Sometimes I look in the mirror and I see the person I am. The person I am is the person I want to be. The problem I seem to run into, time and time again, is this other part of me that is scared. It’s not the whole of who I am; it’s this sliver of fear that can, at times, infect every other aspect of myself.
I’ve made millions of resolutions over the years, especially when the New Year rings around. Don’t smoke. Lose weight. Be more self-assured. Be less self-involved. Let people in more. Trust. Live. Breathe. Dance. Sing.
The one thing I’ve never said to myself is, “Liz, be less afraid.”
“Liz, accept a lack of universal transparency. Accept that there are things beyond your control. Accept that you’re loved just as you are, a la Bridget Jones.”
It’s not just a matter of eradicating fear from my life; I don’t think I’ve ever been willing to admit how scared I really am. Scared of intimacy. Scared of trust. Scared of being truly happy… because how can one be truly happy when they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Of course I understand that some degree of fear is expected when living day to day. Will I get that promotion? Did I make the right choice? Does this pair of jeans make my ass look fat? It’s that other fear that can be so tricky. Can I really let them close? I know they said I could. I know they promised that they’re different.
Promises made while kissing in the snow have been broken. Promises made over and over again… it’s so easy to punish those uninvolved with promises from days gone by for the mistakes of others, isn’t it?
And that’s where I am. I am a merely a girl, resolute. I am a girl who looks in the mirror and feels split between living and living in fear. What’s different between now and before is that I feel that part of me who just wants to live and be happy winning out. For once I want to just breathe and be.
I used to use that fear and inherent mistrust of others as a security blanket.
I’ll admit I’ve gotten lucky. Over the past two years I’ve met new people who have shown me that there is a life beyond a shell of defenses I’ve created. I’ve met a man who, while I still thrash about like a bull in china closet, loves me… just as I am.
I’ll also admit that, at times, I can’t help but seize up inside. Is this real? Oh, Liz, look at you. Going at it again… being dramatic. But there you go again, and again, unwilling to realize what you’re blessed with; hiding behind the walls.
Today, as I cleaned and cooked, I made a commitment to just live. To just be.
It’s kind of funny how things like happiness, just being yourself, just living… they can be so hard to achieve. Maybe it is the simplicity that is scary. Can someone just love me? Can these people just want to be my friend?
That’s where I go from here. A resolution to throw off the cloak of the past.
I stood there today, feeling the fabric of my wedding gown between my fingers; studying the detail of the beading and shimmer; I’m moving forward. Love. Happiness. Genuine companionship. Life…
…it’s what I want, and it’s who I am. It’s where I am, and it’s where I am going. I need to move beyond that fear that has haunted me for so long. What’s the point of holding onto ghosts?
When you allow ghosts into your life, you’re not just haunting yourself. You’re allowing that cancer of anger and sadness to haunt those around you. I don’t want to be that anymore.
And I won’t.