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July 19, 2009 / TildeWill

A New Question

Bailey asked me Friday night, “Why is a great guy like you not already married?”

I didn’t have a good answer for her then. The standard answers could be things like, “I’m not as good of a catch as you may think”, “I’m very picky”, or “I’m afraid of commitment”, but I’m not sure those are the reasons. They’re all at least partially true, I am just a guy, I do set the bar high, and I’m just as apprehensive as the next guy (or girl) about spending the rest of my life with someone.

I can blame fencing for some of it. Even in the longest, best relationship I’ve had, I consistently picked fencing over her, over us. I think that’s what scares me the most about fencing – the addictive effect it had on me. Fencing was easy to pick because it was easy for me to feel needed, and it was easy for me to meet expectations. It seemed like I was living, when the reality was that I wasn’t risking anything at all.

The more realistic picture would be that I’ve been married to fencing for the last eight years, and that I’ve only been divorced for a year – since I moved out to San Francisco. In that sense I’m kind of just getting back into things.

More than just loving fencing, I think the real issue is that I’ve been reluctant to risk… myself. No, that’s not quite right, I put myself out on the internet for all to read and judge, and I risk life an limb doing things like fencing, kite boarding, and rock climbing. These are not safe activities.

I think I’m afraid of failing someone else. I fear becoming another person’s most important person, and not living up to her expectations, falling short. I cna point to countless examples in my life ranging from preschool to present day where I have freaked out, broke down, or abandoned a situation because I didn’t think I was good enough. I’m not afraid of failure in itself, but I am afraid of people not finding me to be what they need me to be – of that, I am scared shitless.

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