It has recently come to my attention that I appear to have an issue with giving myself permission to be happy. Given the choice between one of my favorite activities and an activity I despise, I will usually pick the despicable one because I automatically assume it’s something I’m supposed to do, need to do, even if there’s plenty of evidence proving that there is no reason why the undesirable activity is more responsible than the desirable activity. And if I DO somehow convince myself to do the activity I want to, I end up feeling like I’m doing something I’m not supposed to the whole time and can’t enjoy it at all.
This particular character trait has become especially relevant in recent weeks due to the appearance in my life of something very special: a miracle in the shape of a boy. He swooped in like a fairytale, offering me the life I’d always dreamed of, even adding things I never had the courage to even dream of. And I can’t believe how incredibly hard it is for me to just say “Yes, please. Thank you very much!”
I mean, seriously, I feel like I went to my favorite coffee shop to pick up my usual tasty beverage and breakfast pastry and a dashingly handsome man approached me and said, “Hello, I am the prince of a beautiful exotic land. I would like you to come with me and be my princess and someday my queen. You will live in an elegant castle and you will be rich beyond your wildest dreams and anything you could possibly wish for, I have the power to give you.” Yeah, feels pretty much exactly like that.
And how would anyone react in a situation like that? “Am I on candid camera? Am I being Punk’d? Is this some kind of joke? Are you a kidnapper who’s going to sell me into slavery? Or is this some kind of money scam? And if you’re real, have you mistaken me for someone else?” Anything but “why yes, thank you, I would love to come with you. In fact, this may sound silly but I’ve spent my whole life waiting for this moment. I even had a feeling that today might be the day and all my belongings are packed. Let’s go immediately!”
How sad is it that we live in a cynical time where it is sooo hard for people to simply say “yes” to their dreams. A time where it is so rare to see a gifted painter painting or a gifted baker baking, and far more likely to see them working behind a desk and to only know they even have talent when that talent forces itself out through a particularly flamboyant hand-made birthday card or a transcendentally delicious batch of cookies at a company pot-luck.
It terrifies me that when presented with two choices for hour to spend the rest of my life: the first, a miserable life toiling away, behind a desk for an organization I don’t support or believe in with bosses who infuriate and disgust me; and the second, a life of quiet and peaceful serenity, where there is nothing I have to do but make the man I love happy and allow him to take care of me while I pursue my every dream and fantasy. Why, when presented with these two choices, is it so blasted hard for me to pick the second option? Why have I allowed myself to be programmed to think that if I’m happy and enjoying myself, it automatically must mean that I’m doing something I’m not supposed to or that I’m neglecting some responsibility?
Why are we all so afraid of our dreams coming true?