All day I’ve been facing a panic that has been hard to hold down, yet it has paralyzed me. I realized that I began thinking about how easy it could be; how easy life could be if I just let go of this dream and rejoin the rest of the working world. After getting the job – the hard part, nowadays – I would simply step back into the harness and make money for someone else. While I did this, however, I would be promised a paycheck; a chance to grow my savings account instead of depending on it. I could start thinking about vacations, buying property, houses, expensive foods, visiting friends, retirement accounts. All of these ideas are bubbling just below the surface every day. It doesn’t help that my parents have started making small, probably benign comments that plopping into this stew and causing it to bubble more insistently. Did I want to write for the local paper? Have I thought about applying to do this, or that? While I dismiss their questions, I can’t quite get rid of the thought of them. It doesn’t help when I’m having a low day and I can’t control my jealousy toward the cat; he stayed in bed when I got up and only moved to eat and poop all day long.
When people told me that this year would be hard, I nodded my head solemnly without understanding what exactly they were referring to. The truth of the matter is that the hard part is getting up and doing the work day after day. The hard part is not knowing if your plans will ever pay off, but going ahead with them anyway. The hard part is not taking that nap when you want one, and pushing down the thought that you can do it if you really want to, because there’s no one to answer to but yourself. The hard part is believing in yourself. At the same time, the hard part is knowing when you can’t do any more and it’s time to stop for the day, the week, or the month.
Can I do this? Well, I’ve been doing this, so apparently I can. Do I want to do this? The answer is a resounding yes. What’s the real problem then? I am afraid. I am afraid that I will wake up one day and know that I can’t try to write anymore. I am afraid that one day I will realize that this isn’t going to get me anywhere that I would want to be for a long period of time. More than anything, I am afraid that I will throw in the towel before it’s time and forever regret not pushing myself harder to get what I wanted.
Most of the time I believe that life is what you make of it; that positive thinking will fill in the chinks between the concrete blocks of hard work and steady, slow labor of building a future. Today? Today I am afraid that there is nothing that I can do to alter what has already been laid out for me, and that at the end of my life I will repeat the same monotone sentences that I have heard before: “I could have been more, if only I had tried.”
Tomorrow will most likely be different. The sun will shine, the air will smell sweetly of pine, and I will know that I can do whatever I want, if I only put my mind to it. Tomorrow, I will feel better. Today, I am restless while I wait for tomorrow to come.