I have a frame on the wall at home which holds nothing more than the word “Dream”. When I think about who I am and the disposition with which I live my life, it initially seems a little off kilter. I don’t seem like the sort of person who would have a cute little thing like that up on a wall. I am for sure not the sort of person who has a script decal of “Live. Love. Laugh” above my bed. It just all seems too soft and whimsical for me. But the thing is that dreaming isn’t soft and cushy at all. It isn’t swirly and twirly and fluffy. Dreaming is terrifying. My own dreams for my life are some of the scariest things I’ve ever had to face.

I thought for a very long time that if I didn’t dream or if I held the lowest expectations possible, I would keep from being disappointed. But disappointment has flooding into my life regardless of my downer mindset. But still I convinced myself that  even expecting disappointment itself would save me from further disappointment. (Now that I’m writing it out, it seems ridiculous that this ever made sense to me.) I would expect others to hurt me and would sometimes even manipulate the people I cared about just because I thought I had to hurt them before they did the same to me. But the truth is- It is easier to BE failed than it is to fail.

It is easier to be disappointed with others people and circumstances than it is to risk disappointing yourself. I am so terrified of failing that I have refused to have dreams for my own life. I have tiptoed toward having them, thinking it would be nice if I could ever have the things I wanted, but I have always brought myself back to the reality that I was never meant for such things. I was never meant for stability or happiness or motherhood or marriage or relationship in general. It is easy for me to look at myself and see that I am hardwired to be abrasive and manipulative and I was conditioned to be distrustful and unstable and many other cheery and wonderful things. I was not meant for good things and it is something I am going to have to face.

Above all, I was not meant for normality. I never saw this as a good thing before. I took normality to mean stability, reliability and sanity. I have, for years, felt helpless against the flaws of my nature. I will hurt whoever comes near me and I will crush any good that is put before me. I ruin things. It is what I was made for and trained for. It may very well be my greatest aspiration to not cause a negative effect wherever I go.

The truth is I have learned in the past year or so that I am, in fact, meant for nothing resembling normality. I don’t know what any of that means, but that’s not the point, really. The point is that having aspirations for my own life is one of the most difficult things I can imagine.

It was not until I let myself dream of my own idea of normality that I realized any of this. I didn’t realize what dreaming was until I made myself do it. Not until I let myself hope did I see the mask of whimsy and fluff removed from one of the most beautifully terrifying concepts I have yet to face.  (It is up there with surrender, which is not something I am fond of.) Dreaming is terrifying. Dreaming is too real and too intimate for me to ever imagine being comfortable with. But even in the horror of impending dreams, I have always equated them with phobias like becoming a missionary when you fear ministering to others or to becoming a speaker when you are terrified of crowds. I always imagined I would be called to some horrifying position in the kingdom, like a female pastor. But alas, I am not… as far as I know.

What is even more terrifying to me is that I am called to be a mother. A stinking mother. And a wife. I hate men. I hate people. I could much more easily accept that I am going to have a very difficult and lonely life living out some rare calling to be a pastor or something. I never imagined when I went to a mountain to pray and think about the dreams I had for myself that I could have walked away with a more terrifying dream. I would probably have more confidence if I were called to Haiti  (ugh… Haiti).

The truth is, there is nothing scarier to me that being called to be an exceptional woman in a presumably normal lifestyle. I cannot be a good wife- I don’t trust men and I don’t trust husbands. And even more than that, I don’t trust fathers. How is someone with the baggage I’ve got supposed to make a family when I feel like most of the time I’m giving it all I’ve got just to not ruin everything around me. When everything in me tries to sabotage the good things in my life, how am I supposed to be a wife an mother? And with all of those questions floating through my head, how am I supposed to deal with the fact that it is actually something that I want? More than anything. I want to create a family more than I am willing to admit. It’s scary. It’s not cute and twirly at all.

I know this happens far too frequently, but I don’t want to write anymore, because I feel like I don’t make any sense. So… abrupt ending!


~ by Meredith Joanna on March 28, 2011.

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