happily ever after

Friday, August 28, 2009

editors note: new readers, i promise i'm normally not this emo.

a very good friend of mine, court, recently admitted to me that she thinks i'm afraid of being 100% happy, and believes i worry that if too many things are going well in my life that something is bound to go wrong.

well, she's completely right - i do think like this.

oddly, i think that i need to even out my happiness and discontent - ying and yang.

now in my friend's defense she's one of the kindest and most awesome girls, and i know that in discussing this with me she was only trying to be a friend - help me...

give me a pep talk, tell me that i'm amazing woman and i deserve everything positive that comes my way.

but i can't help thinking that my life is never going to be "perfect".

and that if i'm overly blessed with an amazing family that would do anything for me, a wonderful group of friends who are the most loyal people a girl can as for, a job that i am lucky to have and to (gasp!) ENJOY, that there's bound to be a downside.

i can't have it all... but i need to realize that i deserve it all.

currently i think that because i have all of the above blessings that i will in turn never have the body that can make a boy do a triple take as i strut by in four inch heels, never find that man of my dreams to sweep me off my feet, or never have kids (three boys) that i want.

if i suddenly get the body, the man, and the kids, i'm petrified that i'm somehow going to lose everything else.

it's completely an irrational fear.

perhaps court is right, maybe i do subconsciously self sabotage myself.

but how do i fix it?

i want the fairy tale damnit.


  1. Well, Alexa, according to my therapist this is what is referred to as "magical thinking" or something. I don't always pay attention. Anywho, the point is, I totally get where you're coming from. I am always afraid that the good things that happen, will come at a cost, and that ultimately that cost isn't worth it. Its fear of change, even positive change, you know. For example, its currently 2:30 in the morning and I am not sleeping. Why? Because I am moving (very good thing) and the change has completely screwed my very delicate balance.

    And that is how I made your post all about me.

    But seriously, I think recognizing your own fear is the first step to changing things. As my therapist always says, "When you're uncomfortable, you're growing." Which is true, but still kind of makes me want to slap her.

  2. Lady friend, I might be crazy, but somehow I feel like I know it in my bones that you will have done a 180 and be with your Prince Charming, contemplating marriage in a year.

    Warning? Prince Charming farts a lot. But he's still pretty fab.

    On a more serious note, I'm with Jill... I think once you realize what's going on, the hard work is over. xoxo

  3. Spoiler alert: I am your prince charming. We will have a baby in the fall. Get excited.

  4. My friend Alexis is JUST LIKE THIS. She has a FB bumper sticker from Charlie Brown saying "I think I'm afraid to be happy, because whenever I get too happy, something bad always happens." She's constantly worrying about something, and I just want her (and you!) to be happy about the little things and trust that things come together for a reason.

  5. Alexa, I am your therapist and can tell you I already knew this about you. Weird, isn't it (that I'm your therapist, not that I know everything about you - ha). I agree with what others have said. Acknowledgment is the first step. And believing what your readers say is the second: YOU DO DESERVE IT ALL. Sometimes, though, we're not ready for it all (I know I wasn't until well into my 30s). I'm confident that when you're ready, you'll do the things you do to bring happiness and all things good into your life.

  6. I know this feeling all too well.

  7. It seems like you are your own worst enemy in the fact that you are constantly trying to convince everyone how fabulous you are all the time. People that honestly believe in themselves often do not have to advertise this to the world. Maybe this attitude is scaring off mr. right and that is why you do not have it all.

  8. jill - i love your comment so much, you are wise and funny. ya know, the best of it all. apparently i don't wanna grow right now. haha

    lilu - i agree with you too, nothing like a shotgun wedding - ; )

    maxie - so THAT'S why you are coming to visit me next month...

    angela - god your friend and i obviously need help, ha, geez. i never thought of it like charlie brown, it's kinda hilarious.

    nilsa - you ARE my wise chicago therapist. yeah i think its the boy confidence, ive been burned.

    justjp - sucks right?

    anonymous - that first part (own worst enemy) of your comment totally sounds like my mom. you guys should totally hang out. but i disagree with you in that i DO believe in myself in the parts that i mentioned and hell yes i will advertise it, i write a blog, and i write about my life i can't help that it's fabulous, ha. in all seriousness though the part that you said is scaring of mr right you are kinda right about, i need to change my 'tude. a new outlook perhaps.

  9. I don't know that it's really about fixing it, it's about enjoying the heck out of all your blessings, being grateful for the good times, not being afraid to go after what you really want because you really do deserve it and knowing that if/when the bad times come around, you are strong enough to make it through with the incredible support system you have created. (this can include the incredible man you want too)

  10. Of course life is never going to be perfect, but that doesn't mean something has to go wrong.

    Even when everything is going right, "right" might not look like what you thought it would.

    I used to self sabotage too, you just have to stop. It's scary as hell, but totally worth it.

  11. I want the fairy tale too, dammit.

  12. One of my biggest fears is imperfection. It's why I'm a workaholic and it's why I hate working out because I'm afraid I'll just drop the ball with it anyway. It's why I was an athlete in college.

    I have spent a very large part of the last few years fighting this need to make sure everything has a place and everything is the best. And if it wasn't going to be the best, I saw no point in even acknowledging it.

    The old adage "take it with a grain of salt" could not ring more true. I still want to believe that the grass is greener on the other side but I am quickly starting to like the grass that I have right beneath my feet.

    You'll be great, girl. if it's any consolation, I think your life totally rocks and I'd love to live it sometime. You rock!

  13. And I'm really sorry I just wrote a novel on your comments.

  14. Anon just made me kinda stabby, but you handled it with far more grace than I would have.

    You do have grace, kid. You are really smart and fun and a super duper good friend.

    You deserve the good things. You will have them.

    Also, FWIW, I don't think you should apologize for being emo--we like every side of you and not everyone is cheery all the time.

  15. I totally know the feeling. I have everything I could possibly want--amazing husband, house, dog, job, town, etc.--but sometimes I feel like I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop, like nobody can just have such a great life without something terrible happening to balance it all out. At the moment I am afraid that this will be child-related since that is the one thing I don't have yet. I try to just remember that even if we will encounter some tragedy later in life there is nothing we can do about it now, so don't worry about it and certainly don't do anything to sabotage yourself.

  16. Wait, you want three boys? (But girls are waaaay better!)

    Listen to me Miss Alexa, life is full of ups and downs, some things we can control and others we can't. All those awesome things in your life? YOU DESERVE THEM young lady! And you know what? A lot more good things are going to come your way because you are such a wonderful human being.

    So stop beating yourself up, enjoy all those wonderful things in your life and keep that beautiful smile on your face because when you least expect an awesome guy is going to come walking your way, trip after staring at your gorgeousness and fall madly in love with you.

  17. Man I wish i had words of advice but I am the same way too.

    But I do think no matter how happy or how great our lives are we can never be 100% happy. Sure we can get close but 100% can be hard to achieve.

  18. Dearest, I remember having similar feelings in college. My teenage years were fraught with tragedy, and I kept wondering if I had paid my dues yet, or if more shit was due to hit the fan. I can't pinpoint exactly when I stopped feeling like this, but I can say that I've grown more comfortable and confident with myself each year. Embrace who you are and the gifts you have, fist bump yourself and know that not a single person has everything they want (and doesn't necessarily need it to be happy).

  19. I bet a WHOLE lot more people feel exactly like this but don't or can't admit it.

    And for what it's worth? I'm convinced your Prince Charming will arrive.

  20. You really want three little boys? Really.

    I will babysit them when they are all potty trained so you can go out for a night on the town with your husband, prince charming.

  21. im with everyone else in saying that you damn right DO deserve it, and i also know you will get it all. all of the happiness you deserve. i think the fact that you recognize this fear will only help to make you that much more self aware and able to work through it.
    i think you're the total bees knees, and i think anon wasn't very friendly AT ALL.
    and that's all i have to say about that.

  22. ps- your post reminded me of charlotte in the satc movie.... remember when she's talking to carrie about being so happy, and feeling like something might happen to change that? and how she felt a little guilty about being happy, and in a way, like you, almost fearful that it could all change.
    well, anyway, this reminded me of that. and charlotte is fabulous and wonderful just like you.
    (i know i just compared you to a fictional character but still. yanno what im saying.)

  23. I think we all want the fairytale and all subconsciously sabotage our attempts to get it for some reason. Like we are the only creature in nature that simultaneously tries for something while ruining our chances at it for ulterior purposes. Figure that out, Discovery channel!

    You do deserve it all...just keep repeating it and maybe it'll stick.

  24. I have this problem, too. It's like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop when most things are going well in my life. I guess the only thing we can do is try to live in the moment and not freak out about things that might go wrong.

  25. I am EXACTLY the same way!! I get TERRIFIED when everything is going really well b/c I know there's only one way to go --- d
    hill :(

  26. We all want the fairy tale, all of us, and yet worry that it won't happen. I make it three years with a guy then the relationship always ends. Always. It's a jinx. But we all have these fears, just with differences between them. I'm right here with ya hun. I wish I had advice, but nothing. Sorry... =/

  27. i was this same person. Mixed in with a bunch of self esteem issues, and weight I could never seem to lose to boot.

    First I read the secret, that gave me hope. Then I read "change your thoughts change your life" by Wayne dyer.

    i listened to it on CD, i highly recommend this, and you will probably want to read his other books.

    the most memorable quote from this is thoughts become things. And that thoughts have more power than you think. Memories.....are thoughts. Memories, evoke emotion, so they are more powerful than you think, thoughts.

    go. read. change your life! you deserve it all. and simply being conscious when you think a bad thought, and immediately turning it into a positive, will put you on a completely different path!

  28. I totally feel you! and not to make your fear a reality, but it seems i can only get along with one parent at a time. ie, if i'm on good terms with my dad and step mom my mom and i are fighting. and visa-versa.

    BUT...things take time. you'll find your happy ending...and its really not over till your dead anyway, so as long as you don't plan on dying you'll find everything you need.

    but maybe you should stay away from owning too many cats...you don't want to turn into a crazy cat lady (teehee)

    PS. Barley House for Happy Hour?

  29. alexa i know exactly what you mean. i feel like charlotte in SATC movie when she's afraid something's going to go wrong since everything else is going right. yeah i worry about that a lot. waiting for the ball to drop or something. it's horrible. and if you figure out how to fix it, can you send some advice my way too please?

  30. I think there are a lot of people who feel this way. I actually am currently reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (I don't know if you've ever read it) but I just read something today that struck me.. that we as americans are so obsessed over what she calls protestant guilt that we never actually let ourselves enjoy things in life. I think it's true. I think it's true for myself as well.

    Maybe if we acknowledge it we can overcome it?

  31. I haven't read all the comments so I apologize if I'm repeating anything but...holy shit woman this is how I feel. Constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak has prevented me from being truly happy. I don't know how to let go...I think recognizing this in ourselves is the first step?! I hope so. I sabotage everything, especially my relationships with men. But that's a whole other blog. I basically have no answer for you, other than I get you...and we DO deserve the fucking fairy tale.


  32. You have a lot of amazing things going on, girlie. There IS such thing called good life, I think what you can do is be thankful now. I'm sure life is full of ups and downs but maybe when the downs appear once a while, you'll face it better because you're usually positive. I don't know about yin and yang ratio but I'm sure good things happen to good people.

  33. Good and bad things happen to bad and good people. Face it, life isn't fair, but sitting around waiting for something bad to happen when you are blessed is just not good thinking, but more common than you think. Take note when you think like that and try to replace it with a good thought.

  34. When three good things happen to me a fourth thing happens that is bad and it jerks me out of it. In my head I made up that it is because I need something to keep me grounded, to make sure my head doesn't swell. Ever since I had the epiphany, I anticipate bad things after a string of three good things.

    To be honest, I think that when every single thing comes together for you, it will have snuck up on you. I think it will get the better of your irrational fear before you even realize it.

  35. I would also like to add to the "I want the fairy tale" comment. I want to be the exception. I think I've written a blog on this but nevertheless, I still want to be the "exception".

    If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's from "He's Just Not That Into You" and how girls always hear about "my friend's sister's neighbor" or whomever that got the guy in the end. In all reality, it never happens but girls always want to be that exception.

    Yeah...I want the fairy tale where I'm the exception.

    Keep your chin up and let me know when you find yours :)

  36. Now that I've read every one else's post...

    I have to say, you have it way better than you give yourself credit for. You have a great job, apt. downtown, friends and family.

    But more importantly, you have a great sense of self. You're charming, you're funny, and you have grace. If I would have read anon's comment I would have been pissed. I would have shot something snarky back about how I was feeling low and they didn't need to kick me when I was down. But you, you looked at the positive of it. You took what you could from it. And I have to say, that shows how wonderful of a person you are. So for that, I say for you: F off anon.

  37. i can't say enough about how much i love you all for your kind words of encouragement and advice.

    i one lucky girl.

  38. Holy shit. I am the same way. Oh my gosh your post totally hit a nerve because I relate with it on so many levels. I need to take your same advice and realize I DO deserve it all.

  39. Thanks for sharing this part of yourself with us. I love that I get to read things like this about the bloggers I love. It allows me (and others) to get a feeling for who you are... not just who you are as a blogger.

    I think most women want the fairy tale. I haven't met many that don't. And I completely understand your rationalizing... it's not good to rationalize (I learned that in therapy) but I understand it.

    I think, as women, we need to take charge and go after EVERYTHING we want. If it's possible for us to achieve it, then we will. We just have to put our minds to it and follow through. Good luck with everything. I really adore you and your blog!

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