People say to me:
"I’m worried I’m not going to make the right decision."
"I’m worried I’ll lose my security."
"I’m worried that I’ll never really live."
Other people don’t mention it specifically, but I can hear a deep, longing in their voice, like a well, a container of cold, far-reaching emotion. Or a perception of failing; a steeple left to crumble.
I can hear the pain through the way they use their hands, the way they cough, the way they just 'are'.
I can see the narrowed look in their eyes and the nervous scepticism and the plain note of doubt. Near panic is simmering just beneath the surface.
They were flooded, long ago, with cynicism and the cowering fear from an event that left them scarred, probably from an misplaced comment, confusion or the wrong situation.
I know, because I've been in that place. Maybe not in that way, or not as it's come for them. But a place where fear fills up every room, most of the time.
They ask, tentatively.
Oh, I have so much to tell them.
I want to explain the intricacies of the life path that I've chosen, and the fun to be had finding out things. I want to beg them to take a step towards life - towards living - and yet I hold up a hand of warning to let them know they will not return the same.
To their questions, I have these answers:
I don’t know how it will turn out.
I don’t know if my creation will ever become the kind of business I really want to have.
I don’t know if I’ll ever want to commit to anyone in a relationship or give birth to a child.
I don’t know where I’ll go next, I don’t know what I’ll wear tomorrow, I don’t know how long I need.
I don’t know, because I plan but I that rope hold loosely. It’s the way I’ve learnt.
I don’t know if I’ll know all the things I want to know - about history, technology, finance, relationships, people or Oprah.
I don’t know if I’ll do all the things I want to do. Or I’d love to do.
I don’t know if I’ll make the kind of new friends I want to or keep the ones I have. Or if they will decide it’s time to let go. Or if we will be forced apart.
I don’t know if all the people I love will ever get it or see me in the way I’d love them to or really ever understand. I don’t know how I’ll work through it or how much that might hurt.
I don’t know if I’ll ever feel ready. (I suspect not)
You see, I haven’t got everything ticked and dotted.
I haven’t leapt onto dust carts with a rallying cry (yet!)
I haven’t done all the things I wanted, or done anything the way I thought I would.
There are still demons to banish, lessons to learn, mistakes to be made.
And yet I’m whole. Enough. Happy.
I’m safe, well and loved and today is a beautiful sunny day. I have air in my lungs and I have the ability to smile.
I have a lot to be thankful for.