Why I’m scared of success and fish moths

Okay first thing first, fish moths have to be one of the most disgusting creatures in existence and to make matters worse they’re always showing up unannounced which to be honest, is just pain down rude. I found one staring at me in a rather creepy fashion while I brushed my teeth this morning (well I don’t know where it’s eyes are but I distinctly felt as though I was being watched). I flashed it my toothpaste covered teeth hoping that the sight of my pale blue frothy grin would scare it away but it was oblivious to my efforts. That creature had nerves of steel, I mean I often scare myself when I catch my reflection in the bathroom mirror after I’ve just woken up (picture a love child between Freddy Krueger and the girl from The Ring – I’d be her ugly sister). But this blog post isn’t really about fish moths or how disastrous I look as the soft light of day breaks, it is, no doubt, just my way of not so cleverly avoiding the real thing I want to write about.

It amazes me how many blog posts I start and never finish, how many bright ideas I have that never turn out to be anything and worse so, how scared I am sometimes just to try. It is as if I do not deem myself worthy of the very thing that I want, so I start to convince myself that whatever I desire is not really a possibility, that my hopes and dreams belong to someone else. I can almost imagine her, this woman who owns my dreams. Maybe she started working on her dreams earlier, maybe she had more than I did growing up, maybe she had more supportive friends, maybe her hair did look like the shampoo commercials. The more real she becomes the less I believe in my own story. I pull at this thought piece by piece until all that is left of me is something insignificant, ordinary, mundane. Stories that began in my mind start to unwrite themselves, achievements are tainted with the thought of blind luck. I become my worst enemy endlessly criticising myself until I am left with nothing but self-loathing. Time and time again, I wonder why it is that I do this to myself. Why it is that the things that I want the most are the things that paralyse me with fear? I want to say that I am scared of failure but somehow that does not ring true.  I know failure and I know that failure is a necessary, but temporary part of life. I have never faced anything that I thought I would flat out fail at (of course this was before I failed engineering in glorious technicolour – I always say if you’re going to do something, do it well). No, I am not scared of failure. I am scared of something more threatening, I am scared of success. I am scared of doing something well and then never being able to replicate it, I am scared that people will come to expect something of me that I cannot deliver. Someone once told me “If someone pays you a compliment, it is not your job to prove them wrong. All you have to do is say ‘Thank you’.”

How silly to be caught up in this tidal wave of emotions because I am scared to actually succeed. How silly to think that I am unworthy of the success that I have or could have. How silly indeed. I think of the silly puppy who lies snoring contently beside me as I type, I think of how his mixture of stupidity and bravery landed him in a dark, deep pond and of how he did not know that he could not swim. He was not scared that he may become the doggy swimming champion of the world, no, he saw an opportunity and decided to run head first into it. Of course, he needed to be rescued, and as I clutched his wet body to my chest, he licked my face as if to let me know this would not be the last time he would make my heart stop. He is a silly dog but perhaps he has a lesson to teach me. Perhaps his silliness is one that I should adopt, maybe I should get over my inexplicable inertia and learn to dive headfirst into opportunities? Succeed or fail, maybe someone will be there to pull me out of the deep dark pond, maybe it will be a wiser, stronger version myself.  Maybe I will look myself in the eye and know that it would not be last time I tried to succeed. Perhaps, at least for today, I should go find that dark pond, chase my dreams, start writing my great book, and of course,try to rid my bathroom of those god-awful fish moths.

Published by Denira Varma

I am, if nothing else, a perfect example of the dichotomy that exists in every one of us. I seek adventure, yet I long the grace of long days spent reading in a quiet treed spot. I am hedonistic but pragmatic. I long to create yet I burden myself with thoughts that I am not worthy. I started this blog to share part of me, my thoughts and experiences.

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