My greatest fear is to have lived and died without having learned a damn thing in all the meantime, to have spent a lifetime in ignorance and thus, misery. It is this fear that crops up again and again in my life, whispering doubt into my jellied joints, winding and constricting me with cords of self-loathing in ok moments of weak faith and weak knees. The same question:have I learned anything…?
For anyone that knew me three years ago, this is one very good joke. But really, spend a week in my life and the fears make perfect sense. Yes, I tend to think in extremes.
There’s some kind of twisted, false humility in not liking who I am, not being satisfied with the steps I’m taking. But there’s not actually anything humble about it. It’s indulgent and unproductive. In reality this persistent and underlying unease with myself can’t possible stay self-contained. If I’m uncomfortable with who I am, there’s no way I can be comfortable with who my husband and my daughter are. No, I’ll inadvertently expect them to change to somehow ease my discomfort.
What’s the truth here? The truth is that I have grown. Yes, I slip up and fall. Yes, I make mistakes and go nuts. But what’s the long term trend? What’s the quarterly report? Up. We’re going up. I’m going up. Sure, I couldn’t utterly lose my sanity once every week and still be healthy, but I’m not.
And as long as that’s the case, the only thing on the planet that matters is my willingness to seek out a solution and my tenacity to follow it through. And by Jove, if that isn’t exactly what I’ve done and what I mean to keep doing.
Three years ago, a year ago, there was always some one, some thing, some circumstance to blame. Yeah, I’d say I’ve changed.
Whether it’s a crying baby or a particularly stubborn kink in my marriage, I WILL find a solution. I WILL learn how to be there for my family and I WILL continue laying the foundation for a healthy life from here on out.
Because in the end, life is just a plethora of problems and what matters is how we react to them. Hey, I wanted to learn, right? That was the fear? So someone explain to me how that is possible without making mistakes.
Yeah, gotcha. It was a trick question. It ain’t possible.
So rather than gumming up and blubbering every time I royally screw up, I should be celebrating with a little jig of sorts. Why hello there, Deepest Fear of My Life. Do you see what I just did there? No? I just created an opportunity for me to learn something. So bam! Take that! Yeah we ain’t pals anymore, Fear. Don’t need your sorry ass hanging out around here anymore. Got mistakes to make and principles to learn. Q