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.
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.