Pleaser.

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I hate that name. I’d wither were someone to categorize me as a pleaser: someone who does as they’re supposed to with no soul in their course; stays out of the way, out of trouble…

Idly witnessing your fight flicker out is a bit like watching those men tugging their instruments as the Titanic sank. It’s so easy to have a little hindsight chat with my younger self and tell her what I’d have done differently. But what will I say to my now-self in another twenty years? That’s the chat that really matters because that’s the course still changeable.

The nauseating realization while I lie awake (again) flipping these thoughts over in my mind is that I’d tell them both the same thing.

To the girl who took off to Spain without a single friend or acquaintance and left with a new language and infinite adventure under her belt, I tell you, run.  And what now, to the woman contemplating the meaning – and her value in – life, I say:

Run from the “dream” – run from the “benchmarks”.

I think about selling the house. Quitting the job. Taking off with the kids to home-school for a year on the road.

But as they say, Life is complicated. And messy. And obligations tie you down and keep you boxed into agreements and promises made when you were someone completely different.

The heart changes.

Perspectives change.

Baggage falls from above to pull you back.

And then you’re alone with all your choices to accept and surrender to.

I tried getting it off my mind in my same old ways:

Read magazines; but I just don’t care about what’s on the pages.

Went for a drive.

Took a bath.

Cried.

Worked.

Swept.

Cried.

Paced.

Buried my head in excess.

Ran.

Looked around at all the things inside the house that add up to nothing.

Maybe that’s fear talking. Submit to the little boxes we draw around ourselves or die a fool failing at the big escape.

So I go to bed to ready myself for another day working to complete someone else’s dreams and put mine to bed in the lonely box known as “someday”.

To the girl and the woman I say, give yourself over to the force inside you and fuck the expectations handed to you as caring and concern. Stay the course that is your intuition.

But we all pep talk ourselves in hindsight.  Will there still be fight and fire in me telling me to fucking run towards my gut and away from the box in another 20 years?

The answer is still plucking me from sleep and gnawing at my hands as they grip the steering wheel while I lurch in line each morning on my drive to work.

Who will I make proud?

Me or them.

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