Today I am talking about an uninvited guest who is hanging out too much at my place lately - fear.
Before the ones closer to me worry: I am fine. I am not depressed nor am I having panic or anxiety attacks. I am blessed to be healthy when it comes to that, very blessed.
Still ... this is all kind of new to me. I am more used to considering myself quite fearless. That is not because I am super badass and free from things that scare me. Clearly not - neither one. I just think that a certain fearlessness I could call my own is/was the result of getting through some things somehow successfully (more or less):
I watched helplessly how people I loved died and I dealt with the loss .... not without grieving - obviously - and suffering and not fast and not easy, but .... I am okay.
I survived heartbreak. And I mean real heartbreak when you realize that finding a soulmate does not need to mean at all that there is happiness ever after and that you sometimes have to part ways with someone you love. That was damn hard. But ... I am okay, I fell in love again - more than once.
I worked myself out of a pretty long and dreadful period of unemployment a good decade ago with all the horrible things that it does to your self-esteem and finances.
I also asked for help when I needed it and decided on my own when it was enough.
I also did quite some fun stuff that requires a bit of courage like flying alone to the States (well ... I did that several times) to explore New York on my own and also Pittsburgh. It is actually a fun thing to remember how I was there alone and how it is now filled up to the Pennsylvania-blue sky (I am not sure the PA folks ever realize that their sky has another blue than elsewhere) with people I adore, love and dearly miss.
I recall as well that time I flew to San Francisco for work and went a few days early to rent a car and drive down half way towards LA to spend a weekend in a small town somewhere in nowhere - also on my own.
And we do not even start to make the effort to list all the gig trips that started out of the blue and ended in odd ends of the planet.
There are also the many daily challenges of life like moving a couple of times, finding new jobs, managing mostly alone all the million things that just need to be done.
Nothing of this is really extraordinary. It is just life. Everyone of us is facing these challenges every day and sometimes it's okay and sometimes it's not so much. It's every-day-braveness and basically everyone has it. While a lot of this is not easy, the fact that we in the end deal with it gives us the confidence that it will be all right and that we can do it.
Until ... it doesn't.
This year feels different. Maybe it is because I am facing quite a few things that are out of my control and I really do not like to have no control.
In a few weeks, in mid September, I will have a quite big surgery. It is a routine thing that the surgeon likely could do half asleep. It will fix a health issue that I fight with for over 15 years for good which is good news. Nevertheless it is a big surgery. I know I will feel like crap afterwards (I had a similar one before and when I woke up I felt the worst ever in my life) and I will be in recovery for 4 to 6 weeks. I am scared of the pain and even worse I am scared of feeling weak and limited in my actions for so long. I absolutely hate that.
That nicely joins deeper running more abstract fears. My dad was basically my age when they told him he was dying. Same with my mom when she was first diagnosed. While I am rational enough to know that what happened to them is not directly effecting me (as in not heritable health issues) it sometimes feels like you hear the soft cracking of the ice below your feet and it is scary. It makes it an effort to not stupidly freak out over the little failures an aging body is producing. That sounds like I am 100 years old and suffering from thousand things. I am not - thankfully I am not. I just have a moody back and had to order reading glasses to accompany my driving ones. It's silly. But fear is not rational.
My work set up is changing, too and while nothing dramatic is happening at this point it is a transition period and nobody can yet say what that will really bring. I have to see and wait and things will be different and I cannot foresee properly how and ... it's scary.
I also have plans - really big plans - for next year that will change a lot of things in my life. And damn ... does a shitload of fear come with that. Change is good, they say, and it's true and I really need it, but fear is on the backside of the medal. It's the price you pay. I fight it with planning and very good prep work early on. I won't be able to avoid all trouble and obstacles but I can definitely reduce some of it and that helps. It also entertains one of my best friends endlessly when I tell her about my latest Excel sheets with lists and cost calculations. She is the opposite of me and would never do that.
Just the biggest fear I have is not what could happen on the way - I will solve those, I am sure. My biggest scare is ... that it is not going to happen. That SOMETHING comes in the way and stops me. That would be really my worst nightmare. It is also the reason why I stay cryptic here. Some people close to me know what this is about. Sorry to the others ... I really just do not want to jinx it. I will share my adventures here when it is the time.
Speaking of the worst nightmares ... just a few nights ago I dreamed extremely clearly and vividly that a whole bunch of people I really adore would turn their back on me. They even tried to convince a really good friend to do the same. The poor pal was totally confused and called me to ask what the hell was going on. Very, very scary! It was so clear that when I woke up I still half asleep and panicking searched for my cellphone and double checked if my friends lists still looked the same. You are allowed to laugh at this point. I did the very same thing once I was fully awake later finding my cell next to my pillow.
So yes ... 2015 is scary shit. What I am doing about it? First of all I believe that saying it out loud is half the win. Said aloud and written down things look much less dramatic as they would do if I would let them nicely and uninterruptedly develop to monster size in the weird parts of my brain. And if you made it to the end of this blog post here I also thank you kindly for sharing the ride. That helps, too.
And beyond that? Well, I just follow knowledgeable advice:
DON'T LOSE HEART, DON'T FALL FOR PANIC.
(Sucioperro / "Fused" // Listen here.)