“Neurotic” and “Type-A” are fun little buzzwords that people use to make themselves look like busy little worker bees who maintain an air of impeccability. The truth is darker. My neurosis often leads to paralyzing fear. I wish I were someone who could dive into a new hobby with zest, ready to stumble until things click. Instead, I freeze on the diving board, unable to process.
I bought a calligraphy book a few weeks back and made an excited Instagram post about how I am finally going to give a long-desired hobby a shot since I want to take back the love of creativity that depression stole from me. What ended up happening is that I collected all the pieces I needed to start practicing and then I put them on a shelf.
I have not made a single stroke in my tracing pad because I am scared to.
You would not believe how many things I have self-sabotaged throughout the years because of my fear of failure. I stick with what I know, things that I am already good at, and quit whenever something becomes too much of a challenge. And it’s not even my conscious choice to quit, I just… shut down. I turn to ice.
Jesus, this sounds stupid to even admit out loud. Like, SomePeopleHaveWarsInTheirCountries.jpeg.
I am sick of living like this. It’s time to put myself out there, it’s time to try. And if that means I mess up along the way, I will try not to hate myself for it.
For a while now, I forced myself into a niche that became stifling. As the great American philosopher* Hilary Duff once sung, “Trying to fit a square into a circle / is no lie.”
* I am full of shit and early 2000s pop culture references. Excusez-moi while I Defy.
So, truth bomb: I am not some effulgent Lilly-donned prepster with a closet full of expensive, vividly hued shifts and accoutrements. To be frank, the cut of the brand is unflattering on me, I genuinely hate wearing dresses, and I prefer neutrals to the neons used in Pulitzer palettes. Also, since this is Honesty Hour and I am letting it all out, let me tell y’all that LP is way out of my monetary comfort zone anyway. $98 yoga pants, say what? I am a broke-ass struggling millennial crying into my avocado toast, not a Lady Who Lunches. Zero shade to the country club set but I do not belong and they know it.
It is not difficult to let social media mold you into somebody else, bit by bit. What starts as innocuous browsing can trap you in a gilded cage, trying, trying, trying to keep up with the bloggers and Instagrammers whose lives appear so effortlessly glamourous. Questions, so many questions haunt you while you Frankenstein a new personality. If I had slipped more easily into the Classy Girl in Pearls persona, would I have been better liked by my sisters during my time as a sorority active? Since the fit was off, did the repugnant scent of desperation to be liked escape through the gaps, repelling people instead? Could I have clawed my way into the blogosphere as a top influencer if I had the disposable funds to blow on pretty, meaningless baubles to inspire envy? Perhaps if I had rearranged my life just so, I would be a Somebody now.
While I will never have the answers to those questions, I found myself through the charred remains of burned bridges and wasted cash. I know who I am.
And I like her.