Facing My Fear & Doing the Math

Writing on this blog has been a frightening endeavor. I thought I had finally lost my mind, taking self-disclosure to an irreversibly damaging level. At least that’s what the negative voices of my mind wanted me to think. And though they may have meant well, operating out of self-preservation (I think), something told me the voices were wrong.

I was right, they were wrong.

I love this blog! As scary and as reckless as it can feel to open up and write here, it is the best thing I have ever done for myself.

The Hubs asked me the perfect question about the Hey Lady post. How did it feel to write that? He asked because although he knows most of my story in a general way, despite thirteen years of marriage, I had never felt the need to discuss any of the specifics. When he read that post he confessed to being flabbergasted, and I could see him looking at me in a new way, like he was meeting a part of me for the first time. Hubby praised me and told me I should keep going (he is my hero).

As for how it felt to write Hey Lady , I felt like a news reporter describing a story about strangers. At the time of writing I wasn’t necessarily stirred by emotions because these characters seemed like people from another life, another time. But then, once I hit PUBLISH, something stirred in me ….. the best way I can describe it is, my world shifted into a slant, like the top floor of a building in a mild earthquake. And yet, my reaction to recalling past events camouflaged itself in present day panic about current circumstances.

Fear came pounding at my heart all over again. Bad dreams slipped in, paranoia, confusion, oh damn, just the whole nine yards. All the fun stuff.

And then I remembered a passage from my newest mainstay in book reads, The Big Leap:

When you find yourself worrying, know that there is something positive trying to break through …. Look beyond the worry-thoughts, and you will often find a new direction that’s being laid out for you.

One constant worry which has been dogging me since I left the 9 to 5 to write full-time, is my fear about running out of money. So, I stopped and I took a really close look at this fear. Next, I did something I had never done in my entire adult life. I developed a budget forecast for the rest of the year. When the idea came to me to do a budget forecast, I wasn’t even sure what that was!

I’ve created monthly budgets before, income versus expenses, etc., but rarely had I paid attention to our family’s spending trends. I looked at our checking account’s activity for the previous four months, went line by line, and figured out the averages. Then I looked at all the major expenses which were likely to be in our future. Next, I assessed our current savings and future income and determined the monthly monetary outlook for the rest of the year. Son of gun! We have enough! I knew we did, I just conveniently forgot.

I needed a reason to panic and freak out because my mind told me I wasn’t panicking nearly enough. Hey Lady brought forth all the scariness I needed to kick my heart into palpitations. The voices said, Maria, you’re too calm, let’s get rid of all this confidence, all this equanimity can’t be healthy. And here they all came, skipping playfully, happy to be of service— doubt, fear, self-loathing, even that asshole Shame stuck her nosy face into my heart (ugh, seems like she’s always somewhere lurking).

And there it was, questions asked and solutions found, all because I wrote one more soul-baring post.

I have this blog to thank for giving me a place to freak out, forcing me to unravel the enigma of self. I kid you not, this kind of soul-baring is totally new for me. And even though I can’t see where I am going next, my spirit assures me I am on the right track. I keep relearning this nugget: comfort zones do not inspire magic. So I’m going to keep it moving, forward, one foot in front of the next. No way can it be worse up ahead than where I’ve already been.