I had an epiphany today. I’m a member on an online dating site. Yes, I’m a single woman in the . . . the . . . this day and age – seriously what is this day and age called, does anybody know? – so of course I’m on a dating website. No, I have not found Mr. Right, truth be told I haven’t even found Mr. Good Enough For Right Now. For the most part I’ve found invites for Internet sex or sexting and requests that I send pictures of myself in a bathing suit. Which officially begs the question, do women actually send pictures of themselves in a bathing suit to men that they’ve never met? Crrrreeeeeeepy! At any rate, I’ve tried out a couple of these sites and they all have these questions that you answer so that they can match you with guys. Without fail, there is always a question similar to this:
So far has your life been motivated by?
Honestly, I think they’re missing the real answer for a lot of people: fear.
I know that for me it is true. I think for me it was something that was learned very early on. My childhood was spent in a state of anticipation, a state of fear waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have no studies or testimonials to back this up, but I’m going to guess that this is probably a pretty universal experience for kids that grew up with a sick parent. There was always a fear of what was to come next. Was she going to be okay, was it going to be a good day or a bad day? Would she suddenly take a turn for the worse? My mind was filled with fear. No matter how much reassurance I was given, the fear remained. When she died, mixed in with all of the other sundry emotions was a palpable relief; relief that I no longer needed to wait for the other shoe to drop, because it just had. It was as if I was Atlas and the world had been lifted from my shoulders. Shortly thereafter a heavy helping of guilt replaced it, but that’s another topic all together. The fear was gone, but only fleetingly. Like all old habits, it came back and I found other things to fear.
I was afraid that if I was my own person no one would like me. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be good enough . . . at anything. Even in jobs that I knew I was doing good work and that I was a valued employee there was still this underlying fear that one day I would do something that would upset the applecart so egregiously that they would fire me on the spot. I thought that I had tackled these fears years ago and moved on, but traces remain and pop up in the weirdest of places.
I’m afraid that I’m not taking care of my dogs properly. I’m still afraid that I will get fired from my job suddenly. I’m afraid that somebody will find out that I like Taylor Swift’s music more than Beyonce’s. Whoops, let that cat out of the bag! I can’t help it Swift’s music is catchy and quite frankly, “Cause I’m not your princess, this ain’t a fairytale, I’m gonna find someone someday who might actually treat me well“ is a much more interesting lyric than, “If you like it then you should have put a ring on it” repeated ad nauseum – no offense intended to the Beyonce groupies out there, I just don’t get the hype. With how much money she has, she couldn’t afford to buy another lyric? C’mon!
My point is, why live in fear? How is that profitable? Which brings me to my Shakabuku – for those who are saying “What is the world is that?” see here or here. You can’t live in the moment if you are perpetually afraid of what might happen in the next moment. It’s impossible. Go ahead and try it, you can’t do it, and the key word in that sentence is MIGHT – it’s not even a fear of a definite. So this living in fear has got to stop. Right. Now. I believe that everything happens for a reason, the good, the bad and the really shitty. I don’t regret anything in my past, because it has made me who I am today, and I am strong. I can take anything that life throws at me, because quite frankly I’ve probably already been through worse. So bring it. After all, if everything happens for a reason, what is there to fear? How’s that for a swift kick to the head?