I’m afraid that people won’t like me. It colors a multitude of my actions.

I don’t speak much in a group setting. I avoid eye contact. I stick to customary greetings and interactions, almost to the point of rudeness sometimes. Like I didn’t care enough to show up. People who do spend time getting to know me seem surprised to learn how thoughtful and sincere I can be. I just don’t show it to many because I’m scared.

Fear of rejection affects my aspirations as well. I was born to be a storyteller, always brimming with ideas. There are piles of notebooks scattered throughout my house with plot summaries and storyline diagrams. The act of creating is deeply personal and very beautiful. But.┬áThere is this sense of terror- or maybe it’s dread- that I might pour my entire soul into a project and have my efforts met with yawns. What would I do then? For what purpose would I live? To be rejected or misunderstood is an odious fate.

Better to stall. Find a reason to push off that project. Find a different project and get caught up in the “planning phase” of that one for a while. I seem to do this effectively, scattering my focus and never stopping to act. That book will never get written at this pace. Which some days is fine by me; there’s a monster at the end of the book. Better to keep it safely in the future than to meet it face to face.

I guess babies are the same way. It scares me to think of creating a human being and then looking it in the eyes. What would I see? Would she be proud of her father? Would he want to be like dad? Would they like my stories?