Renee's Truth n.1
I have never thought I would find myself in this oddly uncomfortable position. In the position I swore I would never push myself into, not even for the most exciting and breath-taking of feelings out there. That electrifying, sweep-out-off-your-feet kind of Love. Not even then. And I am not talking (only) about anal sex here.
But you know, life happens.
And, eventually, you end up doing a lot of things in your life that you swore you would never do.
Because that's who we are. We, humans. We narcisstically pride ourselves in so many things, yet many of us fail to realise how unpredictable we are. We change our minds all the time. Because of various reasons. We decide, and then we decide again. And many times it benefits us, and we are so glad we made that right decision. And many times we decide and our decision carries the most undesirable consequences. We regret, we maybe hate ourselves for a while, and then eventually move on with a hope that the next decision would be the right one. And usually it is.
Some of us are like that. And I secretly admire you.
But some of us are so afraid of bad decisions that they rather don't make any.
In the first adult years of my life, when I finally got out of the house of my fucked up parents, I was obsessed with choosing the right path for myself. I was obsessed with not repeating the mistakes my parents made in their lives, yet in my young foolishness I didn't go as far as to realise that mistakes, however small or big, are inevitable. As (clinically) depressed as I was, still a fucking perfectionist at that time, I left the town I was born in, in order to figure out, what the hell do I want to do with my life. I left everything behind, lying that I need a gap year before a university.
God knows, it was not the truth. Not entirely, at least.
The months had passed by and I found myself torn between who I wanted myself to become and who people thought I am and who they wanted me to become. Sounds like the biggest cliché in the world, but honestly, I think all of us go through that phase in our lives.
But me... I fucked it all up. Everything. I ended up doing some pretty stupid stuff, trying to balance my old life and the life I wanted to live. Stuff that only appear courageous and spontaneous and worth admiration when you fully dive into them. When your whole soul and body and mind is leaving everything behind and pursues the thing you feel you need to go for. But they look stupid and awkward when you don't commit fully, when you want to have both. When you want to satisfy your old self and invite the new one in the process.
However, you can't have both. It doesn't work that way. Most of the time, to avoid doing 'bad' decisions as my family and teachers and friends called them, I did not make any my heart pumped for. I lingered in that space between old-me and new-me, sometimes being all into those things my family considered stupid and foolish, only to chicken out at the last minute. I did not decide. Because I did believe them, I did know, somewhere deep in my heart, that it might ends badly. Unsuccessfully. That I might be hurt in the end. (Remember that part about being a perfectionist? I thought I was not good enough.)
So, after lingering in that deaf space for more than a year, my depression getting more and more serious, I gave up. Yep. I gave up my artistic aspirations of becoming a professional fashion designer and settled for something “safe and not full of disappointment” as my father called it.
I settled for being a teacher.
A teacher. (rolling eyes)
The first thing on my list of the things I swore I would never do.
So, yeah. At first, I couldn't believe I was giving up. But, eventually, as my mother forced me to finally agree with medication for my deepening depression, I somehow persuaded myself into settling for less than I wanted for my life.
For the first time in my life.
I applied for an Education course at Cambridge just because my uncle said I could never get there (which I secretly believed) and – much to mine and my family's surprise – I was offered a place. Well, I have never been a bad student.
So, I finally made the decision. But I was never happy with it. I settled. Again a thing I swore I would never do.
What my family now considered a 'right' decision, was the first I felt like was the 'bad' one.
But it made my old self happy. It was not a mistake in my eyes. I did not really fail, I told myself. And my new self? Well, I comforted her with occasional pads on the shoulder, saying: “Don't worry, maybe something happens, some movie-like miracle, and you will get your happy ending.”
But you know, in time I realised one thing. One single, important thing I was denying all along. In her book 'Big Magic', Elizabeth Gilbert quotes another writer Mark Manson: “If you truly want to be a professional artist, but you aren't willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands, of times, then you're done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can't stand the eighty-hour workweeks, then I've got bad news for you.”
Yeah, as painful, as it is, the lazy perfectionist in me refused to eat the shit sandwich that comes with it.
Now, I cannot blame anyone but myself.
So, yeah, this is the way you end up doing bad decisions. I mean, really bad, because when your sense of self-esteem is shattered and your values are almost non-existent, you have nothing to guide you. No intuition. No gut feeling. No vision and no aim. You just do what makes you either:
a.) numb the pain b.) feel at least a little bit alive
So, this is the story of how I found myself in the position I had sworn I would never find myself in. Please, understand, that my life was not bad, there were more stereotypical and non-creative careers out there. But as a woman, who on the paper couldn't wish for anything better, successful and financially secure, was in fact in deep turmoil of low self-esteem, unfulfilling relationships and constantly higher doses of anti-depressants and one night-stands.
I couldn't be mend. I was not that strong woman who puts her mind into something and achieves it. I know I could've been if I had not been afraid. I was born to live my dream, but I gave up. And my fragile soul and heart could not be mend.
In the end, years after giving up, I find myself in Love. (Hah.) I was in Love before. But this. This is the most exciting and breath-taking of feelings out there. That electrifying, sweep-out-off-your-feet kind of Love.
And I am holding onto it like a crazy person, because it makes me feel alive. It makes me feel Me again. That buried Renee that gave up on her dreams out of sheer fear of rejection and failure.
What is the problem, you ask. Because, there is. Well, I'll tell you. Remember how I told you about the way you end up making bad decisions? This has been the biggest one since I settled for this unfulfilling life for me.
I fell in love with a married man and a father of three adorable girls. And oldest one happens to be in my class.
I entered the relationship because it made me feel alive and forget the pain, the unhappiness and the episodes of depression I had been getting more and more lately. He dazzled me in a way I never expected any man to dazzle me. And I fell for him. He says he fell for me as well, but who knows?
I just know, for sure, I have said I am never going to cheat or to be the one someone is cheating on someone with. Is that sentence grammatically correct? (I can't tell, too much wine.)
I despised those people, I hated when they said that things are 'complicated'. My old romantic self would never even think about that. She would categorically dismiss even the thought of being someone's lover.
But you know, life happens, right?
And I fell in Love. That most exciting and breath-taking of feelings out there. That electrifying, sweep-out-off-your-feet kind of Love. The one that makes you do things you swore you would never do. The one that pushes you to be in that oddly uncomfortable position that puts you in even bigger pain in the end.
Like anal sex, for example.