I am a piece of work. Self-exploration into the inner workings of what makes me, “Me,” has been something I have done since a young age. One of the few vivid memories of Catholic Grade School is having my knuckles rapped with a ruler for asking, “Why?” The nun told me the answer to my question was, “…because I said so,” and then she told that I should stop asking questions.
Her explanation didn’t work then and it still doesn’t work now. My need-to-know dogged pursuit of satisfactory answers was not exclusive to matters taught in textbooks, but branched out into all manner of human interaction. Poor Mr. Muse was, and still is, repeatedly subjected to rounds of, “Why do you want to be in a relationship with me,” even after nearly 20 years of knowing me. I even ask friends why they choose to be my friend.
I’ve questioned my Catholic upbringing and beliefs, why it was okay for native peoples to run around naked when everyone I knew couldn’t, and didn’t, and even why I choose to wear a particular pair of socks on a given day. I am always questioning even if not vocally. The perpetual salvos are shooting around my brain on seek-and-destroy missions to find answers to my “Why’s”. The most pressing “Why,” for which I am working on ferreting out the answers is:
Why do I seem to be afraid to succeed?
I imagine all of your faces as you read that, confused, an eyebrow raised, perhaps even your jaw agape. Afraid to succeed? I ask myself that question, and many similar others, all of the time and I don’t have an answer I like.
Perhaps I am afraid that success will mean I will have more responsibilities piled onto me and I won’t be able to deliver. If I’m unable to deliver, that means I’m a failure. Of course, the fact that if I don’t try I will still fail anyway, ironically, does not escape me. Oh you doubled-edged sword of self-doubt!
My evolutional path has probably been walked millions of times before by people around the globe. They realize that there is some meat on the bones of their dream-beast they are wont to pursue, but they are unsure if they have the skill to capture it. The skill, the tools, the ability; do I have those things and the tenacity for the hunt? I want to find out and give it a try.
From my limited experience it appears that you have had many levels of success already. One thing for me that pulls me back at times from certain levels of success is the need to compromise something of value/importance to achieve that next level of success. How much of yourself are you willing to give up for “success”?
I am in a battle with myself over what is “enough” and I while I may not be someone to takes every opportunity that comes my way, I’m more than willing to listen to Opportunities pitch when they come knocking. I think what scares me most is losing my anonymity – and yes, I have a blog and model, but I still have anonymity.
No eyebrows raised here. I understand the fear of success thing all too well. I am past it but I get it. As far as the why’s and wherefores in life….I dunno. I was there too. So I get that. Now, I suppose a certain level of acceptance is, in a way, freeing.
That is good to know, I just need to get to that level of acceptance.
I wish I could show you or tell you how. I just keptasking the universe for it. I remember my good friend Wray saying; sometimes Michael, you just need to accept that this guy or that guy is an asshole. That stuck with me.
I’m not going to project, so this applies only to me and isn’t an attempt to reply to the question you posed, “Why do I seem to be afraid to succeed?”. I know my warts very clearly and believe other aspects of me blind others from seeing them (I’m disabled from birth and all too often hear how “brave” I am as I – only figuratively – put one foot in front of the other and go about leading my life with the cards I’ve been dealt). Of course hidden in all of this is the fear sooner or later those warts (real or imagined) will outshine my “bravery” and the mere man will be exposed from behind the wizard’s curtain.
BTW, I too am a product of a VERY Catholic education – sixteen years of it – and I’m sure the scars of such an upbringing have had an affect on what is perceived to be the me as well.
Ahh, what I, personally, call “The Pedestal Conundrum”. People are apt to place those they care for/admire/like/what-have-you upon a pedestal. Those who are placed on the pedestal know that they are inevitably going to fall off of it and when they do, it’ll hurt. The fear of being placed on that pedestal, the fear of being exposed as a “fraud” for something that we knew we weren’t to begin with and wallowing in the dirt upon the fall. Yes, “The Pedestal Conundrum”.
I have an urge, maybe a fetish urge to go into a nursing home for nuns and smack each one on the back of the hand with a ruler. I think it would give me such joy, if only for a short moment in time.
Admittedly, not all the nuns were bad and not all were interested in rapping my knuckles. One of the nuns used to sneak me pieces of hard candy out of her habit when I was down about the “because I said so’s”. It was always given on the sly with a wink, and while it was usually anise candy that I would give to my mom, the sentiment was understood. She was a tiny, wily little lady.
Gosh, a NURSING HOME for NUNS! Are you sure you’re BIG enough and BRAVE enough to handle them? Hopefully you come from a state with weak laws concerning armament so you’ll stand a chance of making it out alive. It’s MEN like you who make all of America proud. Meow!
Someone has little sense of humor….