Let’s talk about: shame

Let's talk about ostrich

I’ve written about quite a few things over the years. I used to blog in Dutch, and I’ve covered quite a few topics along the way. Today’s subject is probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever written about. Today I’m going to open up about the things that I feel ashamed of.

The drivers licence

One of those things is the fact that I don’t have a drivers licence at the age of 27. Okay, okay, hold your horses, don’t start judging yet. I have tried multiple times (I’m not going to tell you exactly how many times, but you can count them on one hand and still have fingers left) but I’ve never passed my exam. Always one mistake too many. One. It frustrates the living hell out of me and it takes a lot for an insecure perfectionist with a fear of failure to get back at it and then fail again. So at some point, I just decided that the licence could go and fuck itself. I didn’t really need it anyways. I get around using public transportation and I live a 10 minute walk away from where I work. I don’t have the costs of a car, nor the worries that come with finding a place to park and the eternal Belgian traffic jams. I am content without a car. Or should I say: was content.
There’s a few reasons why I’ve been contemplating getting back behind the wheel.
First of all: it’s not nice when you always have to depend on the kindness of others to get you from A to B and to not be able to return the favour. It makes me feel like I’m taking advantage.
Secondly: I’ve been looking for a new job for a while now, and not having a drivers licence isn’t considered a bonus. Employers want you to be as mobile as possible, even if the job itself doesn’t really require any movements.  It sucks, but I can tell that it’s an issue.
Thirdly: I would like to have children at some point and in combination with kids, a car just seems like a useful thing, even if it’s just a back-up in case of emergencies.

The thing is: I just can’t invest the money into this at the moment. I know I probably don’t have my priorities straight when I’d rather buy clothes than invest in something that could make a difference in my life. It’s just the fear of spending the money and failing again. I just can’t deal with that shit again.

The dating life

Ooh, this is a hard one too. So let’s dive into it. I haven’t had a lot of boyfriends or sexual activity. I had 3 boyfriends in primary school, which makes that the most successful decade of my dating life. My early teens (up until age 15) were blissfully spent without any interest or focus on boys. I just didn’t care about them at all. After that, I started falling for guys that didn’t want me, for about 3 years. The end of my teens brought me my first and longest relationship so far, which lasted for a year. I was madly in love with this boy, and when we broke up, it broke my heart into the tiniest pieces. I’m currently 27 and I’ve had one sort of relationship since that break-up.

Now, you’re probably thinking: what’s there to be ashamed of? You haven’t had any relationships, but you’ve surely had you fun haven’t you? Well, think again. (My palms are literally getting sweaty writing this) I have never had sex outside of a relationship, and the number of guys I’ve kissed can be counted on my other hand. And it’s so weird to me, because I’m actually a very affectionate person. I have a healthy sex drive, but it’s like my mind just won’t let me do anything physical with just anyone. It’s almost as if it makes my body go into sleep mode until someone interesting reboots me by pushing the ON button.
I honestly don’t understand how I’m able to do this, because I am frustrated with this situation. There are times that my hormones drive me up the wall, but then when I go on a nice date, I can’t even bring myself to kiss that person. And no, I’m not too picky. When I go on dates, I stick to basic standards like mutual respect and a level of mutual mental and physical attraction. I just want some genuine interest from a guy and if I don’t feel like I’m getting it, I’m not investing more of myself in that interaction. Does that make my standards too high? I don’t think so.
But then again, just the thought that I might have to tell a future partner that I’ve had one serious relationship that lasted for a year and that I’ve pretty much been living in f*ing celibacy ever since, makes me want to turn into an ostrich, just so that I can bury my head in the sand. If I was doing this willingly, the situation would be entirely different, but I’m not, it’s just how things have turned out for me. And that’s what makes me feel ashamed.

The job

I’m smart. I’m good at things. I have a bachelor degree but I have been working in a store for 3 years now. And yes, I am ashamed of that. Not because it’s such a horrible job, but because I have this entirely different skill set that I’ve developed and I’m just not doing anything with it.
I still remember my first year in college, we had this group exercise where people predicted who was most likely to do something. I came out of this exercise as most likely to make a career and work abroad. And I was so proud of that, that I’ve never forgotten it. When I talk to people I used to go to school with now, or when they walk into the store, I feel  ashamed. Because they know I could and should be doing something different, and so do I. A few months ago, a friend from secondary school walked in after talking to my sister on the train. She came in and literally asked me what on earth I was doing there. Not in a nosy, bitchy kind of way, but genuinely surprised and concerned. And that really hit home to me, the fact that others could and can see these qualities in me, and that I’m not doing anything with them. Such a shame isn’t it?




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