Afraid To Fall

For most of my adult life, I’ve always embraced everything that comes along with falling for somebody new. It’s a feeling that I simply adore. New Relationship Energy (NRE) and I get along like nobody’s business. And, like a person lost in puppy love fever, I seem to trust all of the decisions I make during this time, knowing full well that I probably shouldn’t.

It would seem that this carefree Samantha is now MIA. I’ve gone from being open to probably more things than I should be, to being afraid of possibility. I used to love the feeling, and now I’ve become afraid to fall. I used to not reply to okCupid messages because I’m lazy, but now it’s because I’m scared that I might actually enjoy it.

And while I would like to say that my unwillingness to fall only applies to any new, potential romances, I know that I’m lying to myself, and to you. Because the truth is that I’ve left every external relationship on some type of hold, while putting zero to minimal effort into keeping those fires alive. If I keep everything at a lower level of energy, then I’m not making room for things to potentially come crashing down, as they could, were they higher on my radar.

In short, I’ve become terrified of instability, the one thing that I used to adore. My love of change and new things has always been a driving force in who I am.

This entire year has been filled with instability. The only things I knew for certain were that I had a book deadline, conferences to speak at, and one conference to run. I didn’t know what would happen with The Boy, or with the old friend that I connected with only to have things go pear-shaped-ish, at least in the romance department. I lost all of my kink relationships and have no idea if I’ll ever have anything similar to them again.

I haven’t known what’s happening with my employment situation, because I’ve been doing a lot of hurrying up … and waiting. And I still don’t know. I now have reached a point where I have zero income, and a couple of “maybe hopefully these will be jobs that can pay my bills and give me satisfaction again” on the horizon, but again, nothing is etched in stone.

And the irony is not lost on me. You see, the thing that I’m most proud of in my book is that it’s absolutely chocked full of “maybe, perhaps, and possibly”, because I didn’t want to write anything that suggested to people that you have to do these things to be non-monogamous or else your entire lifestyle is invalid. It works to not be so strict in the book, when people are searching for validation for their choices that maybe differ from the “poly norm” they’re used to seeing.

But, I realize it now, a lack of clarity and direction sure as hell doesn’t work in the rest of my life.

Certainly, there have been some things that have been stable this year. I’ve had a few wonderful friends that have been incredibly grounding for me, keeping my head above water when I felt I was sinking on countless occasions. And I can’t even begin to describe how amazing I feel about my relationship with my husband now. I can’t imagine it’s easy to live with someone dealing with real depression for the first time, and a big, messy breakup, and the stress of publishing a book, and running a conference … and ALL OF THE THINGS. But he’s done it. He’s been the best island for me that I’ve ever known. I’ve probably become slightly too dependent on him, especially as I’ve been unemployed and he’s been such a large part of my real human contact with the world, but I know that my independent streak is just sitting this one out for now.

I’m still here because he’s able to wrap me in so much warmth and stability that I haven’t wanted to be anywhere else. But I’m beginning to accept, that my fear of the ocean around me isn’t who I am. It might be who I am temporarily, but it’s not Samantha Fraser at her core. I am a restless adventurer, always wanting to explore the high seas of love and lust. I’m just not ready to go it alone anymore. Or, if I do, I require far more lifejackets and lifeboats and sea radios and singing crab guides than I ever did before.

I’m absolutely terrified of falling for someone new, like I did starting at just about this same time last year for the Boy, only to have everything blow up around me. I’m terrified of meeting another person that I want to have in my life forever, only to lose them again, for reasons outside of my control. Even though embracing and sharing my vulnerabilities has always been such a huge part of what makes me me, I’m terrified to give even a small part of myself to somebody new. Or even, somebody that’s been around for a while, on my outer radar.

It’s why I’ve shared less and less with my friends, as of late, in addition to growing tired of hearing my own year-long sob story. I’ve retreated and not allowed any reliance on other people’s shoulders, for fear that those shoulders will disappear. It’s easier to handle being alone when you’re the one that’s caused it, instead of having someone leave you stranded when you least expect it. The end result might be the same, but there’s something to be said for the journey’s significance in your heart’s reaction.

All I want is some stability, some certainty, some purpose again in life. I need a job and real human contact again more than anything. Because right now, I feel like a smart, afraid person, full of love, sitting at home, going to waste, and that’s not a feeling I can even begin to make ok.

I’m ready to dip my toes in. Even if it’s just the shallow end, I’ve got to swim again.