What If?

I live in a world of “what ifs”... a never ending cycle of doubt and worry, speckled with the occasional clarity that maybe everything will be fine. Opportunities are exciting only when they are in the distance. The minute opportunity knocks on the door, I’m afraid to open it. What if?

Every part of me wants nothing more than to grow and succeed, yet the progress is slow. Fear holds on to me like a leash around my neck. It controls my ability to run wild and free — it confines me to the zone of comfort. What lies beyond the zone walls? The future is unknown; I have no control… “what if?”

What if I make the wrong choice? What if I can’t do it? What if what I have now is better than what’s to come? What if?

I sit at my desk in an office I’ve resided in for the past 5 years. I hear my colleagues laughing in the halls — I want to join them, but I can’t. As I’m about to open “The Offer” from another company…… My hands shake as I double click the pdf file attached to the job offer email. Quickly I scan to the compensation. It’s not what I was hoping for — not at all. I breathe a sigh of relief, but only for a moment. I will, of course, counter. But not yet.

I will send an email at the end of the day with my counter, and then I will wait it out over the weekend. For now, I will relax and join my co-workers for a happy Friday.

The Voice Inside

To look at my life from another’s eyes, you’d see a semi-successful woman. A decent job in business; a great boyfriend; my own home; well-known in the community; friends; family; happy. However, if you could see the thoughts in my head from childhood to now, it would look like this:

Childhood: A big world full of interest, but fear. The smell of the forest and earth. The warm sun on my face; the smell of cut grass.  I remember times of peace and times of great fear.  Sadness and joy so intense.  The fighting and tears before my dad left. Feeling responsible. Abandoned and scared. Anxiety.  Hiding in school bathrooms at lunch time; lost friends, imaginary friends, imaginary loves.  Dreams of a perfect home.  Childhood crushes.  Body loathing. Fear of male family friends and their touch.

Fun and fights with siblings.  New and lost pets.  The excitement of new clothes or shoes.  Toys that brought joy.  Imagination. 

TEENS: Losing my mom (not literally) to alcohol and a man.  Growing up and having my first love.  Too young for my first time.  Finding and fighting for independence.  Fear and excitement. 

Moving to an unknown city.

Making and losing friends.

Fights with my parents.

Guilt.

Self-loathing.

Eating disorders.

Drinking.

Drugs.

Living with a boy, and the ups and downs of navigating teenage life.  Working terrible jobs and feeling ugly.  Feeling rejected and used.  Not having a voice.  Not having a future direction except to find love.

Moving again and hating everything.  Settling in and then uprooted again.

20’s: Meeting my husband and school and growth.  Happiness.  Disgust at my own body.  Eating disorder again.  Searching for acceptance, but only finding loneliness and pain.  Lost.

30‘s: Leaving my husband.  Trying to find myself. Making bad choices with life and men.  Fear.

Choosing the wrong men and work.  Anxiety.  Confusion.  Making new friends and growing.

Running, fitness, and starting a business.

Making mistakes and shutting down.

40s: Pushing myself past the pain to try and find happiness.  Some wins some losses. 

Continuing to push and push. 

Finding love once more, but not without difficulties.

Uncertainty in career.  Boredom.  Drinking.  Trying, but not good enough.

Self-loathing.

Trying to make it through each day at work.  Trying to feel happy and satisfied after work.  Trying to accept myself and not let others define me.  Not caring what others think, but comparing myself to others.

Trying, trying, trying. Gains and failure.

Don’t know what to do.  Then I know everything.

Inspired.

Dejected.

Keep pushing.

Body loathing.

Love for my dog. 

Love for my man.

Angry.

Happy. Sad. Scared. Confident. Confused. Lost. Doing my best!