The Prompt:

What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead? (Author: Kate Inglis)

Oh! to be the girl with the forever smile; to rid myself of the deep wrinkles between my eyebrows and greet the world daily with composure and grace….  Everything, you see, is decidedly NOT okay in my world.  My default face is consternation and my stomach? A mass of knots and bile.  I’m the first born, an Aries, weighed down in reality and anchored by responsibility.  For every third person professing that “things will just work out” there is one of me, toiling behind the scenes, knowing that IT WILL NOT! and pulling the strings to avert disaster.

I KNOW, to my very base fiber, that it is best to expect the worst and to be prepared for the next shower of bullets.  I am a naysayer, a doomsday portent, a harbinger of reckoning.  For every small beauty, for every sigh of pleasure and each belly laugh, there are scores of needling sorrows raining down to remind of the natural balance.  I know this empirically, with the certainty of experience.  I have a closet full of the “other shoes” and a face full of contusions from their rapid descent.

“Alright” is a relative term, you see.  It’s Above Ground, Still Breathing, Possessed of All My Fingers and Toes.  To be any other way would be completely foreign.  Foreign, but completely longed for.  I am consistently amazed by people who are able to keep to the sunny side: My brother N, who, while paratrooping his way through Afghanistan can maintain that we are all a part of the fabric of time, that the universe has a plan and that plan is right and purposeful.  My girlfriend M, who, though mucking her way through a divorce and other painful decisions is devoted to her smile with a buoyancy that’s terribly rare.  Even CV, who has recently defriended me, never ceased to amaze me with her ability to remain civil in situations that would have me in jail for assault.

I am simply not that person.  I am wed to the Truth (big T) and prefer cold, hard FACT to wishful thinking.  I know that the winds will change direction if I get too comfortable.  I feel, so heavily, that somehow, my life is a crux on which teeters a scale of good and bad.  To feel differently, or to change my attitude, is to tempt fate and laugh at the Furies.  Because it is so, I feel more acutely the joys of success and the pains of failure.  I am keenly cognizant that good is only so because of its counterpart, bad.

So, you see, I am not acquainted with that sigh of relief,  that notion that, wow, things are finally on an upswing.  I know only to breathe in those winsome moments, and breathe through the terrifying.  All are fleeting, and each makes way for the next.


9 thoughts on “Pft…Everything’s (not) OK

  1. Yes, yes, and ummmm… yes! I’m right there with you, on all counts. I especially love this nugget: “I know only to breathe IN those winsome moments, and breathe THROUGH the terrifying. All are fleeting, and each makes way for the next.” I’m going to put that one in my pocket. Thanks!

  2. Stopped me in my tracks with this, Jen. On any given day, I’ll be sat under the cloud with you, expecting the worst and marvelling at anything even slightly better than that. But breathing through the terrifying is something I wish I could do; I sort of scream and cry until its over then act like nothing happened. So yeah, I’ll be doing my best to do more of the breathing. ♥

  3. You know, I completely agree that the good moments (as well as the bad) are fleeting. But I guess I get my everything-will-work-out attitude from the fact that so far, everything has.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have been through every kind of hell from being beat and raped by a husband who threatened to kill me if I left to being diagnosed with a brain tumor three days after I got accepted into a University as a single mother.

    But look at me? I’m in one piece. And so are you. And all those shitty terrifying moments (in conjunction with the unexpected and amazing ones) add up to the person you have become.

    And you’re pretty bad ass. And so am I.

  4. ” I have a closet full of the ‘other shoes’ and a face full of contusions from their rapid descent.”
    Girl, I am rich in these types of shoes. Relief is so fleeting; why can’t life be more full with the sweet times instead of the crap?!?
    And yes, I agree, you and Brooke Farmer are a couple of badasses:)

  5. Holy shmoly, you are fierce. When I read this post it totally reminded me of my sister. She laughs one minute and is ready to hunt down the mofo who hurt her or her family the next. She’s 6’2″, gorgeous and wears heels.

    I too am the eldest and an Aries and I feel like I’ve been 40 since I was five years old. And my stomach is a difficult toddler that’s impossible to placate.

    I think Emily is right. You and Brooke are totally badass.

  6. This is “prepare for the worst, hope for the best” on steroids. Which is pretty amazing, really.

    I like the closet full of other shoes. What a great image and way to state it….

    You are badass…

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