Once upon a time, “J” and I were drinking buddies. We kicked it enough for me to know his “thing.” In his case, his “thing” was hitting on anyone who came within 2-feet of him. Pregnant ladies, married, single — everyone was fair game.
One day, “J” ended up dating a real, cute girl. Because of that, he stopped flirting. He cleaned it up. He started asking more questions, opening up.
Suddenly, one month in, he slept with three other women with machine-gun-like rapidity.
Resulting in instant, dramatic exit of girl.
“I didn’t care for her anyway,” J said to me later. “I didn’t need her.”
But on the nights he got extremely drunk, he’d drop sentences he wouldn’t remember later. “She’s the one I want to marry,” he’d confess.
It was heartbreaking. And then, it was annoying.
I judged him: Why had he run from what he really wanted? And why was it so hard for him to see he’d done it to himself?
Once upon a time, long after our drinking circle dissolved, I was broke and idealistic. I received an amazing job offer. I was shocked. Amazed. Grateful to get this once-in-a-lifetime chance.
Suddenly, I said, “I don’t have interest in writing this.” I didn’t know why, but I turned it down.
Resulting in living at my mom’s house in unemployment depression for a full year.
Once upon a time, two weeks ago, if you’d asked me I’d have said:
“Yeah, I’m a confident person. Yeah, I go after what I want. No big deal.”
Ouch. I love when I realize that I’m not as amazing as I think I am.
I am just writing to say that this is my first post after my post on Margaret Cho was Freshly Pressed. Perhaps you are reading this blog now thanks to that.
It’s a tiny thing in the big universe. But I have a tiny world and it was cool and awesome to me. So just like J, and just like me from the past, my gratitude and surprise makes me a little scared.
I could never have understood this before.
Suddenly, just like that, I realized: My fear shows me what I want.
If I saw J again today, I’d ask him: Do you feel scared when you get something good?
Me? Yes. I do.
And ya know? I’m still scared. But I won’t stop. Suddenly, I know when I fail — because I will — I’ll keep on going. It’ll be embarrassing, but it’s better than being regretful, ignorant, or oblivious to myself.
Today is not once upon a time. Today, I welcome you all in! I welcome you, failure! And you, fear!
And you — reader.
PS: Photo credit from I dunno where. I found it on Pinterest. Sorry- if you know whose comic it is, hit me up.