too grown up- thoughts about being rational

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So it’s late and I’m writing. A sure sign that my head is too full.  I’m not sure I know how to have fun. Not that I don’t laugh or enjoy people’s company but somewhere along the way I got too scared to trust “good” things. Like life or karma or something was just waiting in the wings to bite me in the ass the moment I let my guard dowhatchingn. And the funny thing about self-fulfilling prophecies is that sooner or later you’re right.

I got very good about weighing the odds and making the “right” choices. There is a part of me that almost wishes I could go back and re-do my 20’s knowing that I would be fine. But my life didn’t set me up to know things like that. I only knew that it was on me, to make it or to fail. I believed I could do it but I never dared to dream of anything more, bigger than what I could hold with my own two hands.

There was a moment when I let myself think like that. And for a while it was inspiring and I was bold. And then it changed. Like a house of cards the years of “you will fail” that I had managed to hold at bay by graduating from college, getting and keeping a job, finding someone to love; suddenly none of that mattered. It was like ten years of life amounted to one epic disaster called me. No amount of careful planning, determination or restraint had saved me.

I wonder now why I “seemingly” wasted my time being so good? I’m really not trying to build myself up. I was that kid who didn’t miss a day of school and did all their homework. I didn’t drink before twenty-one and didn’t have serious relationship until after college. I lived my life trying to make as few waves as possible, to do things the “right” way. I know that all of these ideas were/are well rooted in the instability of my childhood and my own fears about being noticed and not measuring up.

But now as an adult I look back and wish I could tell myself that it wouldn’t have mattered if I had missed a day or two of school. If  I had attended even one party in college. If I had a fling or two. But I do not know how to be that person. I do not know how to not look at what “could” happen given my choices. I envy those people who just feel like doing something and they do. I’m not saying that I want to become a care free hedonist. But it would be nice to not have to think all the time.

So I dance and I let my friends con me into stuff I would never do on my own, in the hopes that one day it won’t be quiet so scary to just go with something and not know how it will all turn out. To lay some little piece of myself in the hands of fate willingly.

 

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One response »

  1. As a once-overly-cautious girl who somewhere along the way learned to fling herself off the edge and just GO with things when life hands her opportunities, let me explain: You NEVER stop thinking about what “could” happen!!! Never. You simply learn to gather info, weigh the odds, and judge: What is most likely to go wrong? What are the most likely consequences? Can I live with that if it happens? What would I do? Is the adventure, the experience, worth that risk? You never go in blind…you just decide that you’re willing to take the possible consequences because you know your own strength and you know it won’t break you. And you listen to your instincts. They will never lead you wrong if you listen and don’t shush them. Then, even if things don’t go the way you expected, you’ve had an adventure, expanded your experiences, stretched yourself a little, and tested your own boundaries. And the next time is easier. You never stop being a little afraid … you just learn that fear is 1 part caution, 2 parts adrenaline, and it’s not so bad.

    So, here’s to doing things that scare you witless every once in a while, and loving it. 🙂

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