When did I become such a chicken shit? The younger me was fearless! Midnight skinny dipping in the ocean, keg stands, confrontations with strangers: Bring. It. On. Hitchhiking: child’s play. No, I am lying, I would never hitchhike that’s for people with a death wish and I was only a mildly self-destructive teenager. It wasn’t that I was without fear; I just didn’t give a flock. There is a difference.
What was I worrying about back then? How to get past the door guy without a fake id? Where was I going to scrape up beer and gas money for another weekend road trip? Sure those ranked up there, but I was scared too. Scared I would wake up one day and all my friends would realize they were over me and I would be left to sit by myself at lunch. Scared my boyfriend would sleep around with every girl in high school and that besides being heartbroken I would look like an idiot. Well, that really did happen but that’s another story. Point is, as much of a bad-a$s as I pretended to be, I was always scared I was going to get my heartbroken.
Unlike my wallet, the older I got the bigger my fear got. However exhausted I may be when I get in bed my fear kick starts my brain and I lie awake thinking: I am in my 30’s, why the hell do I have no savings to speak of? Will a public education cut it for Leo? How will I afford private school? Is the damn alarm set? Did I pay the bill for the alarm monitoring? What is this mole on my face? Could it be melanoma? Should I have that checked? What if I got sick? Well- I guess I’d be screwed cus I still don’t have anything saved! Around and around the worry swirls in my head until exhausted and disgusted with itself my brain finally switches off and I fall asleep.
I suppose I worry so much because unlike the young me who didn’t give a crap; the adult me cares a crap load. I have so much to care about that it sometimes overwhelms me. For starters, my lil Leo, he is like this beautiful little sprout in a really big and sometimes dangerous garden and I never knew myself to have a green thumb. There are all these things I need to protect him from and things I need to give him to ensure he grows strong and happy. I have to keep growing myself to, because sprouts need their moms to be strong and happy.
And there is my love, my partner in crime, the man I am going to marry: Fiancé. I worry about him, a lot. One night, when our love was still a little sprout, Ben went out with some of his friends and I stayed at home. We had been texting back and forth, cute little flirty texts ran rampant in the early days, when suddenly he stopped responding to my texts. I didn’t hear from him for hours which seemed like an eternity. Finally it was getting late and after much agony (“Will I seem like a desperate stalker??”) I called his phone and it went straight to voicemail. Then the strangest thing happen. Instead of getting pissed, instead of assuming that he was wasted and gallivanting around with some floozy, I got worried. That’s when it clicked- Oh, no- I am in deep! I was honest to god worried about my big handsome man’s well being.
And I worry about me too. I lay in bed at night and I worry: Will I somehow manage to not screw up this relationship? What if I drag our marriage down the drain with my insecurities and fears? What if I wake up one day and he just does not love me anymore? Will I be able to live should something happen to us? Hmm… what if I just quit wasting time and loved him? Because while I am laying here worrying; he is lying next to me wondering what is wrong.
What’s wrong is that in many ways my greatest fears are related to what matters the most to me, for example, my fiancé. Fear is like this weed, it’s invasive and it will kill off all your joy if you don’t nip it in the bud. What I have learned is that fear gets in the way of loving. And the only thing that can kill fear? More loving. Thankfully my man helps me; he whips out his machete and I put on his grandma’s gardening gloves and together we pull weeds and we play in the dirt.