When you have a loved one coming to the end of life it forces you to think about your life and all the things you’ve done and could have done differently. Finding out about illnesses does this to you also. I’ve done a lot of reflecting in the last 3 years and though I’m not going to allow myself to wallow in my perceived “mistakes” I will say that given the opportunity I would do some things differently. I’m not going to list what those things are, what I want to do is explore why I made them. I was brought up with the idea that the worst thing I could do in life was to be irresponsible. I don’t know if this was intentional but it was the message I always got. Maybe it was because I was a girl, there is a difference of expectations of females vs. males in my family. Maybe because, for reasons I wont go into, my older sibling was not able to take on a fully responsible role, I don’t know. What I do know is the pressure was real. I went through high school and college always weighing my decisions and always doing what was “right”. Looking back I’m sure I missed some awesome opportunities because they would have been the dumb choice.
Aside from being responsible theres pride, no one wants to look like an idiot, but is it really so wrong to take a chance on life, get your heart broken, get duped, “played”, whats really hurt at that point? You can physically keep living, if you have a good support system mentally and emotionally you will be back in the game in no time. What’s really hurt is our pride because we weren’t smart enough to see through the lies. Were we really not smart enough or did we actually see through the lies to the good that was in the other person.
Then there is the fear. Fear of the known and unknown. Fear that once something happens thats the way you will be known forever. Fear that you wont be able to accomplish that which you set out to do. Fear that you will do it to well and people wont like you after that. For a better understanding of fear, see pride. I really could have written this entire piece on pride. Smoke gets in your eyes and pride gets in the way.