My mom and I were robbed a few days after moving into a new house my sophomore year of high school. Being burglarized is tough no matter what, but I was already having a tough year (actually extremely tough), and I was near my tipping point. It was a dark time in my life… So, that pretty much made me snap.
I felt like being robbed was a personal punishment. I was trying to make sense of every little thing that happened to me, and I guess in my desperation for reason, I decided God or the world or whatever deemed me a bad person in need of consequence. It was the only thing that made sense to me.
I started thinking –
If I’m bad, I don’t deserve good. So, if something good happens to occur (like a new house, for example), I’m going to get hit twice as hard with something bad (getting robbed).
I genuinely feared happiness because I didn’t want to be hit with sadness. I also didn’t want the consequences intended for me to negatively affect those around me. It was a bit insane, and I wish I could go back in time and smack myself silly, but it is what it is… or was…. or is.
The thing is…
As much as I can understand how nuts my mindset was back then, parts of it still exist. I don’t think I’m bad, but I also feel like goodness can’t last forever… which is why I’m absolutely terrified of my boyfriend, Spencer.
He’s the least scary person in the world, by the way. I’ve never met someone as thoughtful or as dedicated to self–reflection, consideration of others, and honest-to-goodness authenticity. He’s too good to me. He’s too good to be true.
This has been on my mind since I visited him in Dallas last weekend. He’s there for a month as part of the SoulEscape dance company. After that, he’s off to Vegas, Miami and somewhere else I can’t remember. He’s gone all summer, pretty much. I was only there from Saturday (arrived at 4 a.m. due to a flight delay) to Sunday evening, so needless to say, it wasn’t enough time, and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
We tried to set our alarm clocks to wake up early and have as much time together as possible, and at night, I did my best to fight off fatigue and be with him a bit more… but we were just so tired. As I sat at my flight gate ready to leave on Sunday, I was so mad at myself for sleeping those few extra hours.
I’ll emphasize this –
I know I’m lucky to have this fear. I’m lucky to feel so much love and so much happiness… but I feel like things are too good to be true. I still feel myself falling asleep at night wondering if perhaps I’ll wake up and realize it was all a dream and none of it is real.
Perhaps some of you are reading this thinking it’s a normal fear to have. I agree it’s normal in the sense that many people have probably felt this at least once in their life, but I think there’s more to it. I think at the heart of this fear there is an absence of self-worth.
Like Joan Didion, “I don’t know what I think until I write it down.” And as I’ve been typing away, I’m starting to question… Well, Taylor – let’s say it IS too good to be true. What would you do if he left? What would you do if something bad ever happened to him? And lastly, and perhaps more importantly – Why do you think it’s too good to be true?
To the second question, I’m realizing it’s because I still think I don’t deserve goodness. I don’t know why that is, but unfortunately, I think it’s a pretty cliché feeling that too many women feel these days. To which I say, knock it off. You deserve good. I deserve good. We need to tell ourselves that until we believe it. Bottom line.
To the first questions: I don’t really know.
If something ever happened to Spencer, I might look back and think: maybe it’s happening because I worried so much about it. Maybe I brought it upon myself. Or maybe I’d think – I knew this was going to happen. I was right all along. It was too good to be true, and I’m being punished again. Because of my bitter nature, I think it would be that last thought.
And with that in mind, I’ve decided…
I don’t want that to be my hypothetical mindset. I don’t want to live bitterly or with anger. What kind of life is that? If there’s anything I’ve learned from previous hardships, it’s that the famous proverb, “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional,” is true.
So I’m going to work on subsiding those fears. I’m going to work on living in the moment and taking each day for what it is – smiling as much as I can, which I know will be a lot. And when sadness does inevitably enter my life, I’m going to remember how silly it is that I thought for everything good I experienced, I’d experience something twice as bad.
I’m making a truce to myself to leave things as they are and not fear what I don’t know or understand. I think it’s for the best.