understand that reason and feeling is a good combination and I’m making more peace with my emotional nature too.
I’m finding even more the balance of feet on the ground and head in the clouds. It’s good to be reasonable and to dream. But I have to let go of the foot out the door, the scanning for signs of demise, the ever reserving part of me that puts the end on the sentence “This is so wonderful.. for now“. It’s a thing born and bred in fear. The foot out the door is the ever questioning.. but do you really love me.. really? It makes me jump to the worst possible conclusion to explain something I observe. It makes me pull back from those I love to avoid being hurt. It makes me second guess. It’s suicide by tiny little increments.
So I’m turning my lovely creative optimistic mind on my relationships. I’m adding up all the evidence for why I can feel secure and loved and safe. I’m tallying all the clear reasons I’ve been given to trust. I’m looking at the overwhelming proof and taking heart. And I have to tell you, it feels fine.
I’m thinking of how she loves me enough to say hard things and that she just needs time and there isn’t anything I can do but she loves me. I thinking of all the time I’m given. I’m loving my plans for my weekend trip with Cleveland to Astoria, and to British Columbia or Montana with Traveler (5 days or so.. a long trip.. a real vacation!). I’m thinking of when I was sick. I’m remembering that way he looks at me. I’m seeing everything in his eyes. I’m hearing her really talk to me about the things that matter to her. I’m thinking of all the phone calls and texts and Facebook and Google chats. My mind is full of the lovely invitations and requests to spend time with me. I’m seeing the yummy dinners at the laughs and the warm kisses and little kindnesses. My mind is flooding with memories and moments and there are so many. I have so very many reasons to believe and to know and to trust. The evidence is good. After all of this time and this experience I’m pulling my foot our of the door and keeping both firmly on the ground. I’m going to be alright. The outcomes of things won’t change much I imagine, but it’ll be nice to enjoy this good, to just enjoy this good.