I’m so scared my fears are going to swallow me up or wear you out. I’m terrified they will ruin this without us even noticing. I know full well that fear is a dirty little backstabber: it ruins perfectly good days & perfectly good people. You never see it coming & you never know who did it. It just takes your dignity & your enthusiasm & your well-meaning desires for beautiful things & thwarts you into someone conniving, or even worse, cowardly. It makes you weak, breaks your bones, drives you mad. I, for one, want nothing to do with insecurity. I want to trust and speak with unparalleled boldness. I want to know I am loved & cherished & speak out of that place: not out of a place of lying terrors. But this isn’t always the mental reality I face.
I’ve begun to play that destructive game as of late: the game that compares dis-analogous things. That’s what human beings are, because no matter how much we have in common, we are irreparably opposite. I am me and you are you. We react differently to the same situations and see the world through our own prescription glasses. Our personalities, pasts and passions are completely different. But knowing this, we still stack the deck against ourselves: we don’t have each other’s laughs or extroverted aura or the ability to hold a room’s attention. We’re not as fearless or as funny or as fierce as each other. You would kill for my talent while I would kill for yours. It’s silly: we both think that if we could just be more like each other we’d finally be confident. We are unable to be strong in our own skin when we are hunting for each other’s.
The inner whisper of “There’s something missing in me” drives me to doubt all that I am. I forget every part of me that has ever caused a smile. I forget all the people that consider me one of their safe places. I doubt that I am even worth a second glance, and that those that show they care must be faking it or extremely confused. I convince myself I’m not worthy of whatever affection I’m getting and that its just a matter of time until they see my lacks and back away. My wild emotions and my deep fears will drive out all the people that could be good for me. Before I know it I’ll be left alone again, because I’m me and not her. There’s a civil war inside me as who I am is fighting for its right to be against the terrors that are trying to make me believe I will be more accepted and more loved if I look less like me and more like another.
I constantly collapse under this pressure to be anything but me. I’m living fine and free, until I give the lies an inch of me. They creep and crawl up my arms, clawing at my comfy skin and making it itch. Suddenly, I feel confined to my quietness. I want so badly to be silly and charming and anything but boring, but the battle rages inside and shuts my mouth tight. “You’ll never be as liked as her. You’ll never make them laugh like she does. She’s the one they want to be around, why are you even here?”
This comparison ends here. I’ve lived too much of my life being compared to the girl next to me. Inevitably, she’s always much prettier and always more vibrant and much more worthwhile. But why can’t I live in my own vibrancy? I will wear myself down (and have been) by playing this game. I need allies not enemies. I need to stop comparing: whether on outer appearance or inner personality. We all have our strengths, we all have our weaknesses.
I’m finding my way back. I know I have friendship and compassion and fearlessness to offer. I know I’m someone that can be trusted and desired and worthwhile. I know that someone else’s strengths don’t make mine weaker. I’m finding my bright spots and celebrating them and making my weaknesses into challenges to embrace. I letting my anxiety fizzle in the knowledge I am supported and loved.