Friday, 30 December 2016

What I wish for year 2017?

If I could ask for anything for the New Year, it would be having faith in myself.

* * * 

Last year we rang in the New Year with Tzatziki Champion. Toasting with Champagne, wrapped in fur and wearing tiaras (well, how else?)

At midnight we kissed each other (no, no tongues) and spelled out our wishes for the year 2016. Tzatziki Champion wished to have someone else to kiss come next New Year celebrations. Mine was to find a job where I'd be appreciated. Oh, and love.

And love I got. During the first months of the year 2016 I got shit kicked out of me by love like nobody's business. I got to learn that even nearly a decade-long-wait does not make the other person any righter. And the fact that apparently there are several degrees of being married out there. Though, strangely enough, in the end they all mean the same. Being married. To someone who isn't you.

But then there was that Wednesdate in May that left me speechless. A person like this actually exists? And he's sitting here on a date with me?

Then a job found me, too. Round about the same time I got my first book deal. Dreams - some of which I had never even dared to dream of - started coming true. 

Lately I've been reading about an impostor syndrome - a condition I'm all too familiar with. It's chronic inability to have faith in yourself and to believe you deserve any of the good things that come your way - no matter how hard you've worked for them. 

When you just don't believe you're ever quite good enough.

The horrible thing about success (how ever you want to measure it) is the fact that it only makes an individual like myself doubt themselves even more. When the sense of inadequacy has stubbornly followed you from your childhood it is rather humiliating to realize it's become such an integral part of who you are.

Luck. Accident. Coincidence.

There are so many words impostor uses to explain themselves their success. None of which are good or correct.

Before Christmas I sat at doctor's office waiting to have a procedure on my shoulder. As I overheard the nurse call the doctor explaining there was a "37-year-old female waiting" I looked around, puzzled, until I realized she was talking about me. 37?

Christ! Someone that age should know better by now, right? 

But noooooo. 

Love is an equally challenging enterprise. When you've spent the past two decades (no wonder I'm exhausted!) dating people each more unsavoury than the next and invested so much time and effort into relationships that either robbed you of your dignity or money, you're left with some serious battle wounds. Pretty damn serious. At some point you actually start to believe you don't deserve any better. You know: because you're simply just not good enough. For anyone. 

A little part of me still has refused to be defeated and has persistenly believed that there might be something out there after all. Perhaps this time I'll find the one I've always thought I should be with. 

But in the end that small voice (no matter how stubborn) is always drowned out by all the other voices. The moment you allow yourself to trust and feel safe again, the ghosts of the relationships past came out to haunt you and destroy any little progress you might have made in letting someone close to you.

And with this it all comes down to the same thing: fear.

Fear of not being enough.

Fear of not being good enough.

Fear of not mattering to the other person. 

Fear of being ridiculed and humiliated.

Fear of rejection.

Fear of standing in front of the other person, so naked, exposed, raw and vulnerable with all those scars (in my case quite literally too: over the years my ways of punishing myself for my inferiority have taken on some seriously unhealthy forms) and have the other person walk away as they don't like what they see. 

Fear of absolutely fucking everything.

Love is a strange thing.

At the same time it gives you the kind of security nothing else in the world does, but it also makes you so freaking fragile. It's so damn difficult trying to find the balance between  fear and faith; trying to navigate the tricky territories of healthy sense of self-worth and the kind of excessive self preservation mode that only manages to keep everyone at bay.

37 years. According to my life expectancy I still have another 37 to go. Perhaps it's time I finally did something about it? I myself am so worn by the self doubt gnawing me on the inside that I honestly can't see why anybody else would choose to put up with me. 

And if I'm not good enough for mysel, how the hell can I ever be good enough in somebody else's eyes, either?

But how? How do you climb out of that pit with thighs that haven't seen the insides of a spinning class since 1997? How do you go about changing life-long destructive patterns that have weighed you down for that long? Beats me. 

Right now I'm drinking red wine and poring over travel agencies trying to find a last minute deal. Preferably to Congo or North Korea. After the next glass (or bottle - who am I kiddding?) I will without a doubt add Syria into my search preferences, too.

For someone like me blogging is just about the last thing I should be doing. It's continuously having to put yourself out there; endless competition and comparison. It's a strange parallel universe that exists on neurotically measuring page views and visitor statistics - a world where someone is always better than you.

I'm not always sure if I've opened up too much on the blog, but trust me when I tell you this. Based on your feedback, comments and messages I've apparently occasionally managed to offer you some peer support and consolation. I do wish you all knew just how much your support has carried me. 

What the next year has in store none of us knows. What I do know is that come March, my book will be out and hitting the shops. I try to remind myself of that and the fact that for some reason the biggest publishing house believes in me - even if I myself don't. But then, as I manage to sneak in a much-needed break from worrying, that little voice comes nagging back; pointing out how it's nothing compared to endeavours that genuinely try to make the world a better place. You know, like UN. 

But you know what? I've reached a point where I proudly give that voice a finger and point out that UN is a corrupt, inherently impotent agency that's had the worst year of its existence; a year that saw it become nothing more than a chew toy for countries which systematically defy the very founding principles that said agency vows to defend. 

Perhaps that's not such a bad first step? Or perhaps I'll find myself getting on the barricades, sleeping on the street as part of some bloody awareness-raising Occupy this-movement? Perhaps not. I like my own bed far too much. 

So, tomorrow, as the clock hits midnight I will welcome New Year locking lips with Tzatziki Champion. Again. This past year has somehow managed to be the best... and the worst of my life. I dread to even think about next year. 

But if I could ask for anything, I'd ask for courage. Belief in myself and in the fact that one day, somehow I might be good enough. Even if just for myself. 

And that is something I'd wish for all of us. 

I'm going to leave you with wise words from a little man with a big soul. Thank you all for being part of my this year. Perhaps we'll see next year, too?





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