I am sure when it is that I got so scared. I don’t remember feeling this way when I was younger. Back then, stepping out into the world felt more natural, the oxygen in my lungs on fire with vibrancy. I was willing, back then, to take a chance. I would walk across the city at night, smash through the ice in a chilly Canadian April for a swim, stay up all night to howl at the moon, constantly breaking free.
Then I got old. Or my mindset did, I am not sure which.
Now I am watching my dreams through a window; watching my friends make those hard changes, challenge themselves and reach ahead. I have cheered them on every step of the way. I love to see those that I care most about succeed, throwing it all on the line to move forward.
And I am stuck in my own malaise.
I am not sure how it is that I got here. The slow descent in stagnant thinking pulling me in in like a warm blanket then crushes me. The unwillingness to change that chokes at me, my own brain screaming at the sidelines, willing me to move, but my legs are trapped under the illusion of safety. There is no safety in never making a choice.
I know what I want out of this life. My dreams are as clear to me as the words on this page. But the journey between where I want to be and where I am is a maze. The anxiety kicks in and the walls are closing in. Astoundingly, the cure is to live, but I keep making the choice to survive.
I go through rounds of this in my life. Wanting to live the dream and working so hard to attain it. And right then, right when I could find that success or that first failure, I beat myself to the punch and drop out of the race. Breaking free surrendered to knuckling under.
This is not the first time I have written about this fear. I will nt be the last. I am simply trying to name and notice the monster in my own head. Notice him and chop his head off.
Breaking free, for me, is going to be a test of will. Can I do this for a month? Writing every day. That’s something I have done before and when I do, I am the best version of myself. Can I do this for a quarter? Can I do this for a year?
Can I do this for a living?
Or, a better question for me, if I don’t, am I really living in the first place?