Muchness

Living each day much muchier

Walking with elephants

Image by Michael Leunig

Cartoon by Michael Leunig

We all know about the elephant in the room.  It’s that huge, looming thing no-one wants to talk about for fear of upsetting the status quo.

Sometimes, there are elephants that follow you around. Your own, personal elephant that you refused to mention to yourself, because if you turn around and acknowledge it, everything has to change.

One elephant of mine was a fear of failure. I had a house, a husband and a position of responsibility in the church. My life was everything it was supposed to be and nothing like I wanted. The marriage was broken but I had to keep up appearances. I had a desperate, empty, screaming heart that I couldn’t tell anyone about and I felt stuck.  Only, I wasn’t stuck. I was just afraid. I had to be brave, face my elephant and fail.

Then everything changed.

Another elephant of mine was a fear of being alone. I built a new life with someone who had a great plan that I got swept up into but was never quite good enough for. I couldn’t do anything right. None of my interests and desires fit the picture. My decisions were wrong, so I let him make all the decisions. I faded away. I was sick but all the tests came back clear. I ended up truly believing that I was somehow broken and couldn’t make it by myself. Only, of course I could.  I was just afraid.  I had to be brave, face my elephant and strike out alone.

Then everything changed.

A few days ago, I became aware of another elephant.  I knew it was there. How could I miss a huge, looming thing following me around and draining my energy?  It’s the fear of de ja vu.  I’ve created myself, my home, my friendships, my passions, my life to be pretty much as I want it.  Having someone to share that with is surely the cherry on top, but instead, I’m afraid. Afraid of losing the independence I value so much now, afraid of losing the lifestyle I love. I don’t want to go back to a traditional path and the pretence of happiness. I don’t want to go back to silently screaming misery.

The thing is, the past is gone and those people are gone.  Those versions of me are gone. I know who I am, what I want and how to make it happen. Someone to share that with would be brilliant. I’m just afraid.  I have to be brave, face my elephant and trust that everything’s moving forward and it’s gonna be alright.

Everything will change, not back, never back, but on and onto good things.

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3 comments on “Walking with elephants

  1. Jai Normosone
    October 13, 2015

    What an amazing post. I would never have guessed any of those things about you.
    I can surely sympathise with the fear of failure though as my issue was trying to find a woman who was looking for someone with a house, a good job, a nice car, can fix things, wasn’t violent or a druggo, and had no kids or exes as baggage – but I worked out that it was my a toos-up between my personality and lack of looks that drove them to the arms of the unemployed, violent losers.

    In any case, you have looks – you have the smile and the can-do personality that means that you are not useless and you don’t need to have someone to do the thinking for you. It’s just a shame that the majority of the males in this country are too immature to see those qualities for the great things things that they are.

    With me, I decided that no woman was worth changing who I was and that I would do without completely. I can live quite happily like that (I went to dance classes to learn to dance and *not* pick up) but that is not for everyone.

    I say to you: Be true to yourself but don’t be a slave to your fears. As my brother once told me: Anyone who is perfect and never fails at anything is the person who never tries anything new.

    • livingwithmuchness
      October 13, 2015

      Yes, I came to much the same place. I’m a person who likes change, but I will never second-guess and try to change fundamentally who I am again. I won’t give up things that make me happy, all for love. I too decided I would do without, completely. Fortunately, that decision was not permanent for either of us 😀

  2. thebrightimpossible
    October 14, 2015

    Deja vu implies repetition; a moment in life – whether a place, a memory, a person or a turn of phrase – that comes back around as if you’re experiencing it again. It’s always a little unnerving, but never more so than when you’re confronted with a piece of your life you’d consciously prefer not to relive, represented again by something that could share similarities.

    Unsettling though that sensation can be, our past no longer exists in anything but an abstract sense. Its chief function is to provide us with guiding posts which we can reference and use to observe our own growth, or lack thereof. The past is gone in every real sense, thought it can follow us around if we grant it that form. Its function in our lives today exists according to our relationship with it. Will it haunt us? Inspire us? Remind us? Strengthen us?

    The past can reveal to us how much we grown, but to allow our growth, by way of the choices we make, to be defined by our past, necessitates a continual looking back, and when we’re looking back, we’re not moving forward (unless we’re walking backwards, but let’s not get too technical).

    It’s healthy to take stock and it’s important to know who we are, who we’ve been, and who we want and choose to be. But growth, adventure, excitement, creation and discovery all belong to what happens next. So with a knowing nod to the past and an assuredness of heart and mind, without seeking to change or requiring any compromise, but instead seeking to share, celebrate and add to what exists with something wonderful and new, I hold out my hand as an invitation and say ‘let’s move through this together’.

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Department of Words

Department of Words

Thinker. Writer. Dancer. Not necessarily in that order.

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