Fear and loathing
Trip Start Aug 25, 2013
6Trip End Ongoing
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Once upon a time, not all that long ago, I was in Boston.
Alone and in desperate need of a friend. Fate pushed me into the path of a
bright young woman from the far reaches of Europe, who said something that really
stuck with me.
Knee-deep in mac n cheese and beers at a restaurant not far
from our hostel, deep in girly conversation about all manner of relatively
average things – boys, travels, work – she stopped. Paused. Looked at me
earnestly… before saying "wow" … “you're REALLY successful!”
I could only stare at her, slack-jawed, because I was
I hate to sound like I don’t appreciate the wonderful things
in my life. My friends, family, great job… the fact that I’ve travelled more
It’s just that I’ve never thought of myself as that. As successful.
I’ve spent the vast majority of my adult life feeling like I’ve
Forrest Gump-ed my way through life so far. Not being particularly good at anything.
Being just good enough at a few things for people to let me continue at them
I don’t feel successful as much as… lucky.
I think it’s also that I don’t measure my success by rising
the ranks at work or conquering a new corner of the globe. As I watch
increasing numbers of friends find love, settle down and start families… I
increasingly feel like I’m waiting for my own life to start.
Biding my time. Because family – that’s real success for me.
A lot of people have said to me that they think Canada will
be it for me. That the country will sweep me off my feet and somehow I’ll
become everything I’ve been waiting to be.
That’s part of the reason I have to go – the zombie
apocalypse theory of it all. Take me out of my comfort zone and I really have to
try and to work at getting the kind of job I’ve always dreamed of. I have to
let go of the failed relationships, the cute guys it didn’t quite work with,
and not have my friends to fall back on. I really have to work at making
friendships and relationships work.
And that brings the fear.
What if, at the end of the day, that great Northern land
reveals I’m a fraud? If my luck runs out?
What if my skills aren’t transferable? If I can’t land that
What if that long string of failed and almost-relationships
is not a situational thing… but it’s me?
ultimate failure, I’m destined to a life in the departure lounge. Incapable of
making that leap, boarding that flight.
Nose pressed up against the glass, watching others soar to