On Lethargy and Longing
I have a problem with inappropriate crushes. I like to like people with whom any kind of future – physical, emotional, or otherwise – is nigh impossible. You know, they live inordinately far away, or they’re not into women, or they’re people with whom I must maintain a professional relationship. And in addition to the inappropriate feelings, I like to be very obvious with my intentions by…doing nothing at all and treating my crushes just like everyone else. I’m really good at romance.
Unlike in teenage years, though, crushes as an adult are fun. They are no longer crippling or full of agitated over-thinking or insomnia. Having some fluttery feelings serves to make my day a little more exciting and that’s all. There is no angst because there is no pressure – nothing can happen. Nothing will happen. I am safe from having to try.
Lately, I realize how prominent a theme this is in my life – protecting myself from having to try. I’ve spent my whole professional life running away from the things I might be good at because I was too scared I wouldn’t be good enough at them. So instead, I pursued other things, things in which I had no personal stake, no confidence to be smashed. I went through the motions. Instead of chasing dreams, I moseyed in the general direction of middling success. It doesn’t matter if I fail at things I don’t really care about. No pressure. No problem.
It occurs to me that I’ve made a concerted, if subconscious, effort to absolve myself of making an effort. A little ironic, all the work it takes to justify laziness.
But. I am starting school in a month and a half, which will mark the first step in a direction that involves doing something I care about, potentially failing at something I’ve secretly wanted to do all my life. To say I am scared is an understatement. This is where shit gets real (and/or hits the fan).
It’s like I actually slept with that cute boss or that exchange student from halfway around the world. And now we’re waking up, bleary-eyed and a little hung-over, and “the talk” looms ahead of us, full of the potential to be awkward or devastating or – just maybe? – incredible.