“I feel like a big faker because I’ve been putting my life back together, and nobody knows.” ~Stephen Chbosky
I tend to harbor a lot of anxiety in my every day life. Little things; money, family, and work, creep in periodically and make me a little on edge. To be honest, this anxiety is probably felt more by my family than by me, which I know is not fair. But these are small things…the things that most of us face on a daily basis, and while they are anxiety inducing, they are not true fears.
I do have a fear though. Just thinking about it can stop me in my tracks, unable to breathe or even see. I am completely and unequivocally scared of dying. It’s not really the dying part, per say, but more so the fear of simply not existing or my life, as I know it, being over. When I start to think about it, I mean REALLY think about it, I reach a state of full on panic and I can barely get out of it. I don’t know if it has something to do with me being too egotistical to understand that the world can and will go on without me or simply that I wasn’t raised religiously, therefor I don’t really have any beliefs about heaven or the after life, but I’ve had this fear for as long as I can remember.
When I was little I would shuffle into my parent’s room in the middle of the night to tell them I was scared of dying. It was never the dark, or monsters, or any of the “normal” kid fears, but dying. The would roll over, tell me we would talk about it in the morning, and go back to sleep. We never really did talk about it though. My dad, raised Catholic, believed in heaven and hell. My mom believed our souls were reincarnated. I had neither of these safety nets to fall back on so the fear continued to grow.
But why am I telling you all this? Mostly because while this fear should make me more motivated to reach my goals, should motivate me to become the best person I can be, should motivate me to live life to the fullest, it doesn’t. I’m constantly writing these posts about how life is short, that we only have a limited time to really do and be who we want, that we have to embrace change to really move ourselves and I do none of it. I write about it, sure, but I don’t make any moves toward action.
And…I have no idea why. I am so scared of the idea of ceasing to exist without being truly happy and making a lasting, positive impression on the world that I literally have a panic attack. I clench up, I can’t breathe, my blood pressure and heart rate spike almost uncontrollably until I’m able to talk myself down, and yet I can’t follow through on ideas and plans without quitting or talking myself out of them.
Why am I scared of making these big leaps and changes? You’d think the fear of a short lived life, unfulfilled, unhappy life would be enough to catapult me into change, but it’s not. Ultimately, it’s a combination of factors that can stand seamlessly alone, but together gather strength as the fear of judgement from others.
I can sit here all day from my throne in my judgement free zone (really the arm chair in my living room) and spout off about how we all need to take ourselves seriously, that we need to do the things that make up happy, that life’s too short to care about what other people think, YOLO and all that but when it comes out of my mouth, it’s pretty much just a pile of crap because while I’m talking the talk, I’m not walking the walk.
I live in constant fear of judgment of others. Yes, I post my running pictures, but only head shots because even though I lost almost 80 pounds no one wants to see me in my running tights.
Yes, I post pictures of my miles of running, but have you ever noticed that I cut the times off all of them because I know that when people see the time it took me to run one mile, many of them will realize they can actually WALK faster than that.
Yes, I talk about one day completing a marathon, but there is no way I’d ever tell anyone that I want to do that because I know the judgements would come because I just BARELY finished my half marathon and wasn’t very graceful in all the complaining I was doing in the end.
Yes, I complain about how I could be a better mother and wife and make all these plans in my head where I resolve to do so, and five minutes later I am yelling or bitching about something.
Yes, I sit enviously looking at people on Facebook (yet another thing that needs to go) while they follow their dreams and live fearless and unencumbered lives and again I make plans and have absolutely no follow through.
So, basically, what I’ve amounted to in all my “carpe diem”-ness is a blog with a lot of fancy words, but not a lot of action.
What does this mean? Where do I go? What action will I take? I don’t know. But I’m ready to do something, anything, to prove that I have a life worth living.
I can’t live a life in vain anymore.