Friday, July 1, 2011
Tomorrows: Endless, yes. Scary, maybe.
This is what I do. In the midst of all this, there is a shower, maybe even a hair brush if I'm feeling lucky, and a little writing on the side. I am okay with this routine...or, I was.
A few nights ago, I was meditating, searching for some burst of latent inspiration when I found something else. Often times when you look that deeply into yourself, you never find what it is that you're hoping you will. I know this, but I was still surprised. Instead of finding the solution to a tricky scene in my story, I found fear. A crippling, paralyzing fear. The kind that looms over you, and you just stand still, knowing it will hit any minute now but hoping like hell that it wont.
So what was I afraid of?
I sat in my dark, little office for an hour, legs crossed half lotus, thumb and index finger touching in wisdom, eyes closed. I separated myself from the nonsense chatter in my mind, and waited...and waited...
Eventually, the tension fell out of my neck and hips, even as my legs fell asleep. But that pain was secondary to the fear in my chest. It's instinctive to want to push that much fear away from yourself. Who in their right mind would want to sit down in the center of it?
Obviously I wasn't in my right mind, because I was pointing my finger at it and saying "Yeah, you, c'mere!"
It did come come, right when I was ready to give up. And again, it just wasn't what I expected. I'm always afraid that I won't succeed, not just in my writing, but in every aspect of my life; that I won't live the best life I possibly can. I'm also afraid of spiders, and heights, and drowning.
But I didn't find any of those fears. I found a fear of change, of how fast everything in my life was changing, faster than I could comprehend, faster than I'd thought possible a month ago.
Before graduation, I was insane with anticipation. I was going out into the real world, it was finally my time. Post graduation, the possibilities stretched endlessly before me. And I was, am, afraid; of tomorrow, of the day after, of making my next move, of not making it, of making it too early or too late. The fears of my future are endless, and it was these fears that had me hiding away.
Uncertainty was suffocating me.
When I opened my eyes and uncrossed my legs, I felt like I was waking up from a really long sleep, weeks of deep sleep. I was still scared, but today when I looked at myself in the mirror, I told myself that it was okay. Yes, everyone, I did talk to myself. I said, "It's okay. You're afraid and it's OKAY." I also told myself to stop looking at the uncertainty of the future as something apocalyptic and daunting. Those same endless possibilities that frighten you should excite you. You can make a mistake tomorrow and fix it the day after. You can cry like your world in ending today and tomorrow you can smile until your cheeks snap in two. There is no telling what tomorrow brings, and it's so exhausting to spend today stressing about it. In fact, it doesn't even make sense.
So, instead of slapping your hands over your eyes (like I did) and hiding away, you should embrace tomorrow with wide eyes and open arms. Give it a big hug and a sloppy kiss.
There's someone out there right now who is just as scared as I am, or was, and I'm not telling you that you need to meditate for an hour in order to recognize this fear and deal with it. I'm telling you to take it a step further: get off the couch, brush your hair, and smile, carry on with your day instead of hiding from it, know that it's okay, that you'll be okay. That's all it takes to make the most of today. And if you get up tomorrow and do the same thing, you'll be making the most of that day too. That's the future: endless, yes. Scary, maybe. But one day at a time, it isn't so impossible to comprehend.
PS: Sorry for staying away so long.