Yes, I finally said it out loud. I am a commitment-phobe and never have I been more intensely aware of this personality trait than in the last two weeks. Although it's something that I have always known about myself, my last article sent the proverbial shit directly into the fan. Silly me, here I thought I was just jotting down confessions of my love affair with the south and with southern music, but WOWEEE was I ever wrong.
Ironically, my article had apparently no effect on people where my taste in music is concerned, but the underlying other message, as suggested in the title "I'm So Outa Here" sent a 9.0 through the Richter Scale in my personal relationships. I received e-mails that ranged from the excited, to the agitated and it incited a few conversations that I neither wanted nor anticipated to have.
One of those conversations started with a completely different issue that this person had with the article altogether, but quickly it became apparent that the topic I had been confronted with was only a surface situation, the real problem was that of the possible impending move that I hinted around at. It was brought to my attention that I am a lunatic and that getting close to me is as dangerous as French kissing a cobra. After all, I have bailed before and just what would stop me from bailing again? I am apparently particularly dangerous when the other party has abandonment fear phobias of their own.
It's true, I'm a runner. When the going gets tough, or things get serious, when I am not happy with the situation, or especially when I get perilously comfortable, I pack up and get the hell out of dodge faster than Pamela Anderson burns through bad boys. I have lived all over the country, I have never had a steady, stable relationship, I don't have kids, I do not own a house or property and my bank account is a joke.
Now as much as I would like to say this is because I am a fly by the seat of my pants, modern, strong, independent woman, unfortunately, the truth is that all of those things mean making commitments. And making commitments scares me more than bridges, planes and the hissing possums that the dog corners in the yard combined. Even little commitments are hard for me; I can't even commit to plans on a Monday morning for a Friday evening. So knowing and god forbid, loving a person like myself, makes life pretty hard on friends, employers and potential love interests. - See that, I can't even bring myself to type the word boyfrie… (insert shiver here)
I consistently make bad decisions where men are concerned. I have a ton of male friends, but I don't sleep with any of them and most of the men that I do become romantically infatuated with are, either just really bad for me, (probably the only thing I have in common with Pamela), they are not interested in me "in that way" or are emotionally and sometimes even physically unavailable, and when I say unavailable, I mean indisputably, completely, totally, absolutely, irrevocably unavailable. As far as the men that are available and interested go, well, I just can't seem to entertain them at all. The first sappy, sweet words out of their mouth and I am immediately grossed out and they are permanently logged into my "what a dork" mental record.
It's not just the stereotypical romantic commitment issues that plague me. Jobs are a bitch for me too. Even though I tend to hold them down for long periods of time, I don't make life easy on my employer. I constantly go back & forth regarding whether I should stay or go, I tend to have personality conflicts with co-workers and sometimes I just flat out pick fights with the boss. It's a damn good thing that I am excellent at what I do, or I would probably be on skid row. It's also really lucky that I now work in a field where everyday is something new and there are a few dozen projects running on my desk at any given time. It makes it a lot easier to commit to a career, when the job is constantly changing and everyday there are new people to interact with. It's like committing to constant change - a commitment-phobe's greatest wet dream.
Speaking of wet dreams, Freud would have a field day with me. I'm sure he would say it's all somehow related to my parents. Personally, I think it has more to do with my step-parents, or really just one evil fucking step-bitch and one perverted Lutheran pastor. Between the two of them, they jacked this teenage girl to Jesus! The step-monster made it perfectly clear to me that no man could ever truly love me and that my life would never amount to a pile of shit. And the perverted pastor, after I blew the whistle, not only convinced the church, but my parents that I made the whole thing up and that I should go into private counseling sessions with him once a week. Private, closed door, secret, weekly sessions; Ah yeah, good times! So, I bailed to Dallas the night of my high school graduation and I have been tucking tail and running ever since. Learned patterns are hard to break I guess.
Alright, stop your pathetic oooo's and awww's already. I can hear you out there, so don't even start the pity party. There are thousands of people out there who had and have it much worse than me. I'm not all blubber eyed and sad about it. I'm just fine and as bitter as I may have sounded in the last paragraph; I have found forgiveness for them and honestly bear no ill will whatsoever. In all reality, rarely do those occurrences or those people ever even cross my mind. It's just not something I stew on. But I do believe that those experiences helped shape the commitment-phobic lifestyle I have been living all these years. And I say "have been", as opposed to "am currently" for a reason.
Last year sucked like no year ever has sucked before and hopefully will never suck again. But, last year taught me so much about myself and what I want for my life that in the end, it was almost worth it. --- Almost worth it! (Yeah, it sucked that bad) Nonetheless, this year is all fresh and new and this year, I am committed to making commitments. I'm flirting with boys and saying thank you when they say I am pretty or smart, instead of making a joke and looking for the nearest exit. I am entertaining the idea of moving into a real house, I signed a new contract with the company I work for; I bought into a 401k plan and my savings account is starting to look like there may be hope yet.
So this article is for you, (insert your name here if you have been a casualty of my commitment-phobic conduct). I'm trying, I really, really am. I am not "so outa' here". In fact, I am so here, that you are almost certainly going to get sick of me and will live to regret it. And as far as my dreams of moving to the South go, well, that's just what they are, dreams. Moving to Memphis would kill my fascination with the city and the wild girl I get to be when I visit there. I would become just some lady who takes out the garbage and does her laundry in the 901 area code. And Nashville, well, moving to Nashville would just make me a bigger Todd Snider stalker than I already am, and that's no good for anybody, especially Todd Snider!
Let's face it, you are stuck with me. I am a giant pain in the ass, lunatic, self admitted commitment-phobe, with oral fixation issues and you are absolutely stuck with me. On the bright side, you could be stuck with much worse and the good news is that life with me means that you will never, ever be bored. And that is a promise I can honestly commit to.
Jones is currently working in San Diego as a photographer & promotions director.
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