So 2016 was pretty rough. 2017 looks like the uglier, angrier brother come to finish what the casually cruel started with just a touch of sadism to give it a whole new feel. Or maybe that’s just my perspective.
I am dutifully and diligently avoiding work, which is good since I am drunk, and I never work well while drunk. But I made a post to facebook about my new thing, and I’d thought I’d mention it.
I keep calling this new thing living without fear. But that’s not true. You never live without fear. Fear, in and of itself is good. It’s what tells you to disconnect the garbage disposal before fishing for that ring, to chalk the car tires before changing oil, or to pause before sending that Rwandan prince your bank account info. So it’s not about fear. It’s about cowardice.
I don’t have to tell anyone who has been abused that the thing that you hate isn’t actually the person who abused you. I was beaten up a lot (a LOT) as a kid. It isn’t the bully you hate, really. It is your self. It is knowing that if you had ever dared throw that punch (spoken up for yourself, left the deadbeat, etc.) that you may have been pummeled to within an inch of your life, or even killed. But you would have died as YOU. The real you. Not the coward that cringes when the little punk (literally in my sense, it was the 90s) mocks you and tries to make you feel worthless, and succeeds by putting your head between their knees and jumping backward across the playground leaving bruises you have to lie to your parents to explain.
It is the cowardice that hurts. The knowledge that you never stood up for yourself in any meaningful way. The ingrained belief that this means you are not worth it.
I have been abandoned. Battered. Hurt. But I am alive. And from this day forth, I’m going to do my best to live without cowardice. ‘Without fear.’ By being brave. Not callous, not reckless, but brave. I am trying to stand up for myself. And if it costs anyone else their self-esteem, their power, their comfort, tough.
You get the truth, or you get nothing.
The Jackass at work who refuses to do his job. The pushy sales guy who needs a tic-tac. Even my friends and lovers. I am not going to live in silence because my feelings matter. I will stand up for myself even if no one else does.
Wow. I have had a lot to drink and Grammarly is earning its money tonight.
But the truth is, this cowardice, this fear of failure, of never being worthy or valued, of being rejected? The truth is it never goes away. Never.
So every day I wake up and make the same promise to myself. And every day I fail in big ways or small. And every day I get up and do it again. Every Day is Living Without Fear: Day One.
So for all you out there who feel the same way:
It’s always Day One.
And you are always worth the attempt.