Don't Look Down

I am afraid of heights. 

From the banister at the mall, to random balconies, ladders, bridges, and even the two steps I managed to scale during rock climbing.  The chant from onlookers well aware of my fear has always been the same: “Just don’t look down!”  Yeah.  Sounds easy.  The thing is, my fear of heights is different from most. It isn’t just based on, well, falling to death.  No, what scares me is the idea that while crossing the bridge over the Chicago River, I will sneeze, lose my balance, and fall over the side.  Or someone walking pass me will sneeze, lose their balance, and knock me over the side.  Or maybe, the construction worker who built the bridge was in a hurry to get to lunch and consequently failed to install a crucial bolt that holds the whole thing together.  You see, my fear is founded on the notion that humans make far too many mistakes, they do things far too quickly and without care, they’re subject to heart-stopping reflexes that can push someone too far, and things that are old eventually crumble and give way.

My fear is that that I will lose control.

I haven’t always had this fear; it's something which has occurred by the acquisition of knowledge of basic human behaviors mixed with a bit about how things are put together.

Needless to say, it surprised even me when after a really emotional break up, a move into a high rise apartment turned out to be the doorway to enlightenment and self reflection.   My failed love relationships were contributing to an underlying fear that crippled me from putting faith in other people.  I had been disappointed too many times.  I had lost too many things that were dear to me.  And I was tired of my life being thrown completely off balance by the unexpected.  I was hanging on for dear life, attempting to control every aspect of my life.  But as fate would have it, life’s surprises would…well, surprise me, and I’d end up right back where I started.

The area of my life that seemed to be taking the hardest beating was my love life.  Disappointed after having poured so much into relationships that never amounted to a wedding ring, I was starting to think something was wrong with me.   I went into overdrive attempting to evaluate and make corrections in my life.  After my last break up, I came to live by the unspoken rule that, “when I run into my ex, I’d better be looking and doing my best!”  I’d better not be looking “down”. Women live by this mantra!  As a result, we commit to losing 20 pounds, start traveling so we can brag about having just come back from Paris. We go back to school, start praying twice daily, invest in a new wardrobe, spend more time with friends, teach ourselves to play Madden so the next guy will view us as “versatile.” We repair our credit so we can buy a fancier/newer car, apply for a newer/better job, get a new hair color, buy a pair of diamond stud earrings, volunteer with the youth, get our teeth whitened, move into a new apartment in a better neighborhood and oh if the cosmos would align, we will be caught with an even more attractive man on our arm.  We do all of this so the next time we run into him, he will see, know, and understand that life not only goes on without him but it is indeed better without him.

In turn, while I was filling my life with distractions what I was really doing is bettering myself, just with the wrong motivation.  Bettering myself, is what I should have been doing  all along.

As I bravely hung the curtain from my 17th floor window, I started to think, when it comes to love and relationships, given all the time I spend bracing myself to keep from what seems like certain relationship death, scared of falling in love, what would happen if I were to suddenly forget relationships past and let go?

“Single, but Shouldn’t Be” is an invitation into my world of love, dating, friendships, relationships, and the complexities of it all.  I’m no relationship counselor; nor do I hope to be, so let’s just get that out the way. No matchmaker.   I’m no spiritual advisor, no Love Doctor.  My attention span is so short at times, I may not even be a good listening ear; but as I journal my experiences in love, I hope to inspire you, to encourage and reassure you, and if nothing else, in the simplest form, at least entertain and distract you.  Think of me as your new friend.  We know nothing about each other, but I hope to find out along the way.

Take my hand.  Let’s make our tandem jump.

Don’t look down.

 

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  • Hi Crystal,
    I loved your perspective on being single. I enjoyed your blog. I hope to be reading more in the weeks to come. My thoughts on relationship has always left me with questions unanswered. People say "its only what you put in it." But when there is another person involved, It is only what the two of you put in it. When you are putting in all the ingredients what's left for the other. and really what type of relationship is that? Just thinking!

  • Crystal , you were doing good with your education until you reached the part of being a Lawyer.

    You are about to go into a field where people you will work with have no soul, no love, and only want to hurt others. They will steal, cheat and lie only to win. You will be looked at by Judges and Jurors in a way you have never encounter before. Your Law partners will do everything they can to use you, then stab you in the back when they are done with you.

    Control?.....you are never in control of your life. You might think you are, but some person can change it forever in a minute. People who you do not know, can hate you and tell lies about you, only to get you in trouble and make their friends and family take advantage of you. If you are afraid walking on a bridge, what courage do you by walking in a court room and helping your client?

    There are single people who should be married, and married people who never should have been married. Would you rather be independent in life or be hooked up with a guy who cheats on you and abuses you?

    Love.....that is a funny word. Marriage....another funny word. Today's society does not put Love & marriage together. It is all about money. Marriage is a business. Two people trying to make the most out of life by the money they make. And when one is out of work for a long time, the other one is out the door.

    There is more Love before marriage, then after you say "I do". Men want a wife for sex, making money and to clean up after them. yes, Men are Pigs. Sure there are guys out there who are not like that, but they count about 10% of the male population. I think it is the movies that make males act the way they are today. They treat women like garbage, using them, and then dumping them. Plenty of good guys want to get married, but they are afraid off losing the woman they married by seeing their friends and family going through divorces.

    Guys don't want to be taken by their wife and her sleazy bag divorce attorney. There is more "Fear" in a guy then with a woman.

    Men are still like children, even into their 40's. Women mature faster then men and have a better outlook in life.

    When Love does happen, it will happen fast. Don't think about it. Just enjoy life.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Thanks for your feedback and insight! I may put you more at ease to mention the area of law I am studying is Educational Law and Policy. Definitely not the type to defend criminals (or celebrities, for that matter.) Keep reading, I think you will enjoy what comes next!

  • Great read Crystal! As a single guy on the road to finding love while achieving my own goals and dreams, I anticipate reading a woman's perspective.

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    Hi Crystal. I really enjoyed your blog! I love how you put things and I feel as if I'm right there with you on your journey! Love is a funny thing. I try not to look so much into it and just let it happen wherever it happen. But I'm sure enjoying your insight! Can't wait to read what's next!

    Signed a huge fan!

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