Te-Erika’s Diary: I’m Afraid of The Next Level

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I called my Mama today.

I had to. I was feeling all the jitters associated with impending success. I can handle failure. I can pull through rejection. I can handle being disappointed again and again but the one thing I can’t seem to grasp is- you know- hearing YES.

I know I’m prepared for what I want to do with my life. I am educated, knowledgable and most importantly capable of supporting women yet, as I continue to market myself as a women’s advocate I do understand that I am nothing like any of the others I have seen before.

I’m not polished. I don’t have long hair. I don’t speak “properly” all of the time. I’m just me. As much of an intellect as I am and as much as I know what I can add to this world, I still feel the jitters about meeting people and trying to express the gifts I have to offer.

“Mama, I’m scared,” I said to her as I walked to the post office to mail my sons the paintings they made while they were here visiting me.

“I know,” she said. “You’re afraid of success.”

“I’m not mainstream,” I whined. “I don’t even have a wardrobe. I look raggedy.”

“Yeah but, you’re making a documentary about rebuilding your life and people will understand that you’re not to the point where you have a lot of stuff yet,” she told me.

“Yeah, but I feel like someone who is teaching how to be awesome in life should look awesome and be more of a business type person than I am. I’m an artist.”

“Well be an artist. Be who you are. People want to see a regular person move forward. You’re doing what you can do, just be okay with that.”

I will.

I beat myself up entirely too much for not being what I think I should be or what the people want. I’m scared of the idea of people trying to be my friend because they want something from me. I already experience that from time to time but imagine if I was to make my work well known, how many people would be after me to win my favor. Ugh. I hate begging people. Living in Los Angeles for this long has introduced me to a lot of needy people, especially my time in this sober living house.  It has hardened me concerning people in need simply because these people with their hand out, won’t do the work to get themselves what they need. They know all they have to do is ask- and someone else will take care of it. I don’t want to be a person who people beg for help when they are at their low points. It’s not going to work, even though I have a heart to give, I want to teach others to FIGURE IT OUT for themselves, because any other way is crippling them.

Until then, until I have to say no to the multitudes of people who see me as a way out of their situation, I kind of hide behind the computer because it makes me feel safe. I feel comfortable behind this screen, you can’t touch me, you can’t hear me laugh like a maniac, and when I feel overwhelmed I can simply close the laptop and take a break. That’s the beauty of being a homebody.

Today was actually a cool day after I spoke with my Mama. She stayed on the phone with me while I shopped for a new dress to wear. Then when I got home my little sister joined me on Skype and I showed her the dress I bought.

Now that my roommates are leaving one by one, I feel much more at peace about my life. I know that I will never see or speak to any of them ever again and it is sort of comforting to know that every goodbye means a new beginning for me, one that may lead me to the next level in my life, the level I’ve been working very hard to get to.

And if it happens to include the type of success I envision, yet secretly fear, I’ll just have to deal with that when it happens. I can handle anything really, I know it.

It’s still a little scary though. Oh well.

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