In The Beginning
I usually think to myself in many of my conversations “where do I begin?”. Usually, when someone takes the time to sit down with me, to open up and talk to me, to share with me what they’re experiencing in their lives within that very moment, some of their external and internal ups and downs, their successes, their continuous failures, their highs and more so their lows, my thoughts seem to start with “where do I begin?”.
And I mean it, not in a malicious way or to sound completely insensitive to the emotions that they’re feeling, but because I can relate, and I also feel compassion towards them.
If it’s one thing I know, it’s that life fluctuates between a beautiful dream, filled with love, happiness, friendship and joy and a fatal car accident, the once beauty now smashed by, pain, suffering, loneliness and loss.
That’s the way it is, we cannot change it, we can only accept it.
Life is designed to fluctuate… all the time, forever, until our last breath, turning, twisting and changing. Our physical properties and emotional health are not meant to stay the same, life is not meant to stay at a flat line because that’s a life that’s not worth living.
We are meant to move through different life experiences, we are meant to feel a spectrum of emotions because of these life experiences, we are meant to go up high into the clouds and down low into the dirt because that’s what keeps us alive.
Stuck In The Middle
Starting to write my story hasn’t been easy for many reasons and to be honest, I don’t think it ever will be, I know this because I’ve re-written this sentence alone 178 times. But, as I sit on the edge of the torn, antique sofa in my local café, staring at my empty hot chocolate glass, continually hitting backspace to start over, I began to question myself, I began to question why it’s so hard for me to write my story.
Thinking, questioning, brain-draining, surely being able to document my life’s experiences, my story would be easy. The more I think, the more I question, and the more I question, the fewer words get written.
Eventually, after a few episodes of beating my head to get a little momentum, all the questions I plague myself with leading me to one answer, fear, it’s been fear, I’ve been afraid, terrified even… So I guess that’s where I’ll begin.
I describe my fears as incredibly puzzling personal fear demons, who are hard to figure out, harder to be friends with and even harder to work with.
My fear demons are not like the long lost friends who I haven’t seen in forever and when I do it’s like they never left, no, instead, my fear demons are the friends I don’t want to be around at all, but I can never get rid of.
These types of fears grow in many environments and they spread even faster, some fears grow as a result of specific moments, experiences or trauma, while others may represent a fear of something else completely, such as a loss of control.
My fears though, the demons that softly whisper, paralyse my fingers from touching my keyboard, forming words unwritten and spreading doubt through my bloodstream.
We all have our own personal fear demons and for myself, trying to confront and face my own personal demons means dealing with the suppressed or ignored aspects of my personality which I have consciously forgotten about for many reasons, more than which I can count.
But through self-awareness and understanding, I became aware of my suppressed actions, so I would no longer become a victim to the automatic patterns that were attached to them.
My fear demons were born from two places, doubt and honesty. I have a strong fear of starting, then continuing anything in my life, (despite my exterior confidence), which includes this blog because doubt, that overwhelming feeling of uncertainty and severe lack of conviction creep into my mind.
The feeling of not knowing when or if I’ll ever be ready to do something, not knowing what the outcome will be, doubting if my abilities are good enough, doubting where I’ll be going, and doubting how people will think of me.
It’s all lost in the unknown and being lost in the unknown is a very scary place to be, it’s uncomfortable, nothing ever seems to make sense, leaving me in a state of absolute powerlessness and an inability to progress.
The next and more intense fear demon is honesty. Honesty is something I’m fearful of because it opens me up to vulnerability and being vulnerable is being open to attack.
My personal desire, like every human on this planet, is to be liked, loved and appreciated from my parents, siblings, indirect families, friends, colleagues, and even acquaintances.
Even though I have managed to rise above this trait (most of the time) and not let people’s opinions get the better of my life, in some moments it’s sometimes hard being who I am because I don’t believe it’s who people want me to be.
I guess that’s why, while writing this blog, the most used key on my computer was the backspace button because it just seemed to be a lot easier to fake my life, to make it all up, to lie about it, to create an imaginary life that is nothing short of perfection because the painful truth is it’s a lifetime away from perfect and people seem to admire perfect.
This is The End
The fluctuations of life have manifested personal fear demons of doubt and honesty within me, at first limiting my self- belief and then making me want to wear masks that cover up the painful truth, so I could try to seek some form of external acceptance from the outside world.
But what I have come to learn through reflecting on the fluctuations of my own life experiences and the journey is to not fight my personal fear demons anymore.
My demons are the teachers I hate but the teachers I will learn the most from, so I have to attend class and pay attention. I learned to sit down with my demons, become friends with them and share a hot chocolate over a friendly chat, I learned their names and talked about the scars on their hearts and bruises around their eyes.
I must admit, once I got to know them, they seemed very nice and even more motivating.
What my fear demons are teaching me is that everything that I have ever wanted in life is on the other side of fear, that they are here not to punish me and hold me back, but to challenge and strengthen me so I’m prepared for everything I have ever hoped for.
So whatever demons you fight with, make friends with them, they’re what’s keeping you alive, that’s where you begin.