Posted by: Judy | July 17, 2014

My biggest fear…

Failure.

Surprised me when I wrote that one down. I thought I was afraid of success. After some introspection, I’m not so much afraid of it as baffled by the concept. All the gurus say to visualize success and have faith. I don’t know what it looks like for me.

Working on the print formats for my books was a painful wakeup call. I love the stories, but I could see problems. My craft needs work. I’m very grateful to all the wonderful people who have purchased my books and have seen the potential for me to become a better writer. I endeavor to make each book better. Reading them back to back, I’m not sure how successful I’ve been in accomplishing that task.

Why am I afraid of failure, really? So much of my life is steeped in failure.

All the feel-good, you-can-do-it, key-to-the-secret gurus assure you can accomplish anything you want to accomplish.

Growing up, all I wanted was to marry and have children, a healthy family. I geared everything toward that end. I took classes in school, at church, and in the community to help me be a better wife and mother, a more well rounded person. I read books, watched movies, chose television shows all toward the end of being a wife and mother. Becoming healthy, mentally, physically, and spiritually, all had the same end purpose: To help me be a better wife and mother.

Even my dog and my horse were part of my plan to become a better mother. I often referred to my dog as my angel child. I wondered how I would handle a difficult child. My horse was my difficult child.

I’m not married, and I have no children.

Part of having a family of my own meant I’d have a home of my own. A place where I could create a bit of heaven on earth.

I, at least, wanted to have a home of my own. I wanted job where I could be independent. I never demanded independently wealthy only enough to be independent. I was criticized for my job choices. One job after another has gone away. “They” were right, and I was wrong.

I would have been miserable pursuing what was expected of me for the simply reason it was a failure in the making. I was encouraged to pursue math, something I don’t enjoy or even understand fully. I was in the sixth grade before I finally memorized all my multiplication table up to 12. I was out of college before it made sense, and that was because someone else pointed out the patterns. I still have to use the patterns or the easy ones to instigate the pattern and help me find the more difficult ones. None of which accounts for my frustration with switching numbers and even turning 6s and 9s upside down.

My last counselor taught me how to be emotionally independent, but I’m still not financially independent. I don’t have a home of my own.

Tied into being a failure, I fear not being enough. I fear being a burden.

I’m afraid of not being who God needs me to be, of not filling the place He needs me to fill.

I’m terrified I’m living a half life.

Even so, this does not keep me from facing every day and endeavoring to make the best of it.


Responses

  1. Whose standard are you using for success? You devote your time writing a different kind of romance that Christ would love to have on his book shelf. Why is that a failure? Not what you had in mind, I know. Hugs. To me your are my example of fighting a good fight and keep fighting when the odds are against you.

    • ((Ruth))

  2. I’m terrified I’m living a half life.

    This.

    I worry about this all the time. And I worry about being a burden (gee, wonder who gave me the idea that I was a burden?). But as much as I fate failure, I think I fear success more. As in the kind of success that would make people like my mother look at me and see me as a target to take down. So I stay in a safe zone where I bother as few people as possible. It’s a weird limbo between success and failure and I think I am far too comfortable in it. Thanks for the food for thought.

    Hugs to you about not having the children and family you dearly wished for. I can’t imagine how devastating that must feel for you. I have an aunt who always wanted those things but didn’t, but she didn’t have an NM. Still, I know it wasn’t what she dreamed of and it make me sad because she would’ve made a great mother. I know you would’ve too.

    • Thanks for expressing my own thoughts about success as well. And thanks for the empathy. ((Judith))

  3. I’m certain I’m living a half-life, mostly because I’ve had glimpses of what it looks like when I’m fully engaged and participating in life, but these days, rather than chastise myself for failing to meet my definition of what it means to be fully engaged, instead, I’m questioning whether my current version of life isn’t exactly the right place to be, for me. In other words, instead of waking up every day disappointed that I’m not doing it right, and feeling like a failure, I’m trying a new approach … redefining what makes sense for me. That idea of what it looked like in my head as opposed to what it looks like in the mirror may not be failure at all, but a natural evolution process in motion.

    • Hmmm… maybe I’m in transition. I like that idea.

  4. Echo this “To me your are my example of fighting a good fight and keep fighting when the odds are against you.” ((Judy))

    • ((TR))


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