Really Scared

I had a sludgy, underwater feeling all day yesterday. It was my last day of work at the temp job I’ve had since March, and I know much of my angst was about leaving the security of regular  hours and regular paychecks. I’m leaving in part because I have a lot of freelance work right now, but more so because of upcoming yoga camp. My boss couldn’t have been nicer – she said to follow my gut and invited me to call her when I return for a full report on what it’s like to get up at 6 am and chant and live in a dorm with a bunch of other grown-ups.

That’s still 2 weeks away, though, and for now – I’m scared. Really scared. And trying to find a way to be with it. Not to push it away with doing/doing/doing, and not to dive down into it and let it works its black magic on me. But to put it in a chair on the other side of the room and glance at it occasionally; say a friendly hey – how ya doin’ over there? Maybe even get it a glass of water. And watch it change and morph into something – perhaps – softer.

I’ve been reading my friend  Jen’s blog, who is back after some non-blogging time. I really liked two exercises she’s been doing. One is to take a daily picture of herself via the computer. As someone who is currently REALLY struggling with my appearance — I turn 44 tomorrow, and let me tell you, there’s pretty much nothing I like about my physical self at this moment, unless maybe I count my calves and the shape of my nose — I’m going to embrace this and see if I can find some softness for my physical self. I also liked this writing exercise she did, and thought I’d copy it wholesale, albeit with my answers.

There’s pretty much nothing I like about my physical self at this moment, unless maybe I count my calves and the shape of my nose.

So on the 364th day of My Birth Year, with two beautiful kids, with no solid job, with a gorgeous and giving partner, with shelter over my head – albeit a seemingly rotting one, with a supportive family and friends, and a leafy little town in which to live…. I ponder.

Things I don’t know yet (except, of course, when I do)
how to accept

how to love myself

how it will all turn out

when is the right time

how to hold on to myself and my inner calm when my son is having a tantrum

how to be most effective and useful to my daughter when she is in a sensitive space

when my dog will die … though probably soon-ish — but define “ish”?

Things I’m learning
how to be softer

how to take my time

how to have faith

how to just be with another person, rather than do for him or her

how to listen more/better

Things i’m wishing for

a job I can say without hesitation that I love and believe in

a trimmer body

a haircut that feels sexier

solid ground between my feet (not to mention in my bank account)

a new roof

things that are getting on my nerves

fear – I’m just so f%$#ing sick of it!

kids who don’t say “thank you” (not necessarily mine)

my incipient mess

Lady Gaga and other things that pass as “culture”

BP and other giant companies who through ignorance and greed seem to be “winning”

things that scare me


faceless, powerful bureaucracies that can decide things about our lives

my children growing up too fast

getting ready to go to yoga camp


things that are making me happy
Bella’s easy hand in mine at the store last night and her sweet, easy practical self

Tobey’s ability to talk about anything

both kids reading

this weather and the promise of fresh veg and ripe peaches

getting ready to go to yoga camp

And here’s me. Here’s my almost-44 year old, just showered mug. Not so sure I like it, but I’m trying.


5 thoughts on “Really Scared”

  1. a wonderful woman named Monica Brasile said something to me not long ago. i wrote it down and still refer back to it amidst my own giant cycle morphing. she said, “Live your truth. Embody your experience.” two simple sentences but so loaded with life changing wisdom. embodying one’s experience means surrender. and surrender can take practice. but living what you know to be true in the face of all your fears is the only real medicine for those fears. it takes practice, patience and a lot of self-forgiveness. but it’s your own nature that is asking you for this miracle- your own set of butterfly wings.

  2. “living what you know to be true in the face of all your fears is the only real medicine for those fears” – this really speaks to me.

    Thank you!!

  3. You looked pretty incredible in the grocer aisle tonight – healthy and glowing with that lovely short hair, and kick ass shoulder bearing overalls. Walking your path suits you. Keep going!

  4. i think you are a beautiful 44 year old self and much more in touch with it than many people i know, including myself. i am so sorry i missed your birthday!

  5. Jennifer,
    I found your blog because I wanted to let you know how much I your book Drawing from life has been. I bought it in Gualala,CA last summer while on vacation. The artists in your book intimidated me a lot! But your words gave me courage to start. I want to thank you for your book. I’m finishing a visual and written journal about my Calif vacation last year.

    I also related to you blog. I like your list of things you don’t know. I have many of the same items on my list! I don’t have any children so I don’t know what it’s like to be a mom. I hope yoga camp is great!

    Nan, suburban Washington, dc

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