Yesterday morning, I packed up my rented lens and dropped it off to the smiling, nice lady at The UPS Store who took it off my hands in 20 seconds flat and told me to “Have a good one.” It was such a routine, normal, non-stressful, errand on an abundantly sunny morning. And yet, I had butterflies in my stomach. They were threatening to turn into hornets if I didn’t turn and walk away fast. It was the same feeling I got the afternoon last week when the smiling, nice UPS man dropped off the lens. The whole experience made me queasy. Renting a professional lens ripped me out of my kit-lens comfort zone.
Well…I use a 50mm, not a kit-lens. But I didn’t pay for the 50mm and it’s not worth $1,200.
If you haven’t noticed by now from reading my blog, I’ll tell you it again. I get nervous from weird and seemingly random things: objects, events, people, animals. I’ve long since learned that it’s not the lens itself, or the other weird and seemingly random things that make my heart pound and my stomach ache. It’s what the objects, events, people, animals and more mean to me about my past, present and future. It’s what they say to me about what scares me most in this world.
And I’m still trying to figure a lot of it out. I’ve had to within the last nine months or so from getting really nervous about silly things for awhile and then getting better. Yet there I was, heart pounding on a sunny and warm morning in the UPS Store for no visible reason. I have worked out a lot of anxiety but there will always be changes on the horizon. I hope so very much to work on my career anxiety. I seem to have a fear of success. I know that “Fear of Success” is a very real syndrome but I purposefully haven’t read anything about it before writing this. I may never. And I also don’t know how it relates to “Fear of Failure.” Are they the same? Are they opposites? Can you be both? Can you be half and half? Is it like love and hate? People think they’re different but they’re actually very similar things. Maybe there’s a thin line between them.
I watched a whole episode of “The Office” recently and it was one of the first times I’ve done that. I like the show but I prefer to watch things from the start and I’m years behind. I was laughing along and it really struck me how sadly true to life it is. It may be a comedy but it’s a dark comedy because I’ve worked in offices just like that. There are always weird people that may or may not be ax murderers. And people who aren’t quite sure what their job is. And people don’t care what their job is. I was there. Yesterday my haircutter said, “You should NEVER work in an office.” Cassidy told me the same thing. He said, “Let’s get creative so you never have to do it again.” And they’re both so right. I don’t think I ever will, no matter what happens. No matter how desperately we need money. I will find other ways. I will find any other way. Trust me on this one. I would do anything but that…Delivering food to hungry, rude people? Sure, at least there’s no Excel spreadsheets. Pole dancing at an exotic club? Sure, at least there’s no goddamn PowerPoint. Catch my drift? I never cared. I never kissed butt. I never climbed over people to the top. So I never went anywhere but in a straight line. If I ever go back, I’ll have to start at the bottom again, doing what I was overqualified for 10 years ago. I will never go back.
Yet, I have no idea what I’m doing or what I’m going to do. But maybe that’s ok. Knowing what I cannot and shouldn’t waste my time doing is a start, right? Maybe this will eventually lead to a good thing. I’ve been so nervous about it lately. Maybe that means I’m closer now than I’ve ever been. And more scared. I’ve always thought it’s scary to fail at something, but I’m even more scared to succeed. I have a “Then, what?” mentality. When I was younger, I was afraid to get married. I was afraid that if I stopped searching for a guy, I’d lose the wonder and intrigue of just looking and not knowing. It’s similar to why I like spring. I like spring because I really like summer. But when you’re in spring, you still have summer to wait for. It’s not slipping through your fingers. I like fall a hell of a lot but it just leads you down a shady path to winter. I like anticipation. Because once you get to the top, then what? I know there actually is no top and I could keep growing forever, but I’m so afraid I’d just fall off the mountain and never get up again. Nowhere to go but down.
I hear about it all of the time, firsthand and in the news. Broke, young parents working their asses off to be able to not only provide for their children, but to go beyond their wildest dreams. Money is great, yes, but it’s more than that. It’s about doing what you love or at least believe in. I know it’s not a fairy tale. I know it’ll hurt in more ways than one. I can already feel that pain just thinking about it. And I can feel that joy of succeeding. I can feel that future. I can already see our names in print as we’re interviewed about our success. I know that it’s possible. I know that it’s probable.
But…it’s just not here yet. And it might be a long climb uphill to get to that place, wherever it may be. I think we will.