I didn’t want to.
But it happened.
On the couch, in the nicest hotel we’ve ever stayed in this year.
The irony is that I started the conversation that brought me to tears.
Me: “TB, can we talk about my life?
Me: “I don’t know what I want to do.”
TB: “That’s fine. Let’s just start somewhere.”
Earlier in the day, I woke up to Travel Buddy talking to some woman who is apparently 10 steps past amazing. Everything this woman has done has been in the pure pursuit of her own happiness. This pursuit, somehow, led her to be on the other end of a conversation with TB, whom I regard as pretty much being oh, I don’t know, 7 steps past amazing. But that isn’t the point. There was purpose behind that call. Goals. Vision. Intent. Motivation.
I laid there, a bit like a creep, listening to what it must sound like to be focused. To be on. To maybe not know where the hell you’re going to land, but at least to have a path to start on. I clenched my jaw and ground my teeth a bit because I knew that wasn’t me.
“What are YOU going to do with your life?” echoed inside of my head.
Hell if I know.
“Then what was the point of all of this?”
I guess it’s a good story to tell. No?
I dismissed my inner thoughts, and my ridiculous responses. I got out of bed, and silently got myself ready for breakfast. Focusing on each tiny task at hand– washing my face, brushing my teeth, finding a t-shirt, etc.– as a way to keep the anxiety at bay as TB’s conversation filled the room with what seemed to be endless possibilities for her and, yet, another unanswered series of questions for myself.
I left the room and stood in the hallway of our hotel, listening to the constant whoosh and ding-dong of the elevators as they stopped at floors above and below me. I had to focus on the little things. The inconsequential things. The shit that no one even fuckin cares about things, because those things were easier to focus on. Rather than what should have my attention.
“WHAT are YOU going to do with your life?”
I stepped onto the elevator. I felt nauseous. My head started to hurt. Two clear signs that I was not doing a good job of keeping my anxiety at bay. I planned to face my “issues” head on. I planned to write an action plan to address what I needed to do achieve my life.
That’s right, my life! Not just an incremental goal that attributes to my life. No, no, my goal is to achieve my life.
Yea. The whole thing. Over breakfast.
I started with 6 objectives I felt were the most important. I wrote them down with sub-points underneath of them, to understand what I thought had to be completed in order for each objective to be achieved.
I got through objective number 1. Made a mini-plan to map out how I think I should achieve this piece of my life. Then I stopped. My head was killing me. My breathing became irregular. And at any given point, I was expecting my egg sammie to re-greet me. I needed to thwart an oncoming anxiety attack. It didn’t help that I had an over attentive waiter who, apparently, loves Madonna, standing over me. <– #Pause. #Howyoudoin!?
To take my mind off of my impending future, I came back to the room and worked on final MBA paper. Knowing that this amazing year is quickly coming to an end, probably didn’t help me.
“This is it! The end! WHAT are YOU going TO DO with YOUR LIFE?!”
FUCK! I DON’T KNOW!!! All I want to do is travel and make money! That’s it!!
I pushed my frustration out further in my mind. I tapped across MacLovin’s keys, halfheartedly regurgitating facts about Singapore for my paper. Then TB showed up. She started telling me about Ms. 10-Steps-Past-Amazing, and how the two of them have similar backgrounds and how reaching out to the woman has helped her gain more insight into her future career.
Yay. Great. Good for you. (Cut it out. You’re being an asshole to your impromptu, clutch mentor/soundboard).
::sigh:: I know.
It’s not that I’m not or wasn’t happy for TB. I am. I really am. She’s my ace. So knowing that she’s well on her way, genuinely makes me happy. It’s the subsequent, self-loathing and “what about me?” that gets me every time.
I was (am) envious. Plain and simple.
I finished my paper. Got up from the desk and made my way to the couch, where I finally let all the questions fire away in my head. There is really no answer to any of these questions. I’ve run a few past TB and every time she gave me an answer, I came up with a counter answer. It’s so pointless to talk to me sometimes.
So instead of asking questions like normal, I simply asked her if we could talk about my life.
I fought like hell for it not to happen.
I stopped myself from answering a question TB asked, because I knew if I answered it, my voice would give way and tell her I was crying. If that had happened, I’d, then, have to deal with shame too.
So I made it as though, in my mind, I didn’t hear her. But TB, ever persistent, asked the question again, from the bathroom, doing something to her hair. I tried to breath through the tears, but it was no use.
They were relentless.
I leaned back, with my hands firmly covering my eyes, and my head leaned backward over the couch and tried to enlist the help of gravity to fight back these stupid tears.
It didn’t work and I was essentially crying upside down. #Talent.
TB came back into the sitting area and I think she was startled. I mean I looked completely deflated. All she could muster was a gentle, “It’s ok. It’s not that bad.”
My only response was to shake my head no. No words. Just tears. As I laid slouched sideways on the couch staring at the powerless stereo system.
TB just sat in the armchair. Silently. Doing whatever. I’m not sure what she was doing because shame had already started to set in, so looking at her was not an option.
I freakin cried!! In Malaysia! During the best year of my life.
SMH. Unacceptable. Sad.
But I know what led me to my aquatic emotional state.
I cried because of the frustration I have with myself.
My insecurities with myself are beginning to permeate everything.
I cried because of the impossible standards I’ve set for myself, that I 1) cannot fulfill and 2) cannot abandon.
No strike that. I refuse to abandon.
I refuse to abandon them because abandoning them means facing to my second biggest fear: Failure.
Don’t get me wrong. I know failure is enviable. Hell, I’ve failed in the past. But in my eyes they have been some of the hardest hits I’ve ever taken. In my crazy, crazy brain, all my fears (which I think are really just different variations of my fear of failure) build on one another.
Bottom line: They all end with me failing, then, subsequently, dying (which is my number one fear. Traumatic incident in my childhood, which allows me to this day to easily identify THE WORSE YEAR OF MY LIFE, placed dying as my number one fear and, apparently, punishment for failure). <– I have issues. I know. I know. I know.
I cried for bad decisions made in the past and those that have yet to come into fruition.
That’s right I cried for things that I cannot take back and cannot stop from happening! Type A control freak all day!
I also cried because I miss HB.
I cried because I needed to cry. And then was pissed off because, oh shit, I’m crying.
Crying doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t fix anything. As a matter of fact, in the words of my parents, “Crying doesn’t move any mountains.” <– #Truestory.
However not crying just leaves you deeply emotionally stunted. #winning.
And my post-cry reality is I’m still no closer to solving my life. My insecurities are still WELL intact. My frustration is still brewing. My mistakes are still mistakes. My impossible standards are still, well, impossible. I still feel guilty for the way I treated HB. And I’m pissed that I cried!
Which leads me to addressing the shame part. I don’t care who you are, but in my mind you are free to cry as much or as little as you’d like. Now I’m not exactly emotionally equipped to handle such an intense amount of emotion from others (who aren’t my baby brother), but I’ll sit awkwardly silent until your moment passes. However, in my mind, it is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE for me to cry. UNACCEPTABLE. It is a clear and sure sign of weakness in my character. CLEAR SIGN. So that’s one thing. The shame comes in because I couldn’t hold it together long enough for TB to leave.
I cried in front of TB. I mean it wasn’t one of those “Oh, Lord, take me now” cries. I believe it was dignified. But it was still in front of TB, who, I think, is probably a good choice to cry in front of if you so choose or need to do so. I just didn’t want to do so. I felt sheepish. I seriously felt embarrassed for not gaining ahold of myself, my emotions, my shit, my issues, long enough for her to leave and do whatever it is that TB does when she’s gone (actually this time it was go to the gym).
So now I’m dealing with the ramifications of crying: Sore eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache and “pity eyes” from TB (whom I don’t actually know is giving me “pity eyes” because I haven’t been able to look her in the face since the “event”. I have some real issues). #great.
So what’s the takeaway? smh…that I need some serious anti-anxiety meds and an internship to smooth it all out. Oh and a crystal ball would be nice. ::sigh:: I don’t know.
Speak your mind…