Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

When I was growing up, the message I received was, “Don’t get your hopes up…”

My parents didn’t see the world as an oyster with a pearl in it waiting to be found. They saw it simply as an obstacle to navigate. Big pictures were occasionally scribbled on napkins but they never grew beyond the edges. Like any child would, I saw the world through their eyes and I followed suit. Small thinking, obstacles that needed navigating, hurdles to jump….

That thinking took me to dark places and those dark places took me to bad decision making. My parents maintained that thinking for an entire lifetime but somehow, I was fortunate enough to have had an “intervention” of sorts. Well, it was more like a bunch of really shitty decisions that led to a break down, which led to treatment, which led to what my problem actually was.

You wanna know what it was? Ok, I’m going to tell you because there is an outside chance that you may be experiencing some of it too. The problem was… self esteem. That was it…. I had none. It wasn’t low or bad… It was non-existent. I didn’t have any. I didn’t believe I was worthy of anything. I didn’t believe I was lovable, I didn’t believe I was capable, I didn’t believe I had value, I didn’t believe anyone cared about me and I walked the earth feeling like I had nothing to give and nothing to lose.

When you feel like you have nothing to lose, risk is easy. You don’t have anything to consider when you have nothing to lose. You can easily say, “fuck it, this is what I’m doing.” You say and do whatever you want and you’re not concerned with the repercussions your decisions may have. Dangerous behaviors, angry outbursts, physical aggression, etc. Remember… you have nothing to lose so what’s the big deal, right?

Then, you find yourself at a crossroads between “You Suck Lane” and “You can Have it All Drive.”

There I was, and I had a choice… But keep in mind, my history proved I was a shitty decision maker…

Somehow, there was this voice in my head… This teeny tiny voice that ever so quietly whispered to me, “Step the fuck up.” Over and over again, this faint voice kept saying, “Step the fuck up.”

I kept turning up the music so I couldn’t hear it….

-The Rock n’ Roll Doula