Postcard from Helena

Maya,

I have not been lucky in love.

It’s not that I haven’t had any good relationships, but the fact that I am alone — well, sort of — should tell you that I have not been ultimately successful. If one measures success as the trapping of a husband, that is.

I have left in my wake a trail of mistakes and screw-ups and what I worry is that it’s my fault — that the common denominator is me. And now, here I am, happy with a nice guy and the last thing I want to do is hurt him. Sometimes I’m paralyzed with fear that he’s going to discover whatever it is that has caused my relationships to fail in the past and it’s going to drive him away.

I don’t even know why I’m telling you this. I guess I’m just trying to put it all down and make sense of it. What is it about me that’s so easily disposable? Why did you throw me away? No, I’m sorry. That’s not fair. That’s ancient history.

How do I conquer my fear? I look at all I have to lose and I freeze. I’m afraid to take a chance on love, and I am also afraid to let go.

Fear is a four-letter-word.

I have a hard time finding the successes in my life, but it’s so easy to spot failure upon failure. I have been recently reminded, however, that the fact that I am still breathing is a success. I have had a couple of brushes with death since we last spoke, and I was responsible for them. I am my own worst enemy.

But — since I am still living, surely it would be a waste not to at least try to find happiness, or else accept happiness when it finds me.

I did not seek this relationship.

I did not pursue him.

In fact, I did everything in my power to try to push him away. I suppose I am a saboteur by nature. Perhaps I need to relax and enjoy being pursued. For the first time in a long time, someone wants me, and nothing — not my neurosis, not my depression, not my insecurity — has scared him away. He tells me things I already know about myself. Good things. Things that I don’t often admit to. He sees me — good and bad — and tells me I’m perfect. Perfect in my frailty, perfect in my imperfection.

I keep getting this thought in my head — who am I to argue with that? Why am I trying to scare this away? Am I afraid of being happy?

He does not seem miserable with me. If I am such a bitch; if I am such a horrible, miserable person, then why does he smile whenever he’s with me? Is it possible that he is happy with me?

Fear will only hold me back from enjoying this happiness.

How do you do it? How do you live fearlessly? How do you live with yourself?

How do you reconcile your past, and the things that you hate about yourself, and yet look in the mirror and accept that you deserve happiness?

Or, if you don’t deserve it, then at least you choose to pursue it, because the alternative is that you might as well just kill yourself right now. And I’ve been down that path.

I don’t want to spend the rest of my life obsessing over my regrets, my mistakes, my failures. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life writing love songs for no one.

Sigh. I’ve written you a novel. Thank you for being my sounding board. I don’t know what you’ll make of all this. Will you think that I am still that naïve girl, being tossed about my life?

I swear to you I am stronger than that.

But I have never been lucky in love.

Until now perhaps.

Much love,
Helena

 

Note: This Postcard is an on-going series. I am very honoured to have Helena Hann-Basquiat send me the very first Postcard from her city, Toronto. This postcard is very much inspired by Helena’s e-book, “Postcards from California”. The book is a fictional account of how she met me in Los Angeles. Hence, the Postcard is addressed to that fictional Maya. You can read my reply to Helena’s postcard here

To learn more about Helena and her wonderful adventures or musings, please do visit her site

Being Afraid Is Human, But Staying Afraid Is A Choice.

20 Comments
  • lrconsiderer
    November 11, 2014

    Oh Helena, you’re a heartbreaker sometimes, cherie…I hope you find peace xo

    • shirleymaya
      November 12, 2014

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I hope Helena finds happiness and peace in LOVE. And I congratulate you, Lizzi, for making Christmas extra special for those less fortunate. It is definitely better to be kind and considerate towards all fellow human beings. Hugs x

      • lrconsiderer
        November 12, 2014

        Any time – I’m a bit of a stalker for Helena – I love her writing even when it’s so bittersweet and full of confusion. I hope she finds peace in love, too.

        And thanks again – I hope very much that there is something a little fearless about publishing what I did, and living it out loud. The more people recognise one another as worthwhile in a ‘namaste’ kind of sense, the better. 🙂

        • shirleymaya
          November 12, 2014

          AMEN to that, Lizzi! Namaste 🙂

    • Helena Hann-Basquiat
      November 17, 2014

      Thank you, Lizzi! So much has happened since I wrote Maya this postcard — the seeds of peace have been planted, though I sometimes fear (that four letter word again) that I can never allow myself to be happy.

      • lrconsiderer
        November 18, 2014

        I hope one day you do. Keep nurturing those seeds, cherie x

  • Rene
    November 11, 2014

    I have much the same feelings when in a relationship. The difference I believe is I end my relationships, even when things appear to be going well. I get a feeling of being too close, too open, too trusting. I see this and immediately determine I need to end it before I get thrown away. I can honestly state a good 90% of the relationships I have had, I have ended, be it a marriage (2) or dating(?, many). I just don’t want to feel as if I can just tossed to the curb, so I end it before it gets too deep. My mum and sister have toxic relationships, and I have decided I will not…maybe to my own detriment. I am ill now, and have stopped dating. In my own mind, this might be actually true, I have said I am not dating or do not have a boyfriend out of my own choice. Also, feeling as I do, ill, I don’t want the drama of a relationship.

    Peace & Love

    • shirleymaya
      November 12, 2014

      Thank you for sharing, Rene. Especially now I know how it is not easy at all for you to write. So, it is a real honour to read your comments here.
      I can understand where you are coming from. I have been there myself, more than I care to remember. However, I also believe that not all relationships are toxic and not all things related to love or romance have that maddening drama. A lot depends on the people we chose to have relationships with. When I was younger, I was very naive and silly. I gave importance to things and attributes which are superficial. As I age, I understand what adds value to my being and my life. I do try my best to stay away from toxic individuals and Drama Kings or Queens. That helps.
      Hope all is well with you. Wishing you joy, love, peace and all things pain-free. Hugs x

  • saralitchfield
    November 11, 2014

    ‘I don’t want to spend the rest of my life writing love songs for no one’ – that’s a sentiment that seems to lift and break my heart simultaneously. To respond with a cliche, where there’s a will there’s a way. If you don’t want that, you’ll find a way to do the opposite – and it really sounds like you’re finding it already… You want to spend the rest of your life writing love songs for Someone… And Someone’s arrived.

    • shirleymaya
      November 12, 2014

      Beautifully written, Sara. Love that last line! Thank you for sharing. I hope Helena comes around to reply to all of your lovely comments here. Have a fabulous day! 🙂

    • Helena Hann-Basquiat
      November 17, 2014

      A friend of mine actually wrote a song called “All Night Long All Alone in my room Writing Love Songs for No One where he details all the things he said he was going to do with his life, but instead wasted so much of it pining after some imaginary love instead of living his life (where potentially, he could have found love.)
      We really do need people in our lives, and we can’t shut ourselves away in fear.

  • REDdog
    November 11, 2014

    H, you’re pain is the sound of life, your anxiety the sound of survival…but your voice, your magnificent, deep, melodic cadence, your voice is the sweet sound of success. Respect as per REDdog
    p.s.I love this woven tale of fiction yet written with a real person in mind. You lucky thing, Shirley

    • shirleymaya
      November 12, 2014

      Helena is amazingly talented. She can write so well and effortlessly. Yes, I am very blessed to know many talented friends from all over the world. Including you, REDdog! Hope all is well with you. And please send my best to your Queen. 🙂

      • REDdog
        November 12, 2014

        Shirley, you are always so sweet, thank you. I’ve been playing hide n seek with the black dog lately, so motivation is a bit low atm. Plan to write all about our wonderful trip to Borneo last month for our 20th wedding anniversary but more importantly, the 1st anniversary of her life saving surgery. I will be sure to pass on your regards. Again, thank you.

        • shirleymaya
          November 12, 2014

          You were both in Borneo! That is so close to where I am, i.e. Kuala Lumpur. What a wonderful way to celebrate life and love! So happy for you both. Take good care of one another, always. 🙂

    • Helena Hann-Basquiat
      November 17, 2014

      I covet your praise, RD, because I know it comes from the heart. One of the truly wonderful things about the 21st Century is the ability to connect with someone so far away — to find kindred spirits in corners of the world you might never get to explore. Thank you for being you, darling.

  • dougstuber
    November 12, 2014

    Helena- put yourself first. If you are happy with yourself, none of the past will ever come through to your current relationship. If he got past all that you say he did in order to be with you, he’s going to be able to accept whatever it is you need now and in the future.

    • shirleymaya
      November 12, 2014

      Great advice, Doug! And by the way, thanks for going through my other post and correcting my grammar. LOL

    • Helena Hann-Basquiat
      November 17, 2014

      Thank you, Doug. We judge ourselves harsher than others, it seems. My new husband (yes, since this missive we got married) accepts me for who I am, which he says is but the product of who I was. Any stories of my past are merely history — and he treats them like bits of fiction, and encourages me to write them down, and by doing so, take power over them.

      • shirleymaya
        November 18, 2014

        Congrats, Helena! So happy for you. More power to you and LOVE 🙂