And I’ll let it be known
At times I have shown
Signs of all my weakness
But somewhere in me
There is strength – Relient K
It happens every time I am getting ready to leave on a trip far from home. Something in my mind just trips the switch and I get crazy. Angry crazy. Stupid crazy. Irrational crazy. Paralyzing crazy.
My perfectionism, my need for control, my need for all people and all things to be in all their right places, and my ability find and throw a monkey wrench into every aspect of a plan……
These things are my kryptonite.
As an introvert, I don’t stray far from home. But every once in a while, as a member of a family who craves adventure and amazing new sights I must leave the safe confines of my home and my five mile radius. I love the idea of going somewhere new; seeing lovely sights, eating decadent and different foods, seeing wonders not in the above mentioned five mile radius and making memories with my husband and children. The actual doing is a whole different animal.
I am weak. I am afraid. Of what?
Outside these walls, I have no control. Without it, my imperfections are visible and I am vulnerable, a state I find most unpleasant and completely unacceptable.
While the ‘suck it up’ and ‘never let ‘em see how you really feel’ mentality I grew up in has its advantages at times, it has done nothing to serve me in learning how to deal with uncertainty and how to take risks. Sure, I do both of these things. But I don’t do them well. At least not on the inside. You see the smile in the photos, maybe even a little campiness. The internal picture is much different.
It is a fight. Each and every time.
I realize that this need for perfection is limiting. It causes anxiety, depression, and isolation. I manage to make it through most situations with an attitude of ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ but the cost is immense. I feel like I have gone five rounds in the octagon and afterward I am spent and suffer true post-traumatic stress.
This makes me sound insane.
Mostly, it makes me angry.
These ridiculous issues have the capability of stopping me from enjoying every moment of a life that is likely half over. I spent the first half standing up against the wall declining nearly all offers to dance, rarely stepping into the arena. I don’t want to live like this anymore.
I want to be all in. I want to know that I can do things and if I fail, I have failed triumphantly. I don’t want to care what other people think of me because in reality, it is none of my business. I want the smile to be genuine and the laughter to be so lengthy and strong that the muscles of my belly rebel. I want my children to look back on the photos one day and say, ‘That was the greatest trip ever.’
About every single one of them.
My perfectionism, control, and cynicism? It’s all shield and armor.
Fear of failing.
Fear of never trying.
Fear of regret.
Fear of death.
Fear of life.
Today I am making a conscious decision to wield my sword and smash the bloody kryptonite. I will run and leap into the arena and should I stumble and fall, I will get up, dust myself off and leap again.
I am not fool enough to think that I can smash what has been building up for years upon years in one fell swoop. I may only take out a chink or two.
But, oh, what if I can?