(image by Moisés Mahiques)
We were at the grocery store, he and I. I kept on thinking about what he had told me the day before. How he got this amazing opportunity at work. I was miserable at my job, teaching, so naturally, I was a little envious of his opportunity. I had just finished my Master’s Thesis in Art History and well, you guessed it, it was useless. I didn’t know where to turn or what to do with this degree. I didn’t want to work for the sad and shameful business of “the museum” nor could I find employment in a gallery. I didn’t like contemporary art, and Montreal was the Mecca of contemporary empty art. I didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t know what to do. Pure panic set in my mind. I felt stuck. Unintelligent. And worst of all, depression was no stranger to making things much more complicated then they needed to be.
On our walk towards the metro, we had spoken of what my future would look like and I asked him if he saw himself moving abroad with me in two years. He said he didn’t know. I got upset, obviously, I wanted the man I love to love me enough to envision himself within two years. So, like most women, I got quiet. The entire bus ride, no sounds were uttered from my lips. They were sealed shut. On our walk home from the bus stop the tension grew so thick you could have cut it with a knife. I knew something bigger was bothering me but, I didn’t know what. I was ignorant to the big problems in my life simply because... I didn’t want to face them (I had too many).
I unlocked the door and finally had to say something to cut this miserable air between him and I. I knew that whatever I would say, it would start an argument, but as I opened my mouth, words spilled out like the Hoover dam had just been breached. We argued. As he was tying his shoes to storm out of my small apartment, I ask him to stay. Out of selfish needs I’m assuming, and he reluctantly stayed. I look at him and then looked away while tears began to flow down my face, and I spat out uncontrollably as if someone was controlling my speech, “I don’t want to be a loser!"
Finally, there it was, my fear. My fear had escaped my mouth after years of being chained by rusted locks in the corner of my mind, shunned. I didn’t want to become a loser. A loser, what was this idea of a “loser” that I had made up in my head? I don’t know. But what I did know is that I didn’t want to be one. I didn’t want to be that fat slob wearing unpaired sweatpants from Walmart, sitting on a gross green couch, eating chips and vacuuming the crumbs off my sagging chest while inhaling a native cigarette during Dr. Phil, waiting for the Judge Judy marathon to begin on Fox.
I didn’t want to be a loser. I didn’t want to be a loser.I didn’t want to be a fucking LOSER!
Now, as I’m sitting there with a million thoughts racing through my head and my heart pounding in slow motion, I had to piece together words through my incoming anxiety attack masked by tears to explain to my partner what I was going on in my head. Would he understand? Probably not. And yet another fear arose. He had his shit together. Me…well, I’m not exactly Vos Savant, if you know what I mean. I lived this semi-bohemian lifestyle with one goal in mind and that was to make enough money for the next plane ticket out of this miserable city. How could I explain to him that I was terrified of being a nobody? That I needed to pick up the pieces of my life and put them together in a coherent fashion. That my plans for the future were, well, undefined in every sense of the term. How could I tell the man I love that I was completely and utterly horrified of failure?