Dear Fear and Curiosity, Respectively:
I want to begin by saying thank you.
Thank you for taking the time to write to me. It means a great deal.
And as such, I've really been pondering our relationship...one that's spanned 40 years which feels like a lifetime.
I can not imagine knowing one of you without the other and even though you both exist arm in arm, you remind me of siblings who hate one another in one breath and can't bear to be apart in the next.
I vividly recall milestone moments in my life when I was on the precipice of change, whether or not I wanted to be. Staring down an opportunity to do or behave or try something different; I intimately see the both of you on either of my shoulders...guiding and not so subtly directing me to where you think my energies should turn next.
And so it is in this moment that I am particularly mindful of our relationship. Tomorrow, I send my youngest daughter to her last year of preschool and as such, four mornings a week, I will be sans children and I suppose free to create the experiences that I want. While there's no doubt that I'll be doing my fair share of dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, bed making, toilet cleaning, jewelry selling and running...I am desperate to write.
And here's the deal, I'm really, really tired of wanting this want so badly for so long. I'm done feeling medium shitty. And while putting these thoughts in my journals for years or on my blog has served as a conduit to get parts of me onto the page. I'm ready to share me, the intriguing, the boring, the ridiculous, the mesmerizing, the shallow, the colorful and the monotone with the world. Come what may.
And so to that end, fear...you and I will part for a bit. At least when it comes to initially typing words on the paper. I fully expect you to show up as I constantly critique them and worry that the world thinks I'm a nobody, a less-than, a bore. And I fully expect you to tell me that you told me so when I cry remembering that you were only trying to protect me in the first place.
But the sheltered part of our relationship must end. Because the truth is...you keep me small, you keep me thin skinned, you keep me fragile. And if 40-years of life experience has taught me anything it is that I am anything but. I don't wilt easily. And if I do, well, history has shown that I rise up again.
And to you, Curiosity. Well, goodness. I feel like our relationship is whimsical, shallow and lovely at best. I delight in you and I know you when you come around. I want to spend deeper, longer moments reveling in you, but when you take my hand, I disappear because what if you show me something that is more than I can bear? And so, I ask you to grip me. Hold on when I cannot bear to hold on to you. Show me that while it is new, it can be beautiful and exactly what my soul is searching for. Remind me, that I can do it, when I recoil and recant.
If there's anything I know, it is that the three of us are on a life-long journey...one that is fraught with pain and beauty and wonder and exhaustion. Integrally bound, we'll never be apart, but we do need to be in check. Each of us has a role to play. The hope is that as we navigate the waters, we'll steer clear of each other when it starts to get suffocating and we'll guide when the other is weak and ultimately, we'll remember that life is for the living especially when we're scared and hopeful all in the same breath.