So, I was inspired to post this by schmutzie and her thoughtful lists about what she's afraid of, and what makes her feel brave. Please check her out. She's awesome.
photo by Randy Robertson
Things I am afraid of...
-Going crazy. Now that I don't have a new baby and I'm not up nights, this fear has diminished. But, for a while, I was convinced that every day could be the day I just went off into the deep.
-Getting sick, especially since I don't have health insurance. I have a specific health deal that I am unable to get care for. I'm okay for now, but I need to live in as healthy and clean a way as possible to stay that way. I'm afraid that I'm not capable of keeping my body healthy. It makes me feel discouraged and helpless.
-Aggressive Chickens. I don't really feel like I would definitely win in a fight with a chicken.
-PPD. Weakness, hormonal shifts, sleeplessness, trembling, panic, nausea, palpitations, heightened startle reflex, cold sweats, otherworldly alertness. I felt like I would never get through it. Even though it lasted less than a year each time, it was a major consideration in my choice not to have any more babies. I need to be present and capable for my kids. I just don't have the luxury of taking some time off to have a breakdown.
-Jail. I'm not afraid I'm going to go to jail. I have just always thought the idea was awfully terrifying.
-Bees. I'm one of those people. One of them actually had the balls to STING LOUISE the other day. Oh my god. Pure mama fury. It is my mission in life to swat the f out of all the bees I see.
-Sending my girls out into the world. I know how stupid and mean and selfish people are. The thought of them being used or betrayed or hurt is almost more than I can take.
-Sleeping in a house with the girls when Kurt is gone. I don't even notice how safe he makes us feel until he's gone over night. I can't sleep and hear noises on the steps.
-That I will forget all of things that make life so beautiful, right now. Like the way Louise gets so excited to wear her Muno shirt, how she has a little tune she sings, "Ba ba ba, bump ba ba!" How she says "Ga ga?" every time she wants something. How Scouty sings the "Mom It's Your Birthday" song from Phineas and Ferb, the way she pronounces her L's like Y's and how she can't sleep unless PeepPeep and Mr. Giraffey are on their very own pillow right next to hers.
-When my girls are sick.
-Getting through another winter.
-Christians. Especially "born again" Christians. Especially in small towns like where I grew up.
-The news. I'm afraid of the stuff on the news, but I'm also afraid of the way we're so interested in hearing and seeing all of the bad things that are happening in the world. Why do we need to know about every random atrocity that happens in every corner of the country? Why do we cling to these terrible stories in a passionate, intense way that could never compare to the way we respond to great, beautiful things? Or, if we are all talking about something gorgeous that blew our minds, it's that Susan Boyle lady. Like, we're so inspired and shaken by the fact that a normal looking ugly lady has a good singing voice! Be still my fucking heart, who cares! I hate the news!
Things that make me feel brave...
-My kids. I made it through a lot to get to be their mommy. Having them made me a real person, and caring for them every day has taught me how stupid it is to be afraid of the world.
-Living in the city. We're big adventurers.
-Changing a tire and fixing things myself. I do have an impulse to say, "I don't know how to do this, help!" But then, I realize that these things don't require a genius. They just require that you're willing to learn how to do them.
-Reading good books. It's a really brave thing to tell the stories inside of you. They make me understand that no matter what the news and the teenagers on the playground equipment have to say, the people of the world are amazing and beautiful.
-Realizing that I will never know everything there is to know. It's mind blowing. There is no way I will ever know enough to be able to say, "I'm ready to finish learning." It makes me feel like a part of something amazing, being a citizen of this huge world.
-Riding my bike far away from home. I especially like to go places where I'm the only person I can see.
-Telling the truth about embarrassing things and realizing we're all hiding things. When I was young, I felt like a freak, like everything about me was at least mildly embarrassing. Now, I understand that everybody feels that way. The only way to have power over that shame is to be honest about it.
-Watching Jenny sing.
-Cutting off all my hair.
-Swimming in the ocean. I'll spend all day out in the deep green sea, if I have a chance.
-Being educated. I feel like I'm pretty smart about a lot of things and I'm not afraid to assert my knowledge.
-Hiking in the woods when everything is alive and green and there are birds and animals everywhere.
-Building a fire all by myself.
-Living in a way that is good and honest. It is so freeing to know that I'm not doing anything that I feel the need to hide. I am confident in and proud of my life choices. That means that my self esteem isn't tied up in whether or not people (outside of my friends and family) approve of me.
-Knowing that my husband loves and trusts me, no matter what... and that I feel the same way about him. Neither one of us will ever do something that the other couldn't abide. That's what I mean when I say we trust each other. He will never put me in a position where I have to betray myself in order to be with him. He's not perfect and neither am I, but we always consider one another and whether or not our actions and choices will be hurtful to our family. We're perfect for each other.
What about you? What are you afraid of, and what makes you feel brave?