I don’t think I’m brave enough to put myself first.

I am the type of person that thinks of what other people want and works to help them get that before thinking about the effect that has on me, or before taking what I want into consideration. I often just rationalise it by thinking that I can always do what I want later, when I’m alone. And sure, most times that’s what happens and I’m okay with that, but there are some instances where I’ve missed the opportunity to embrace something that I loved simply because it wasn’t something the people I was with were into. I compartmentalise my feelings, my wants, and my needs and open that box later in solitude.  

I let myself think that it’s easier, let myself consider that as the only reason for this sort of behaviour. Justify it by saying if it was something I really wanted, I’d speak up about it, so when it’s not it really doesn’t matter.

The truth is, that I’m not brave enough. And now, not speaking up has a become a habit. Doing things alone, and on my own is just the way I’ve become. And it’s not right. I have people who care about me that no longer know me because it’s simply ‘easier’ for me to not express myself. Every time I see them it’s about their lives and their problems and I’m beyond happy to help. When it comes to me time just conveniently runs out because I let it. I solve my problems on my own, so I won’t have to burden people with it, and yet when the roles reverse I welcome the fact that my friends and family have me to lean on. I don’t understand it, and I don’t fully know how to stop it. But I’m working on it.

People ask me why I’m not currently in a relationship. I tell them it’s because I don’t have the time – and for the most part that’s true. They accept that, no questions asked, because they know the things I’m up to and the kind of life I lead and there appears to be no space for someone else.

But the small yet most important part of the reason why is because I don’t know how to be in one. I fear that I won’t be able to share myself with someone.

I wrote about ‘Heartbreak Warfare’ in an earlier post and I asked why people can’t ask for more love, why they play games and tip toe around the possibility of falling in love just to prolong it. I asked, knowing exactly why I don’t ask for love and don’t actively seek a partner, and it’s because I’m not sure I’ll be brave enough to open myself up to this person. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to put aside the doubts that creep in my mind and tell me that he doesn’t really want to know those dumb details. The voice whispers in my mind and says ‘Give it up, he’s not really interested in what kind of music you’re into, or why you’re majoring in Psychology’.

And I fight it, because those thoughts don’t necessarily make sense. I use logic and think that, if I really want to know this person I’m starting to have feelings for, then it should mean that if they’re starting to have feelings for me too, they would want to be a part of my life in its entirety as well. They won’t mind that I babble about and sing out loud, even if that gives them Last Song Syndrome, or that I would rather watch Full House than the news. They won’t mind that I read three books simultaneously, or that I bake when the thoughts in my head won’t let me sleep. They won’t mind that, when I’m thinking about something that I’m very interested in and passionate about, that my mouth runs 100km/hr like my mind and I stutter and don’t always make sense.

But my fears outnumber logic most days, and I don’t let myself believe that it’s possible even if he’s staring me in the face. So I dismiss my feelings till they decide to go away, and think ‘maybe next year, when I don’t feel like I need to apologise for everything I say’.


– Gemini


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