Once upon a time, I made a promise to myself.

In the midst of the most frightening, the most devastating, the most overwhelming experience of my life, I vowed to live without fear; to move forward in my life with confidence and courage and love.  Fear had held me back for so long, keeping my happiness captive behind a high wall of stone.  I swore I’d banish fear, and never let it creep back into my world.

I’ve been breaking that promise a lot lately.


I’m moving into my boyfriend’s house this spring.  We even have a moving day.  And it’s this big, quirky, social hub of a home.  And he’s my best friend, and we’re wildly in love.  We’re ready for this, eager for the next step.  I should be elated.


I’m terrified.


I’m haunted by the knowledge of what could happen; paranoid that his bandmates (and current roommates) will resent me and the change that I bring; unsure about his love; worried that the house will never feel like my home.  We can’t seem to talk about it without fighting, because I feel so inexplicably angry, so paper-thin sensitive, so insecure and unsafe.

There’s a band culture and an urban family to consider, with no fewer than nine people being displaced and shuffled around in this crazy process.  The timeline is unclear.  My boyfriend will inevitably be on tour much of the time, leaving me alone in a dark house with only our three small animals for company.

And none of this is insurmountable, and the wheels are already turning for it all to work out just fine.  Rationally, I know that.  But emotionally, I’m paralyzed.

Meanwhile he’s unfailingly confident.  Absolutely positive.  He’s so incredibly sure.

“What’s the worst thing that could happen?” he asked me finally, in the midst of a particularly acute meltdown.  And that’s when the lightbulb bloomed bright over my head.  The truth came crashing down around me, sticking in my hair like broken glass.  Like so many shattered champagne flutes.

Because I was sure before.  But I was wrong.

And now I know that sometimes things fall apart.  People fall out of love, they hurt each other, they break.  There are no guarantees, only blind faith and educated guesses.  Only knowing a person, only loving him, only hoping against hope that you aren’t a fool.

Sometimes I forget now and then.  I go charging ahead, blissfully naive and willing.  But knowledge is a tricky thing, and experience wields a white-hot brander on the memory.  That awareness is never really gone, it’s only hiding.  And it’s every bit as startling when it returns.

I keep trying to get a grip on this slippery rope of emotions and trust, but it seems to unravel and spin away faster with every desperate grasp.


Perhaps it’s time I gathered my grappling hooks.

3 Responses to “Promises”

  • Sonya Says:

    Vulnerable. Brave. Beautiful.
    “You have to allow for things to happen to people – most of all to yourself.”
    -High Fidelity

  • Quickstepp Melissa Says:

    I adore this. God, it’s so true! No matter how much you know you’re making the right decision, there is still this overwhelming loss of control that has to happen. And that’s terrifying.

    I know you’ll be a good fit in that family. Sheesh, you already are. And you have thousands of fansaws pulling for you.

  • Colleen Conrad Says:

    Thank you so much, Melissa. This really means a lot to me. I feel so supported by the friends and fansaws! Big hugs to you!

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