I don’t like balls in my court. Basketballs, baseballs, tennis balls, softballs. No balls, figuratively speaking of course.
In other words, I don’t like accepting responsibility. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll do it. But I won’t like it. I ESPECIALLY don’t like balls in my court when I know they don’t belong there—when I know they should be in someone else’s court.
See, I like to protect myself from consequences at all costs. I’m particularly sensitive to guilt and regret. So I preemptively try to avoid them. What does that mean? That means I won’t ask you to lunch even if I want to go to lunch with you, because I’m terrified of it going South and because I’M the one who “planned” it, I’M the one who should be to blame. Silly, right? Totally. Still, that’s me.
If there’s a ball in my court, I will stare at it for days before I leave my safe spot on the sideline. I’ll pretend the ball isn’t there. I’ll deny its existence. “I don’t see no ball. It’s in YOUR court, bud.” If I can’t deny it, I’ll hope the wind picks up and rolls it somewhere else.
I’m not looking for pity when I say this next bit, but I need to provide some context. For me, seven times out of ten, when I pick up that ball, step out on a limb, put myself out there, and ask someone to lunch or I’m honest about my feelings, I get rejected. It feels that way anyway, and I know insecurities play a part. I do experience success here and there. For instance, I used to hate flying in airplanes. Now, after having faced my fear and experienced a consecutive number of victories, I’m not so scared! However, if seven out ten times I boarded a plane and had a panic attack, I’d probably still be plane-averse.
Such is the case in my social life.
I’m terrified of being rejected, because, in my mind, it happens so often. I’m tired of being the one to give in and go pick up the ball. I want to take a rest. I want the other person to start the game, so to speak. So that I can stop blaming myself for failure. Does that make sense?
Again, I realize that a lot of these issues lie with how I perceive life. But I can tell you, after so many victories, those issues tend to resolve themselves, PROVING that it’s not always “Stephanie being insecure.” It’s a “give and take” people. Insecurities are real, but so is shit, and sometimes, life is just shit.
And it’s okay to accept that. High expectations aren’t good to hold onto, because then you’re destined to lead a life full of disappointment. Life can beautiful, but it won’t be the beautiful you expect it to be. It will be shit. It’s what you do with the shit that makes it so great.
Lesson #16: I don’t like balls or shit in my court, but if I want a cleaner court, I’ve got to get off my butt and start shoveling.