I’m so painfully aware of myself these days. Maybe it’s the new skin I’ve revealed under decades of wearing someone else, it’s still raw. I’m moving about the world as a fundamentally different person and I have no frame of reference for anything anymore.

I’m so painfully aware that I might not be good at relationships, that I don’t know what healthy attachment looks like, or how to give all of myself to one person. I don’t know when to bend or fold, when to stop talking, how much to say, or even if I should say it. I’m suddenly insecure and aware of everything I do.

Am I a healthy person for others to be around? Am I making their lives better, or worse? When is it my responsibility to exit someone’s life, do I get to decide that? Or will they kick me out when they’re done? I don’t want to make anyone’s life worse. I know every day isn’t going to add value, but overall? What if I’ve identified that overall I am bringing someone down? What if, despite all my best efforts, I am not what someone else needs? Is this what it is when love isn’t enough?

For so long, I saw myself one way. I am surprised and saddened when people reveal the ways that I’ve hurt them. I’m caught off-guard by the ways I affect people. I’m painfully aware that it’s not just me in the world, and that’s been a monumental shift. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to be kind, how to be stable and safe for others. How to be emotionally sustainable and not burn someone out. I worry that I am a hurricane, leaving a path of destruction behind me. There’s a poem about throwing seeds behind you, and not looking back, and trusting that things will grow and blossom. I want to believe that, I want something beautiful to grow in people’s hearts where I have been. I don’t want to leave people with hearts of darkness.

Maybe I give myself too much credit. It’s arrogant to think I have that much impact.

I look at my life and wonder when I’m going to settle down and be the person someone can rely on? Someone I can rely on and trust, too? I’m terrible unsure of myself. I don’t know where I end and begin these days.


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