What happens when you feel like you have imposter syndrome about your own life?
For years I yearned to feel free from the deep, stomach-clenching anxiety of never having enough time. Working myself to the bone, the only thing I yearned for was time. No deadlines. No looming travel jobs. Just an endless stretch of time for me. Time to sleep (something I don’t do very well). Time to just be with friends and family. Perhaps, even, time to fall in love.
And if I’m honest with myself here (and if I can’t be honest with myself on here, then where can I be?), I always wondered if I would ever share a life with someone else. Or will it always just be me? I’ve been alone for so long the idea of becoming a team seemed ludicrous.
Often I roll over in bed, and I see Giulio next to me asleep, and I think to myself, wow. I can’t believe this is my life now. Reaching my hand out, I touch his face, and he’ll smile. Our dog Guapa curls up by my feet. I can’t believe I’m this happy.
It’s been exactly two years since I reconnected with Giulio in Bali and over a year since I up and moved in with him in Lyttelton. And things are still going strong.
But I’m not one of those people who easily just rolls along with life. I’ve never been one of those people. Even now, I feel the shadow of doubt sneaking over my left shoulder, like a little cartoon devil who faintly whispers, “Why do you deserve to be happy? Don’t get used to it.”
Sigh. How fucked up we are as humans? Why do our brains drive towards self-destruction?
Perhaps you can’t relate to this that you don’t tell yourself sad stories to make them true. That self-sabotaging your happiness isn’t a familiar hobby. If that’s you, I salute you. I’m jealous. But I know many people out there just like me.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve tip-toed into a life that isn’t mine. If I make a noise or any sudden movement, heads will turn and see me as a fraud. This fragile joy might shatter back into the reality I knew for so long. Lonely. Tired. Impatient. Angry. I was waiting for “that happy life,” and when would it be my turn.
But when that turn does come, then what?
Decades whizzed by as I waited. I kept myself busy; that was the easy part. Sitting still is hard. I hated routine. I craved routine. Work consumed me as I tried to grow. Only when the entire world paused did I finally learn to sit down and breathe. I’m still learning.
Perhaps my biggest lesson is a big fat cliche – that happiness isn’t the destination; you don’t wait for it to arrive like the old commuter train you regularly missed. Happiness is here, all around you. It’s a choice we all make. Do you press through the fog of despair, or melancholy, or endless busyness and grab it with your teeth? Or do you wait and see if it will appear? And even worse, what happens when it arrives? Do you let it go? Do you allow yourself sabotage it?
Even now that fog appears, I have to remind myself that fog always burns away. That happy life you’re glimpsing is yours. Take it and make the most of it; you deserve it, and anyone who says otherwise can get fucked.
What are your thoughts on my musings on becoming two? Can you relate to this in some way? I’m curious to hear, share!