my greatest fears
money and finances
not being happy in a future career path
never being able to regain my fitness
being partnerless for the rest of my life
not doing enough to help people and animals that suffer
the fucked-up state of the world
not repairing my leaky bathroom skylight before expensive water damage sets in
yes that last one is a real fear I have
it’s raining right now, outside and in my bathroom
Always, always, I fight against disorder and disharmony. I can’t let the house get too dirty or the leaky skylight rot my bathroom walls and ceiling away or there will be total chaos forever and time will stop and the universe will collapse into itself. During this winter break I have tried to let go of my illusion of control, to relax into my life, my comforts. My friendships. My beautiful sweet house, unruined by dust or things left unwashed and unmade. I think that part of me fears that if I stop fighting the collapse of order, I myself will collapse into disorder, go back to being the aimless and irresponsible being that I once was. I like the shiny new me.
There is power in naming my fears. Even I laugh at the shift from world-fears to Fear of the Leaky Bathroom Skylight.
my greatest sources of comfort
I have always lucked out in friendships. Always. Friends are mirrors. Seeing your friends lets you see yourself from the outside. When I look to my friends, I see caring, intelligent people who have a moral center, who believe in community, who can offer help and seek help, who face their fears, who can laugh and dance, who give real hugs, who have talents and interests that they pursue and develop. And I turn to myself and see with joy that I must be that way, too.
my creativity and talents
Some days I beat myself senseless with fear and anxiety, and some days I take such pleasure in my own talents. I lucked out with a good mind, and managed to install some good critical thinking skills. Out of nowhere I got the ability to write well, and the whole suite of other abilities that provide me with something to write about. I got a photographic memory. A strong and beautiful singing voice. The ability to see the big picture, to explain. Why do I get so sad sometimes, when it can be such a pleasure to be me?
the romance of everyday life
It’s there. In hot sweet tea, in the thousand diamond raindrops that cling to the slick black tree-branches I see from my window, right now. In a soft, sleeping animal, safe from harm. In solitude borne well. In the way the light from outdoors plays on the green leaves of a houseplant. In the magic of good books. In the everyday miracles we take for granted — antibiotics, electricity, recorded music, the familiar smell you smell when you walk in your own door that tells you that you are home.
In the coming year, may we all face our fears and take refuge in the things and places that give us strength. May we all be grateful for the miracle that is an ordinary day.