Tag Archives: facing your fears

Lions and Tigers and Bears. Oh My.

So suffice to say I’m thinking that it’s fair to conclude that I’ve taken my ability to procrastinate to a whole new level as far as my dazzling new blogging career goes. Suffice to say I am also not entirely sure that I actually know what the hell the word “suffice” means in terms of definition and if asked on that “Cash Cab” Show or in a high pressure situation I would be likely to redirect to something shiny in the room like a sparkly diamond or a rainbow or a lovely window sill prism.

 

prism

 

What can I say? I have the follow through of an eleven year old with A.D.H.D.

Now it’s not that I haven’t WANTED to write. The issue is more that the few times that I have actually tried to I just end up staring blankly at the screen like Bambi in the headlights obsessing about what to write about. Or what not to write about. Or how pointless my ramblings are. Or why I can’t seem to type without looking down at the keyboard. Or if I turned my straightening iron off. Or how many locks in the world my front door key would open if I did a worldwide experiment because come ON, just how many unique key shapes can they come up with REALLY?

It’s all pretty much a downward spiral from there.

I’m currently in the midst of moving which pretty much means I’m about a box or two away from a full blown nervous breakdown. I’ve decided that all cardboard boxes designed for moving should be sold with a mandatory bottle of Percocet to maintain even the slightest illusion of sanity. A mild hallucinogenic to take the edge off of U-Haul Hell.  I’m not so good with change. I even secretly get all freaked out when the seasons change. Kinda like when you let your cat outside after the first snowfall and watch as they stop dead in the middle of the yard and proceed to spin around in frantic erratic circles trying to escape the panic and horror of the unexpected. An abrupt move throws me into that same emotional turmoil but seeing as how the running in frantic circles tends to draw a crowd, not to mention cause some seriously unnecessary vertigo(oh-my-goddd-im-dizzy-its-the-first-sign-of-a-deadly-disease-i-just-knowww-it!!!) I instead choose to cope by micro managing much to the delight of my fiancé; writing obsessive compulsive lists about what to add to my obsessive compulsive lists and the occasional bout of weeping under the covers. Yes I’m a grown ass woman weeping under the covers but I figure it’s a step up from rocking back and forth in a corner.

Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my.

lions and tigers

I figure this whole fear of change thing is pretty much just a manifestation of my fears in general. If the famous quote is correct and the only thing we truly have to fear is “fear itself” then I’m royally screwed. Fear is this knawing relentless theme in my life that I both loathe and gravitate towards despite myself on an ongoing basis. It is crippling. The ferocity of it. And while I mask this fear to the outside world it’s the inside that receives the aftermath. That carries it day after day, one terrified step after another.

“What if?”

I hold on to the unsteady bars of that “if” with frantic hands that not even the deepest of pockets can alleviate. And despite my understanding that this is no way to live, that change is inevitable, and that if you spend your whole life bracing yourself for all of the terrible things that can happen you are not truly living; still I find myself holding on for dear life.

When I was two years old my mother bought me this windup bird that hopped around on the floor when you set it down. She told me that she was super impatient for me to open it up because I adored Sesame Street’s “Big Bird “and seeing as how I clapped my little hands in delight when the lovely yellow bird popped up on the screen each morning she figured it was a hands down touchdown on the toddler gift giving front. I can still picture my poor mom kneeling down in front of me winding it up all rainbows and sunshine only to watch me let out a blood curdling scream as she watched me turn around and thrash violently down the hallway as fast as I could to get away from the impending doom of the hopping mechanical bird. I was terrified of the fucking thing. And hey, I may get all “oh-hello-there-cute-little-birdie-chirping-outside-my-window” now but if I were ever to wander into the path of, oh, say, an emu or an ostrich?

I will take down a fucking line of angelic caroling preschoolers to save myself. Have you SEEN one of those things up close???

Anyway, my point is that sometimes I feel like I am still that same two year old tearing down the hallway to get away from the big bad impending something. And while a 6 inch hopping bird may have become less threatening as I grew up I sometimes feel as though I’m still running from it. Only this time it’s not a leaping plastic toy lurking in the background as I sprint forward desperate to never let it catch me. It’s life. It’s pain. It’s the unknown. It’s change.

Who knows? Maybe every box I reluctantly pack (and check off of my ridiculous To-Do List like I’m on some weird checkmarks-gone-wild reality tv show) is a little tiny baby step towards facing that change. Towards accepting a tiny little piece of the unknown. Maybe every day that we drag ourselves up and out of bed and remember to just breathe and try not to worry so much about the people we love and the things that we can’t control is a victory, regardless of how seemingly small to someone else. Maybe one day i’ll climb out of the very same box that I’ve trapped myself inside of and change the “if” to “else ” and finally just LIVE.

Until then, back to Uhaul Hell. If you hear about some girl flailing madly down the freeway on a metal dolly muttering in  nonsensical sentences you’ll know I never made it out alive. Either that or its because I’m being chased by a giant pissed off Emu.

Maybe one day I’ll stop running.

🙂

emu

Are you afraid of the dark?

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

I have had this quote posted on the front of my refrigerator for a few months now. I was feeling a little crafty at work one night and with the front office laminator, a piece of Dollarama magnet tape and some left handed scissors,  Ta-daaaaa…my masterpiece was complete. Now I didn’t actually say “Ta-daaaa” but I have to admit, I was pretty damn proud of my little black laminated square thus making it totally “ta-daaa” worthy.

Come to think of it, I don’t know that I’ve ever actually “ta-daaa’d” much of anything since I was about seven.  Maybe it’s just one of those words you can only use after you do a perfect handstand when you’re really, really drunk or after you pull a white rabbit out of a  hat or  while dramatically sliding a white sheet off of a (cue-in-overly-excited-game-show-host-voice-here)  branddd newww carrrrrr…!!!!!

Who knows..maybe that’s what’s lacking in my life. Maybe the decline of the “ta-daaa” has been society’s downfall and people just need to throw it out there a little more often.   Celebrate the small victories in a world too often so quick to point out the dread and misery of the day. Like after you manage to peel an orange in one peel or pop a cork out of a bottle of wine without flinching; a skill I myself have not yet mastered.  I’ve decided at this very moment I’m bringing it back with a vengeance. Next time my boss asks me to make photocopies he’s getting himself a  dazzling and enthusiastic  “TA-DAAAAA!!” as I place the crisp papers dramatically in his outstretched palm to both illustrate as well as  celebrate my cat-like dexterity and mad skills with a photocopier.

Maybe I’ll even throw in a fucking back flip and somersault for good measure.

Anyway, back to my little black square.

Image

I glance at this quote almost every single day.  Little good it has done me so far yet still it remains, the little black square with such a small seemingly harmless  question that in truth could bring me to my knees if I allowed myself to seriously consider it. Fear has somehow become a permanent theme inside of my head for much of my adult life. Has somehow etched itself into my every thought, every breath, every decision. It has become so much a part of me that I now wear it like an invisible crown. I wander through life pretending its not there yet deep down I am fully aware of the heaviness of it..the crushing weight of it…the immense pressure pushing down on my  shoulders….how as a result I walk with my head hung just a little bit lower than the day before…my eyes just a little bit older.

I live in this constant state  of….bracing. Bracing for the phone to ring in the middle of the night; horror awaiting on the other line. Bracing for the email..the letter…the text…the xray…the lump…the ultrasound…the sharp pain in my chest… the world... to bring me to my knees. To knock the wind from my lungs. To crumble the earth at my feet.  It is a terrible thing to live in fear. To tread in it just enough to stay afloat while you watch the world passing you by as your head bobs up and down in the water; frantic hands clawing at the air for something..for anything..to keep you from being sucked down into the doom of the horror on the other end of the telephone.  The answer to the little black square is supposed to be wrought with daring feats and mountain tops. Dizzying heights; speeds so fast it would make your head spin. Claws as sharp as razor blades. Death staring you blatantly in the face in all its ferocity.

“She scribbles hers in red felt marker and crumples the paper up in a ball of shame. If you look closely you can still make out the first few lines.”

Sing a song out loud.

Read a poem I’ve written in a room full of people.

Touch an elephant.

Make a doctor’s appointment and not be afraid to go.

Love myself.

There are times in my life when I have these moments of complete clarity. Fragments in time when suddenly everything makes sense and I am filled with this humility..this incomprehensible sense of  love…a sudden understanding of the beauty in my life that is almost unbearable.

People hurt you. Father’s die. Pain is often inescapable. But babies fall asleep in your arms. And you sometimes laugh so hard it hurts but it still feels so good. And when you ride your bike down a steep hill your hair flies out behind you in the wind and you feel like a kid again; like you can do anything. And people hope and believe and want and need just like you do. And sometimes when you dare pick up the phone, awaiting on the other line is love. It is in those moments when I shed my crown. Pull my tired body from out of the water. Remove my armour, lay down my weapons and live. And all at once I’m not so afraid of the dark any more.

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So  I’ve decided to keep my little black square. Productive or not, it shall remain on my fridge; my Telus bill hanging on to it for dear life. Maybe I’ll get hit with another Suzie-homemaker-crafty-mc-crafterson wave and make a totally new fridge magnet or knit a swanky new scarf or bake something with rainbow sprinkles on the top. I made cupcakes about a year ago and they were horrific but I decorated them up like a mo fo with the rainbowiest of spinkles and if I dare say so myself..They. Looked. Awesome.

Tadaaa!!!!