But I Guess We Just Won’t Talk about That

Today I ran into the person who is taking my position at school next year.

He walked right past me, but I followed him, said hello, shook his hand and told him who I was, welcoming him to the school.

The way he looked at me told me everything I needed to know about what has been said.

But I guess we just won’t talk about that.

It’s funny- the expectations we have for things so often fail us, don’t they?

And yet, we continue to set them, time and time again.

Why? Why do we torture ourselves that way?

We want to be hopeful, maybe.

We want to believe the best.

We don’t want to seem pessimistic.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that most of the expectations I’ve set about anything: a job, a marriage, a city, a business, a life–anything, really–have left me largely disappointed.

But I guess we just won’t talk about that.

Do I expect too much? Maybe so.

Are my hopes too high? I’ve never been accused of having my head in the clouds, but I guess you never know.

Or is it simply that, as human beings, we’re used to the whole, in the words of the late, great Aaliyah, “dust yourself off and try again” mentality?

I am opening a new business soon. This morning, during a conversation with my mom, she made a comment about my past in regard to my career that hurt me.

If I’d allowed it to, this comment would have taken me down a dark road of shame and self-condemnation.

Instead, I sat with it, repeated it, then brushed it off.

I also thought about the many times I’ve made similar comments to my own children.

I’ve sometimes made my children feel awful about themselves, and why, I don’t know.

Not thinking, I guess.

Or maybe fear. Fear has been wrapped around me since birth.

And truth be told, I am a little afraid. I’m afraid that my new business will fail.

I’m afraid I’m not good at what I want to do.

I’m afraid that I’ll get bored or lose passion and give up.

I’m afraid.

But every day, I’m learning to sit in my fear.

I’m learning to put it in my pocket, allow it to stay there, place my hand in there every once in a while, and hold it, then forget about it and move on.

And I’m understanding that becoming who I was always meant to be is so much harder when I’ve spent years pretending to be someone I’m not.

I don’t know what it looks like to be “successful” by the world’s standard. I’ve never made a decent living my entire life. If not for my husband, my children and I would be living in cardboard boxes.

Speaking of my husband, he’s been the most supportive, wonderful partner a girl could have. And he’s cheered me on no matter what I’ve tried.

Partly, I’ve been placing more important things than cash at the forefront of my life. Raising children, making a home, building memories and experiences.

But also, I’ve been holding onto fear of failure. Perfectionism doesn’t look perfect. It actually looks like a giant, procrastinating mess. I don’t want to mess up.

I’m ready to have both: the life and the financial reward. The worldly success and the inner peace. I truly believe both can reside in my heart, head and home.

There are lots and lots of people–Christians, especially–who do not believe we can live our best life here on Earth. They even make it difficult, if not impossible, for others to do so, and have been doing this since the beginning of time.

But for now, I guess we just won’t talk about that.

See you soon,


This entry was posted in Health & Sobriety and tagged , on by .

About toniof10

In 2023, I quit my teaching job to open a snow cone stand and haven't looked back! Now, I'm running my own business and writing about my midlife adventures on the side. Join me to chat about getting sober and healthy, staying married, raising kids, chasing dreams, aging naturally, and choosing to accept the abundant mystery of God's Grace!

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