WHY SHOULD THE FIRE DIE? STEP ONE: ADMITTING YOU HAVE A PROBLEM

Fairly pretentious and incoherent stream of consciousness, for which I blushingly apologize.
  1. I've been inspired by my new friend @shoogs.
  2. She helped me decide that one of my 2016 resolutions is to stop waiting for life to happen to me.
  3. It's time for ME to start happening to LIFE.
  4. I've spent the last two and a half years--to be honest, my whole 24 years--living within the confines of a fantasy.
  5. Said fantasy dictated that, if I was just patient and kept on living the same way I always have--nervous, shy, too afraid to speak to new people (esp to attractive men, on the *very* rare occasion I see one), living in the safety zone--I would somehow be presented with the pathway to The Life I've Always Wanted.
    A job I enjoy & am good at; one that allows me to live comfortably without an obscene amount of money-stress, because stress really affects me negatively & brings MS symptoms back. Friends that I KNOW w/o a doubt love me, support me, & will be there for me when I need them. A man who adores me & whom I adore back; who also doesn't want children; maybe who tries really, really hard to finally convince me that marriage isn't a dreadful idea but one we could make work w/o becoming Ben & Amy Dunne.
  6. The last few weeks, I feel like I've had an awakening of sorts.
  7. I've realized that I will literally NEVER move forward in life if I continue being so lily-livered.
  8. I have to figure out what I want and I have to GO FOR IT.
  9. In addition, and maybe even more importantly, I HAVE to STOP defining myself by what I don't have, and start defining myself by what I do.
  10. Let me introduce my primo example of defining myself by things I am not: the Hershey Kiss.
  11. Years ago, I was given a Hershey Kiss charm, which I put on a chain and wore around my neck. I thought it was cute, because I love Hershey's (duh), plus Milton Hershey is my birthday twin(!!!), plus at the time I was a newly hormonal pre-teen, aka I thought *lurve* was the single greatest thing that would ever exist in any realm.
  12. An obsession of mine in middle school was that live version of Peter Pan, with Jeremy Sumpter. My Hershey Kiss made me think of the 'kiss' he gave Wendy; I started wearing my 'Kiss' with that in mind.
  13. I passed through middle school and high school; I had a plethora of crushes, none of whom ever reciprocated, or even knew I existed at all.
  14. When I got to college, I just KNEW I had arrived in the land where I would find The One.
  15. I developed crushes almost instantaneously, as I so often do, and was distressed to find my teenage tendency to blush whenever objects of my affection were near had not ended when my high school career had.
  16. As I settled on a foremost crush, I decided that whenever people complimented me on my Kiss I would tell them I was wearing it until I got my first kiss.
  17. This is how little I knew about boys: I thought that never being kissed would make me alluring.
  18. (Actually it makes you a troll that no one would ever want to kiss for any reason.)
  19. After four years, I graduated college; I walked across the stage with my Kiss still in place. When I posed for pictures and looked down to see my Kiss, still sitting on my chest, a part of me felt really sad to be graduating with it on.
  20. I realized that, as the years had passed, my Kiss had grown to no longer be solely about my first kiss, but about ALL of my plans and dreams; it had transformed from a cute charm to a heavy chain. To me, it was as burdensome as the One Ring.
  21. I moved back home, where I sleep in the same room I've slept in since I was three.
  22. And I feel trapped. The Kiss was a nagging reminder that I had subconsciously set myself a goal and I had failed.
  23. My plan had been to put up a kind of cloak when it came to love, to stop being Gigi in 'He's Just Not That Into You'--hopeful, romantic, nothing matters if you have love--and start being Sara in 'Hitch'--love is stupid, men suck, bury myself in work, you know the type. These kinds of girls always excel in their jobs AND become irresistible to men.
  24. It didn't work. The longer I pretended to not believe in romantic love, the more I started to actually not believe in it. PLUS, I didn't even have a real job to distract myself from the falsehood that is love!
  25. Do I still WANT the impossible? HECK FREAKING YES I DO.
  26. Do I think I can actually obtain it? Not really.
  27. I may stifle my tears every time the Beast whisks Belle out onto the orgasmically perfect dance floor and smiles at her, but I know deep down that, no matter how badly I want it to be--SO SO SO BADLY😭😭😭--my life will never be a Disney fairytale.
  28. And I've let that tragic realization be my excuse for not trying to search out a man to catch.
    I mean, I'm not talking marriage here. I'm talking just having fun. Sexless fun.
  29. ..In addition to this is the fact that I STILL LIVE WITH MY PARENTS.
  30. Parents who have told me they can't even remember a time when I ever thought love was anything other than stupid.
    My mom has told me on more than one occasion that she doesn't believe such a time ever existed.
  31. Parents that I cannot even begin to imagine a conversation about my going out with a man without feeling physically ill.
  32. Parents that, I guarantee you, would react this way: mom would wait up for me no matter how late I'm out--even though I am TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OLD--and then ask me all about it upon my return. And dad would email me the next morning to ask how it went, because that's his chosen format for uncomfortable topics.
    They would mean well, but I would be a nervous WRECK.
  33. This obstacle seems insurmountable.
  34. I would love it if I could go to his place, but then HIS parents may be there and I'd have to meet them..
    Figurative palm sweats.
  35. Or--ideally--he lives alone, so maybe he's older which I'm SO SO completely into, but then he may want SEX oh gosh no wait.
    🚨🚨🚨
  36. No. Never mind.
  37. Don't get bogged down in the kissing thing. This is about much more than a kiss. This is about asserting your independence as a woman.
    Even though the very thought makes you so afraid you want to dry heave.
  38. Anyway, I've realized that I'm knee-deep in my 24th year: it's time to start deciding what it is that I want, and then taking the intimidating steps to make it happen.
  39. Tonight, I removed my Hershey Kiss myself.
    It may seem silly--it probably definitely does--but it was a pretty ceremonial moment for me.
  40. For the first time in ages, I decided not to let my view of myself be dictated by a cold, crinkly charm that's become a symbol of ALL the expectations I built up for myself--job, home, relationship, friends--things I've spent years living in the shadow of, things I am NOT. I don't know what I AM yet.
  41. And that's what I need to be focused on: figuring out what I am, what I have to bring to the world, and how to thrive within my life, not just exist in it.
    ***Now if I can just stick with this and reverse years of mental conditioning.***
  42. Here's to 2016. May the meek be brave, and may the brave be gentle with the newbs.
  43. (Also may it be filled with clues to show me what on earth the next step is after "Admit You Have A Problem.")