I am starting to think that I am simply afraid to be happy.
I understand that all humans have a basic right to be happy. I am generally a happy person. I find ways to be happy even when everything is actually stupid. I pride myself on this. But when things play out in a way that makes me truly happy, I start to feel guilty, like do I deserve this? Is it fair that I’m so happy when other people aren’t, etc.?
I lead a very charmed existence. My life used to be very challenging & I’ve worked very hard to build myself in a way that I can be happy regardless of what’s happening in my beautiful life. I have been fortunate to have been blessed with three wonderful children. I have a talent I am passionate about and I’m growing as a writer every day. I’m building connections and career opportunities in my field and I’m super excited about that. My home is slowly becoming a lovely little house where I can raise my family. The girls love their new surroundings and like to chase the bunnies in the yard, they’ve already made friends their own age, and are always outside enjoying their new hometown. Business is even picking up at my day job, so I’m worrying less and less about money and focusing more on becoming a good manager and leader. You know, why I was hired in the first place. My friends back home are always supportive and my friends here are super fun. My girlfriend & I are setting up a playdate with her boys and my girls once the boys get home from camp. My frazzled nerves are often soothed by three words, sent by text message almost every day. They give me peace & security. I’m beautiful and smart and for the first time in my life, I don’t feel anxious and my self esteem doesn’t suck.
But I also find myself worrying that something is going to go terribly wrong. I find myself feeing increasingly sorry for the Dad, who seems to be miserable and that’s my fault. I know you could rationalize that if he wanted to see his kids, he would find a job here, or he would have actually spent time with them when he had them for the month, but I can’t help but feel badly that his life has gone so far downhill and mine seems pretty rad. Kids deserve two hands on parents and I keep hoping he’ll finally get it together and focus on being a good father for his children, but it never happens. And I just keep thinking that I’ve ruined his life somehow. I worry all of the things that are making me happy will suddenly be taken away and it won’t be here anymore. I hadn’t planned for certain developments, and now that they’re in play, it scares me that the other shoe will drop and it’ll go away & the thought scares me so much. I worry that maybe they prefer me as a zoo animal to be observed & watched than a woman to be loved & respected. I can see the girls are adjusting nicely, but I’m still worried that they won’t be happy or that I’m making choices that will impact them in a negative way, despite everything being positive. I also wonder WHY I feel badly that he’s miserable. If the shoe were on the other foot, he would revel in my misery. But I keep worrying that he won’t handle the transition okay, which causes me to distance myself from other aspects of my life so that I can try to help him adjust.
I understand all of these feelings are super normal. I understand that change is scary and letting people in is terrifying and trusting people is hard and people have free will and they choose to love you and they can choose to self destruct and there’s nothing you can do about it. I guess it’s all part of the adjustment; learning to trust your gut instincts (which currently tell me to relax and enjoy my life, it’s the overthinking that gets me) and learning to accept that feelings of self doubt and even fear are normal; especially when every other time you’ve been really happy, it seems to go away. You’ve just gotta remind yourself that it won’t go away. I’ll just continue to focus my efforts on raising my girls, self improvement, and most importantly, the written word. I apply for jobs I’m grossly underqualified for, just so I can get my name out there while I continue to work with my current magazines. I’ll continue to revel with my time with my girls. I’m doing every day crossfit, which means my body hurts like mother effer, but I’m feeling more like myself which means I’m much happier here. It finally feels like this is home. London never really felt like home. It felt like a stepping stone to someplace else. Maybe this was that someplace else? Or maybe this is a stepping stone to someplace else and in two years or so I’ll end up in BC working at some rural newspaper in some hick town, or I’ll actually go to the arctic. Who knows? All I know is I need to do what my Queen Taylor Swift says and “shake it off” and not allow guilt or feelings that the other shoe will drop spoil the happy life I’m building.
But it’s easier said than done & it’s something I need to work on to help me be a more confident person. But as we slowly adjust into a comfortable routine here, and as time passes, it’ll be easier for me to settle into my comfortable place & just be happy.