Being scared about being happy

I’m scared, terrified. Nervous that I’m going to go after something and I’ll fail. That maybe I’ll pick the wrong activity to pursue and I’ll end up wasting my time. This seems to be the story of my life: always too fearful that I’ll fail, before I even start, that I don’t even bother going forward. I can’t actually succeed at anything because I never actually went for it, so no need to feel guilty or not good enough.

I wrote recently that your dream is your dream, and you need to go after it, because you are the only one who can truly make it happen. I seem to have already forgotten my own advice. You see there are so many different avenues, careers, activities I want to pursue; but I want to be great at all of them. I want to feel good while I’m doing it and not heartbroken that something isn’t working out.

In all honesty, I’m exhausted. I’ve paired down my life to just the basics because I can’t handle anything more than that. My days are filled with micro details that somehow morph into the end of the day. And when someone calls and asks me what I’m doing with my life, I say “nothing”.  I honestly don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I told a friend recently that when I turn 100 I still think I will be wondering what I’m supposed to be doing with it. There are just way too many things I want to see, do, and be that I’m scared I’ll never do any of them or won’t be satisfied with what I’ve already done!

One night while Mister and I discussed my frustrations of late, he looked at my tear stained face and asked me for just one simple thing. “Be happy. Do whatever you need to do to be happy, I don’t really care what it is. I just want you to be happy”. At that point my frustrations were boiling down to the fact that I thought I had to do something, anything, like get an office job or reopen my photography business in Vancouver. I didn’t want to do either, and I felt the expectations that I’d have to do one or the other engulfing me, that I almost couldn’t breathe. So when he told me to just be happy, I almost didn’t believe him.

“You don’t expect me to get an office job or continue my photography?” I asked him. “Only, if it makes you happy”. I almost started crying again just from the sense of relief I felt in those simple words. After weeks of hardly get out of bed from the weight of the expectations I had put on myself, the next morning I woke up and started doing the things that actually made me happy. Those are now the micro details that fill up my day.

It’s funny how I don’t even feel one ounce of fear when I’m doing something that makes me happy, it feels natural to me to light a candle and smell the beautiful aromas from it. Or to put my boots on and walk around the city window shopping. It doesn’t even phase me to question why I wouldn’t do it now, it just makes me happy!

So now I wonder, why are we always so scared and terrified to go after the macro details of our life? What is it that instills so much fear that we automatically become fearful of failing that we’d rather not start at all. For instance, I love writing. It brings so much joy and happiness when I actually cave in and write instead of thinking who is going to read it or worse “who am I to even think I have something to say and share with the world?”. Even though it brings me happiness much like lighting candles around my house, it carries it’s own set of fear that the candle never has.

So in the face of this fear, worried that I truly might have nothing to say that is worth sharing with the world, I’m going to share it anyway. I’m going to share my journey of doing the things that make me happy: what it looks like, how it feels, what happens when I step into the macro details that I fear so much, and how I deal with actually going after the desires of my heart. And hopefully along the way, I’ll find the answers as to why we’re always so scared to go after those big things in our life that we know we’ll never be happy with until we do them.