Every now and then I look back on a week and see I’ve been bullying myself. Stop being afraid! Stop avoiding writing because you are afraid of the new chapter! Stop letting vegetables rot in the fridge because you are afraid of cooking!
And this thing I keep expecting of myself– to not be afraid– how mean is that? I would never tell my kids not to be afraid of an avalanche of new things. I would put my hands on their backs and hold them tight or look into their eyes to assure them that it’s ok to be afraid. Hell, it’s smart and healthy to be afraid.
So how come I don’t let myself own and accept fear as easily? (Sure, I am 39 and not 3 or 1.5 But still.). I give myself so little room to be human.
So this weekend, while other people are out gathering pumpkins and apples or tailgating with their lifelong friends, I’m having a tea party for two. Me and fear. None of that fruity, herby tea either. It’s going to be a stiff mint tea from a boiling kettle.
I’m going to sit with it and let it show me it won’t kill me to be afraid of the future or where I’m going or how long it’s going to take. It’s even ok to be afraid of all the new things– the moms with their cute scarves and Germano-Japanese cars and golf-ball-sized diamonds, my new volunteer positions, and my dreams of finishing a book manuscript by Spring.
We are going to drink our tea, make peace, and maybe even color coordinate our outfits for the rest of the weekend. But then I’m going to get on with my business.
No more bullying myself out of bona fide emotions. And there will be no wallowing or balking at opportunities because of fear. It’s welcome to come along. As long as it can keep up with me.