Fear of Falling
“I yearn to walk on those beaches again. I want to feel the sand between my toes. I miss seeing the waves crashing onto the shore.”
Ms. Madeline, my former co-worker, reminisced about her life in Puerto Rico. Her expressions of childlike wonder and enthusiasm about the island urged me to ask her, “Why did you leave?”
“I was in love. I left my home to start a life in Ohio with the man I loved at the time,” Madeline responded in disappointment.
The words Madeline spoke stayed with me for years. I promised myself that I would never give up my dreams and happiness for a man. Lately, however, I began to empathize with how torn Madeline must have felt between choosing a life in her beloved Puerto Rico, and leaving the island to follow her heart.
About two years ago, I was working as a substitute secretary. After months of working hard and trying to prove myself as an asset to the company, I was finally hired full time. I still remember the sense of relief I felt knowing that I had a career and income that was worth being proud of. I shared the news of my promotion with my boyfriend, who was the one person who watched me agonize for months about the job. Although he was happy to hear the good news, he was struggling financially. He discussed with me his plan to move back home to South Carolina with his family to make a better life for us.
“Will you come with me?” he asked.
Madeline’s story of regret began to fill my mind again. I loved this man to the depths of my soul, but I could not leave the job I worked hard to get. I dreaded becoming like Madeline, who yearned for the life she once had, but was only left with daydreams.
Today, my boyfriend and I are in a long-distance relationship. Although the hundreds of miles between us have been challenging, our love has become stronger. I do have moments when I want to run away with the love of my life to escape all my responsibilities and the cares of this world. However, regardless of my fairy-tale fantasies, I don’t want to leave my career, only to struggle financially.
I am in a constant battle between my romantic and realistic beliefs. I pray that soon I will be able to stand at the altar and look into the eyes of my love, and my fear of facing regret will be no more.