Someone recently walked out of my life, giving fear as the reason. Fear that the only possible outcome was an end, and therefore a beginning and a middle weren’t worth it. Standing by what they are comfortable with was the supposedly easy option: an option posing very little risk. It was apparently ‘not even an option’, as the fear of taking a risk without it working out paralysed the situation. Back in my letter to my 80 year old self I wrote that I hope to ‘keep taking chances on people to make the memories whilst it lasts’, but you know what? It hurts when it doesn’t last very long. It hurts when the ‘making memories’ stage seems perfect, but the fear of making bad memories stops someone from making more good ones. And the good ones can’t be forgotten. Yep, I’ve had a difficult year with relationships.
I’m not trying to put across a sob story here – I know everyone wants to tell us teenagers ‘oh you’re only young’, but to be honest, it really doesn’t help. I’m not daft and I know that relationships are not the only important thing in a teenage life, and I know I’m not exactly failing at life in general. No reality check needed here. Besides, since when does age make any difference? Teenagers being treated as if their feelings are any different to those of a twenty, thirty, or even eighty year old can be slightly annoying actually.
On the topic of fear in general, I’d say this is the first year that past experiences have made me think twice about doing things in the future. Making the same mistakes, specifically. I’ve always been pretty happy to push myself beyond my comfort zone – physically, socially, in most ways really. To be honest I’d say my ‘comfort zone’ is pretty sizeable anyway. In a way it reminds me of the time that I had a pony: I’d never been a particularly nervous rider but after a few nasty experiences, I felt quite vulnerable for a short time. 11-year-old me just couldn’t give it the same gusto for a few months. I suppose it’s subconsciously learned behaviour though: something happens more than once and you can’t help but expect and be fearful of it happening again.
One area of your life can be affected and suddenly you feel less confident as a person, or your trust in other people can plummet. I’ve never had a reason not to trust others before, but now it kinda feels like everyone just leaves. Obviously I’ve kept most of the negative stuff off the blog but I’ve had my fair share of stuff to deal with over summer, none of which has left me feeling exactly inclined to keep taking those chances on people. I still feel like I want to make the absolute most of any opportunity that comes my way, and luckily for me, there’s something in my psychology that means I can generally compartmentalise (to an extent) and remain my upbeat self in most areas whilst having the crappiest of times in others! I’m saying all this about being fearful of trusting people now, but knowing me it won’t make any difference a few months down the line and there’ll be a repeat performance no doubt. After all, I did start this post saying that someone used fear as the reason to walk out of my life (fear caused by past experiences, apparently), so I guess I’d be hypocritical to allow myself to let my diminishing trust hurt someone else in future.
I can’t help feeling that no matter how scared someone is, other feelings could override this fear if they cared enough. Maybe that’s just me though. I know – well I hope – that my fears will fade into slight wariness and caution sometime soon. I guess if I’m honest, my real fear is that his ‘fears’ were a fictional cover for general lack of interest. Can’t say that thought does wonders for my confidence.
Being just sixteen, my life experiences are a little limited of course, but obviously I know that fear is most definitely not a feeling that only teenagers experience. I really don’t want people to get the wrong idea here. I’m not talking about anxiety. I’d just really like to know how other people deal with life’s disappointments and heartaches without long-term impact. Many a long chat with my mum about it has told me that monumentally scary experiences can happen that ignite fear of doing almost anything, and that these fears can exist internally without those around you even realising. In her self-help guide ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’, Susan Jeffers says that the route of all our fears is basic: we fear we won’t be able to handle the situation if the worst happens. To this she replies, ‘you’ll handle it’. Sound advice I’m sure, but difficult to believe sometimes I guess.
How many people have felt fear holding them back when life experiences spiral beyond their control? Do you genuinely feel that everything happens to teach you something, or is it a knock you just have take, move on, and forget? If so, how do you do this?
lily kate x
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Miriam11th September 2014 at 12:25 am
I know where you are coming from, *sends a cup of tea*. Recently I have been going by “Fear cuts deeper than swords” a quote from A Game Of Thrones, I always try and focus on something else as best I can so I for at least some of the day I feel like I can trust people more than past experience has told me to.
lily14th September 2014 at 2:56 pm
Thank you Miriam! I haven’t yet watched Game Of Thrones, but it sounds like lots of wisdom comes from there. Genuinely lovely friends and family to surround myself with makes it easier to see that some people really can be trusted 🙂
Deb in PA11th September 2014 at 3:11 am
There are many types of fear. Fear for yourself, others, taking chances and so on.
Fear is necessary, but it shouldn’t be all controlling. I’ve found as I’ve gotten older, things I used to be afraid of are minor now, looking back, but at the time it was life altering.
Fear of going off to college, fear of what will happen to my family when my mom and dad divorced, fear when I divorced and had two kids to raise by myself…
Now my main fear is for my children, even though they’re adults. I’m not there to watch over them, so I have to have faith. I think faith helps counter fear. Faith in yourself, friends, and religion (if you believe in that).
Just my two cents. I’ve found that I survived all the things I feared, learned from that and learned who I could count on. That’s a good thing.
Just my two cents.
lily14th September 2014 at 3:05 pm
I suppose fear is necessary to have a sense of achievement, if you look at it that way. I’m sure my perspective on many things will change over years to come. I’m not really religious, but I have a lot of faith in my friends and family.
Thank you so much for commenting!
Alejandro Retamal11th September 2014 at 12:29 pm
Post the picture and let the viewers decide if my fears were fictional and I lacked interest
Max11th September 2014 at 2:56 pm
I am really sorry that your someone walked out. It is really lousy for this to happen. I am sure his reasons are good and probably complex, but it doesn’t stop you from feeling sad and a bit bad about yourself. Wel… you are young… no, I am not going to go down that route, ha ha! I remember being 15 and having that end of the world feeling, and my mum didn’t really think it was possible. What was worse is that there was no articulated break up, he just started avoiding me. My whole school saw me moping around for months and I even had a bit of a talk with my music teacher.
Enough about me! Just don’t shut yourself off. Feel bad, feel mad and move on. You might have this happen again, but that is the future, and it is just like the pony experience, really, it is!
Ah well, I can’t say how I’ve gotten through some of the stuff I’ve gotten through, but I just found that I am just a happy person underneath it all. There is just nothing wrong with me, although I grow and change and live with others. I am not really an advice person, but here it is… don’t be too quick to sum up your experiences. Life is a bit of a mess of things that don’t make sense. With all this talk of making memories it is too tempting to scrapbook everthing a bit too early. To say, “this happened, so this means I am a this kind of person, and I learned this from it.” Not only is this profoundly annoying to other people involved, you also make it harder to break out of your own scrapbook. Just live, just be and let your future biographers worry about the chronicling.
All this to say, I am so sorry Lily! We all love you!
lily14th September 2014 at 3:19 pm
Aw Max you always put a smile on my face! I can’t imagine just being avoided like that; luckily I’ve never had a similar experience. teachers can be the best for having little chats with, my history teacher was great. You do seem like a happy person in general, which I’m sure is the best way to be! That’s brilliant advice – I should probably stop being so philosophical about it all and just live.
Thank you so so much!
Wendy11th September 2014 at 6:10 pm
Some people, however young, aspire to have something permanent and lasting. If they think the other person doesn’t because they want to experience many things in their life and take chances then those two are going to be incompatible. It may not have been fear so much as not wishing invest a lot in something that you know is only transient. It’s very old fashioned to want “forever” but many people still long for it and won’t settle for less…….
lily14th September 2014 at 3:22 pm
Incompatibility is the best thing to put it down to! The reality that something will either end or last forever is prety scary, but I suppose it depends how much of a risk taker each individual is.
jen14th September 2014 at 3:39 pm
Wow, you know, even though your vlogging trend is pretty exciting, nothing, I mean NOTHING beats a good well-composed blog post. Your writing is refining Lily, and what a great topic to bring to the table ~~~ fear, in all of it’s nastiness, it is present in everybody’s life. Mine too, plenty of it. Relationships in my perspective really do shape a person, and when you think about it… about attraction, and coupling up and survival of the species, well, it goes without saying, that relationships are pretty important. (( yes, at whatever age )). My only wish is for you to turn inward for a while and search for the substance you need;, not to judge yourself or try any more forms of self-improvement , for Lily, one thing is that imperfection and faults and even scars are endearing. Perfection is boring. Please don’t find this latest break-up another reason to try harder at being perfect, but to try harder at allowing your imperfections to blossom. However odd it may seem, imperfections stand out in a very unique and beautiful (and human) way, and become plumage to attract. (therefore ensure the survival of the species…lol). Anyway, you’re dynamite kid, don’t blow off because of false triggers. xx
PendleStitches16th September 2014 at 6:02 pm
It doesn’t matter how old you are….heartbreak hurts like a b***h! And fear can bring even the strongest of us to our knees. But…and it’s a mighty ‘but’…your fear cannot break you, define you, or stop you from being your most awesome self. Unless, of course, you let it.
And, knowing you, that just isn’t going to happen.
It’s OK to be scared and sad and to guard your feelings the next time round. But, and I speak from experience here, leaving yourself open to the new, albeit cautiously, can bring you to amazing opportunities and great love.
And I always, always believe that “this too shall pass”….it’s just going to be crappy until it does.
Big hugs, m’love. And a squeeze from each of my littlies! xx
lily kate21st September 2014 at 2:50 pm
I’m sure it won’t ever get any easier! You are always the best for advice Evie. I think the ‘cautious but open’ approach is probably the best. Big hugs to you all too! Lots of love.
Sarah Mullaney21st September 2014 at 10:58 am
Aww Lily, I’m so sorry that someone walked out like that 🙁 My boyfriend Rob and I split up for a few months in April (he suddenly split up with me) and whilst it was a horrible time- it really has shaped me as a person and made me so much stronger than I was (as cliched as that sounds). At the time I thought the pain of it wouldn’t end, but it has helped teach me that life moves on and you then learn that you can be happy by yourself so that if this ever happens again, you have a better idea of how to cope and know that you will get through it stronger- even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. It took a lot of time and work but Rob and I are so much happier together now. If you ever want to talk, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org as I could really really relate to what you wrote and the feelings you are experiencing <3
lily kate21st September 2014 at 3:16 pm
Thank you so so much for commenting Sarah! That sounds like a horrible time too 🙁 I’m not great at being by myself but I’m sure it’ll make me a better person. I’m really glad to hear that you two are happy together now though! Really happy :’) I’ll definitely email you, thank you! Likewise, drop me a line if every you fancy a chat and virtual hugs!
summer | a memory - Joli House21st September 2014 at 2:41 pm
[…] this photo looks pretty random now, but it actually isn’t. Cute, yeah? Anyone reading my post last week about ‘fear’ could be forgiven for seeing it as a miserable rant, and think that I had no good memories of this […]