Saturday, March 10, 2018

fear and other baggage

fear is an annoyance, rearing its head when you least desire it, popping up from the depths where you had tucked it away. sometimes you are surprised by what provokes it, other times, it returns like dust on your window ledge, there's a thin covering of it and you didn't even notice its arrival until it's there, keeping you awake at night, grinding your teeth. my fear doesn't have to do with dying, it's about feeling (or being shown) that i don't belong. but this piece about audrey lourde on the ever-brilliant brainpickings spoke to me, even tho' it was about the much more real fear of impending death. as the piece says, not giving in to fear is about "everyday living and making decisions." deciding not to give in to fear, to let it rob you of sleep, your fillings, your happiness and contentment and your genuine enjoyment of your job and life in general. but, in times of uncertainty, that can be hard.

i wrote the above last sunday night and left it unfinished here in my browser tab. in the meantime, i've had a whole week to ponder the question of fear. i also listened to a wonderful podcast on the topic, which, by chance (or not, if you have a fatalist presbyterian inside you), was the nytimes podcast club's pick this week - closer than they appear. it was so thoughtful, deep and self-reflective, that it made me think about fear differently. the host, carvell wallace, examines trump's america and how one can cope with living in it. in the first episode, he asked listeners to think about someone they'd like to talk to, who they haven't been able to for one reason or another - someone who they were estranged from or angry with - and about something you want to say to someone, which you haven't been able to say.

and i began to think about who that would be for me. two people came to mind, and then it became three and then four, none of which i really have the possibility to speak to, unless i really tried. but the need is still there, and i think it's actually really blocking me from truly living to my full potential. in all three four cases, it is the root of the fear i feel today in the face of some of my colleagues losing their jobs and fearing for my own.

the first one is that old norwegian misogynist dinosaur who was a sexist son-of-a-bitch to my face. in this era of #metoo, he has been on my mind a lot. i was so nonplussed at the time, that i just flushed and swallowed hard and couldn't think of a single thing to say against his ridiculous claim that a woman couldn't interview a shipping ceo. and i eventually left that job because of that incident, which i reported to hr and then was "bought out" and left.  i'd like to call him a misogynist dinosaur to his face.

the second one is uncle fester. he was utterly wrong about a situation and he never admitted that he was wrong. of course, he was someone who had no problem standing in front of large groups of people, lying to their faces, so there's that. i have heard that he has had a rather severe case of lyme disease, which makes me believe in karma. he is the least of the four, as i moved on to other jobs which took me in a better, more interesting direction. i would still like to tell him i think he's a weak coward for being unable to admit his mistake. and i probably could write to him, but i'm not sure it's worth it.

number three is an old friend who hasn't been a friend for some years. i'd love to tell him (these are all men, have you noticed?) how hurt i was by his actions, but i'm not sure what good it would do. on the other hand, i had an amazing bodywork session on friday that made me think that i hold this baggage in my body, so perhaps it would be worth getting in touch and trying to clear the air.

the last is that asshat from lego. he said i wasn't commercial. and he negated me as a person, more than any of the others (except, perhaps interestingly enough, that other norwegian twat). perhaps above all, i'd like to give him a piece of my mind. and since he's but 15 minutes away, the possibility lingers.

but then i think about whether it's really worth it. would any of them learn anything or recognize the damage they did? would i be prepared to accept it if they didn't? would my body be able to let go of the baggage i carry? at my age, there's starting to be so much, that i wonder sometimes how i can carry it all.

i'm not done pondering this and i think i'll even listen to the closer than they appear podcast again, to try and work through it (also, it's that good). and i'm definitely going back for more bodywork - that was amazing. and potentially transformative. it would be good to be able to let go of all this fear. undoubtedly a whole new wave of fears would take center stage, but then i could deal with those (i'm looking at you, alzheimer's). above all, it would be good to have something else rule my life/ awesome energy and good karma.

so much work to do.

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