Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scaredy Cat

If I could change one thing about myself, besides my weight, it would be the fact that I'm, well, pretty much afraid of everything -- and this seems to be getting worse as I get older.

I'm afraid of many of the normal things: bugs, heights, fire, flying, needles, but then I'm also frightened of many things that I'm sure are compromising my life.

For instance, my fear of not being liked is a huge one. I'm a classic people pleaser. I care way too much about what other people think and hate it when someone is angry with me or dislikes me. It doesn't even matter if I dislike the person; as long as he or she approves of me, I'm good.

That said, I'm terrified of confrontations, especially when I'm the one initiating them, because that means I'll be put into a position where I'm forced to say something uncomfortable and possibly upset the other person. Again, it doesn't matter if the other person is in the wrong; I'm just afraid that I'll either insult him or her or worse -- the person will come back to me with something even worse to say about me.

I remember back in college, I endured several situations that could've used a good confrontation or two. My freshman roommate was a thoughtless witch who'd have friends over at 3 a.m. or keep the radio on all night so she could study. She was two years ahead of me (but three years younger than me), so I usually let her get away with her behavior. She knew it and took advantage of me.

Then when I was a junior, I became the editor of our dorm's paper. All was going well until this really nasty girl decided to write for it. She was insufferable -- she offered to redesign the paper because she felt it looked like a piece of sh-t (her words, not mine), then printed an apology to the readers saying that the paper was a mess because I didn't give her the time to lay it out correctly. Again, I should've just kicked her off the paper, but I gave her that power over me and let her beat me down. In the final paper, my now sister-in-law printed hororscopes and this girl edited them in this really strange way so that she had jokes written in between the blurbs (don't ask). I actually stood up to her (sort of) when I ripped out all of her "edits" and put my friend's work back in. But when the girl called, I didn't bother to speak with her. I ran and avoided.

Now you're probably wondering what this has to do with me being overweight, but I think it's a key factor. My fat protects me. It helps keep me from facing the world and my fears. As I said, though, things only seem to be getting worse. I'm finding that I'm more afraid than ever to stand up for myself and when the night is quiet and still, I lay awake worrying about all sorts of things that haven't happened yet: What if I die young? What if I die alone? What if we lose all of our money and end up homeless? What if someone I love dies? It makes me want to crawl under the blankets and stay there forever because sometimes facing the world is about the scariest thing ever. No wonder I've encased myself in a blanket of fat.

My good friend Lani has endured her share of troubles, but she's not afraid of anything (except spiders). She'll try anything new and even went sky diving last year. I don't know if I necessarily want to do that, but I wish I could live a little better and a lot more freely. I wish I can find a way to escape from myself.

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