21-Day Writing Challenge Day 2 – Being Afraid


Every time I come back to Quebec it feels like I’ll never be able to leave and I’ll never find something new to do. It was the same when I came back after 15 months of travels with my ex. That time I also had to deal with a separation after a long-term relationship, so I thought this time wouldn’t be as bad. But it is.

I don’t feel like myself. I hate the person I become when I am here mostly because I get scared of just about anything. I’m scared to have to find a job here as I don’t think my experience abroad will be recognized much. I”m afraid to move to New Zealand and have to start everything all over again, meeting people, finding a job. I’m also scared to go travel on my own again. It feels like I don’t know how anymore. Even though I know this is stupid because I’ve done all of this before, the fears are still there.

They seem to be paralyzing my ability to think somewhat clearly. And I don’t really know how to move past those fears. In those moments I wish I would have some support. Someone to simply ask me what I am so afraid of. To ask me those questions I do not really want to ask myself. So I could find answers and see where the blockage actually stands. Since I don’t really have anyone seemingly ready to push me past what I’m trying to ignore, I’ll have to ask myself those questions.

What am I so afraid of?

I’m deadly afraid of making the bad decision. The same way I wonder if leaving Dubai was the right decision. I know it was, the same way I knew it was time for me to end my long-term relationship, but at the time I was worried it wasn’t the right decision. At the same time, I do know that there’s no such thing as a right or wrong decision. Once the decision is made, one simply has to go with it and move on with their lives. As usual, this is a lot easier said than done.

Why can’t I make a decision knowing all of this?

Because my entire life I’ve been extremely hard on myself, accepting nothing but success and being the best. Or at least that’s how it was when I was a kid. I haven’t been the best at anything in a very long time, so I should know that there is no such thing, yet I still expect perfection in all I do. This makes the bar so high and half the time I give up before even trying. And then, of course, I do not succeed. I do envy and appreciate people who can keep their focus and keep going especially when things get though.

I usually have the same learning curve no matter what I do. I’ll start off quite well, especially for a beginner, giving me hopes that this (whatever it could be) is something I could actually obtain a decent level in, something I might be naturally inclined and talented to do. And then I reach a plateau. I no longer progress. Not to my liking anyway. I might still progress but to a much slower pace. Since I’m not patient I get frustrated. Once I’m frustrated about not progressing as fast anymore, I start getting even harder on myself, ending up feeling worthless.

It’s such an obvious pattern, it really annoys and frustrates me not to be able to move on from it. I guess that just like anything else, it feels comfortable, so it’s reassuring. I know exactly how trying something new will make me feel. The pattern is well defined and it seems everything I try falls in the same category. Whether it was writing, learning new languages, skydiving, or pole fitness. I’ve repeated the same pattern with all of these in the last couple of years. And I’ve pretty much given up on all of it.

It makes me hate myself for being able to see the patterns, but still not being able to do things differently. So instead of keep trying, I give up. I find myself some excuses.

I’ll never be a published author anyway so why bother?

I don’t plan on traveling to Spanish speaking countries or German-speaking countries any time soon so why should I keep trying to improve my vocabulary and pronunciation?

I struggle with my accuracy. And by adjusting my fall rate to other people when skydiving. I don’t want to be the one to fuck up the jump. So I jump alone. And I don’t make progress. Then I go on and pretend I prefer it this way. While it is true that I do like to jump on my own at times because I finally feel free of all my worries and can be in the moment. However, if I want to improve I need to put in the work. And since I had such a hard time getting my A license, I don’t want to go back to that struggle and worthless feeling.

It was also the same in pole fitness. I will never perform, this is not at all what I wanted when I started anyway. So why don’t I just see it as a fun hobby and not beat myself up because my brain and body don’t seem to be able to understand how to get into a handspring?

If any of my friends were telling me everything I just wrote I would be the first one to shake them up and remind them just how far they have come and if any of these were easy a lot more people would be doing it. But because I’m me, I keep letting it slide and hating myself for it as it’s a lot easier.

I’ve had enough of this though. I’ll observe what my successful friends have done and copy their behavior. They might have struggled at times, and most likely failed. Probably even multiple times in a row. But they used that experience as a way to push themselves forward instead of crushing their own souls. No one will cheer me up. Or at least I shouldn’t expect anyone to do it. I shouldn’t need anybody’s approval to learn what I want and live the life I need.

I’ll try as much as possible to get back up every time I feel like I fell. It might seem like an impossible task at the time, but I no longer want to hide behind excuses. I know just how much we can control our mind and make ourselves believe pretty much anything, so why not force myself to believe I can actually do what I want? It won’t be easy, it never is anyway, but quitting is not really any easier to deal with afterward either.

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