So, in the shower this morning, I remembered a song I wrote when I was 20 or 21. The particular verse that came to me goes like this:
“I don’t want your life, and I’m
Far too scared to let mine go –
Still afraid of saying yes,
Terrified of me I guess.
Please don’t ask why
And sit and cry like you don’t know.
Accept that there’s uncertainty
In everything surrounding me,
And I need to see that you don’t need me.
I need to see that you choose to let me be me.”
© Ivan Velasco, Jr. 1998
I wrote this at a time when a large amount of responibility was suddenly thrust upon me by someone, and I was coping. Upon seeing these lyrics now, they seem harsh. Am I saying that I’m unreliable? Am I stepping out and saying I refuse all responsibility because I value my independence too much? And how much of that attitude do I carry with me today? Is it really immature to say “I want you to let me be me,” or is that a difficult but necessary requirement of stable adult living? And what about the imperative “Accept that there’s uncertainty”? Am I saying that I will never be a known quantity, essentially that I can’t be counted on, and that those close to me will just have to live with that. That hardly seems fair or mature. To what extent do I still feel that way, and to what extent do I use it as a defense mechanism – because that’s what I think it might be. I’m afraid I have a fear of failure, which leads to a fear of letting other people down, which I guard against by – in extreme circumstances – trying to keep others from counting on me in the first place. And maybe I disguise it all by asserting a right to “individuality,” which in this context is perhaps more accurately a disguised form of individualism.
Clearly, this deserves more thought. More on this later….