By: Casimir ‘Cas’ Spencer
I’m Happy and Scared…….Who Knew?
I may not have it all figured out but I do have one thing figured out – I want to be happy. As a firm believer that happiness is a deliberate choice and not a natural by-product of living, I have figured out that being true to myself is the key to it all. Within the last few years it has become apparent that staying true to myself and achieving what I want out of life is my personal “Holy Grail.”
Shortly after a tumultuous relationship and break up five years ago, I found myself spiraling out of control emotionally. It was difficult for me to maintain my friendships because my ability to trust had been broken down and tarnished. So as a result, I became guarded, and went Into total preservation mode. My goal everyday was to emotionally survive the day, so I didn’t let anyone in and let nothing out. After a few years I opened myself up to new friendships and connections. They proved to be a GOD send, although short-lived. Interestingly, I haven’t opened myself up to new love interests and have – to some degree – really given up on the idea of putting any effort forth when it comes to dating and relationships. Instead I have hunkered into my comfortable risk-less existence of just having same sex friendships and no new male friendships, romantic or otherwise.
During a conversation regarding love and marriage a few years ago, a close girlfriend at the time asked what I wanted, and after a short exchange, it was revealed that I really didn’t know. I thought once upon a time I would get married, have a baby and live happily ever after but at 34, it hasn’t happened and I’m not exactly disappointed about that anymore. Although I know I want marriage and family in the future, I honestly don’t know if it’s for me. Do I truly want it or do I simply romanticize the idea of marriage and family? I honestly don’t know but I feel it’s important TO know. I’m committed to discovering what I truly want. I’m committed to living my life one day at a time without preconceived notions (good or bad), ideas or thoughts. I’m committed to being HAPPY!
But is this really the case or am I just using this as a cover to hide my fear of being hurt? It’s possible that I’m hiding in plain sight.
Although my ultimate goal in life is to create and live in my happiness, it is quite possible that I’m hiding from past hurts by not taking a risk in opening up to new romantic relationship opportunities. It’s safe here. I’m not worried about him, or them and what they may or may not be doing. I’m not worried about being lied to, taken advantage of or being mishandled. If I never get into another relationship or never get married, I never have to worry about being made a fool of.
I’m fine and I’m happy where I am. But there are days when I am not fine. Days when I want a significant other, a relationship of substance, a partner. But I think about what it takes to get there: the openness, the risk, the vulnerability and I immediately shut down and go to my “happy”, comfortable, guarded place. I’m getting in my own way to some degree. So am I really happy or am I just scared and comfortable? I say all of the above would be true.
My “dilemma” isn’t all that different from the plight of many women around the world. They have tons to offer: they are well educated, professionally successful, gorgeous, talented, secure (financially/emotionally), loving and SCARED OUT OF THEIR MINDS of being hurt again. So they hide in their careers, family life, church life or even their friendships. It takes courage to try just ONE MORE TIME. It takes courage to get on the bike again – and possibly fall off. It takes courage to take the risk of potentially being hurt again.
But what if you don’t? What if you never take another leap again? What if your guards scare off the love of your life? What if you get in the way of your own destiny?