In trying to decide what I want to do after my work contract ends in the Bay Area this June, I found myself suddenly doing a visceral reevaluation of my goals.
In the last few months, I was actually very confident that I will be staying in the Bay Area for another year. But situations have changed, budgets were cut, and I’m not even sure the job I was vying for will exist next year. All of that aside though, I just started to ask myself, is that really what I want to do?
I had to dig deep and dig hard.
If I’m being honest?
I want to continue to travel, but I’m afraid of what my family will think. I’m afraid I’m being a selfish person frolicking about in the world without any considerations for my family’s needs.
If I’m being brutally honest?
I’m afraid I will fail to make traveling a part of my life. I’m afraid it’s not sustainable and I will not make enough money. I’m afraid of being naive. I’m afraid of scarcity. I’m afraid.
Of course my family’s opinions matter, but ultimately it’s my life and I think I’m using them as an excuse to cover up my fear of failure. I am so afraid of going after my traveling dreams that I even applied to graduate school. Even though reluctance was gnawing at me every step of the way, I convinced myself that maybe if I apply, and maybe if I get in then I will want to go. Well I heard back from the school. I was waitlisted, and I was relieved. It became pretty clear to me that it was not what I wanted to do after all, but that’s what it took for me to realize that.
In another perspective, I recently left a relationship that I did not believe was the right fit for me. But after some reflecting, I realized that I had an unhealthy fear of failure and commitment. I was so focused on all the ways that it couldn’t work, that I tried to my best to bury my feelings deep beneath my excuses. But it didn’t work. What my brain thought and what my heart felt did not align, and the contradictions started to grind on me. In my attempt to prevent pain, I actually created more pain.
Do you make excuses for yourself? Do you constantly say no to things then justify them with false reasons? It always seems easier to call someone else’s bluff, but it’s hard when it’s your own. Are you being brutally honest with yourself? If not, then who can you trust?