I have been wanting to write a post all week but something has got in the way. I have topics I want to write about. I’ve even had the time to write. But, for some strange reason, something is stopping me.
Even now, as I start to type, I am fighting the feeling that is trying to get me to stop. It’s hard.
I remember how easily the words came when I first began to blog. They flowed from me in pages and the only way I needed to push myself was by pressing publish. But now they stammer and stall.
I can still feel them there, hear them form. I long to set them free but something still seems to stop me. I’m so unsure.
So I force them out. Clumsy and ill-crafted they take their shape on the page until I find myself here. Far from happy with these words but here all the same. Here and hoping that this is not the end.
Nothing teaches you about fear like becoming a parent. Nothing.
I recall the first night we brought our baby home. We took it in turns to stay awake through the night as she slept. Just in case.
And I recall that same night, around three am, when she wouldn’t sleep unless snuggled next to me as I fought to keep my eyes open and then, little by little, failed to do so. I remember how I berated myself for taking such a risk! I admit, I had an awful lot to learn.
Today, she has a rash. Red patches that can settle on neither spots nor splodges and leave me dashing to google for a diagnosis. She is fine.
Ultimately, I am terrified of losing her and it takes almost more than I have to keep that in check every day as we deal with all the big bad world dares to offer.
But the fear I have found is so much more than this. It is a fear of myself and all the damage I will undoubtedly do. I dread the thought of breaking her.
And the only thing that scares me more is that thought that I might not be around to see just how misplaced all my fears might be.
I’m writing this to you from a time and place where you seem impossible. But a time and place where I think of you endlessly all the same.
I daydream about your existence and wonder when and where you are (or whether you will even read this). Because I just can’t help but utter your name.
You are all of the things I dare not see; my fears, my dreams. You embody them all. And yet I cannot face you. The mere prospect of you plunges me in to the depths of despair. You are too much for me. But I realise that facing you is inevitable none the less.
And I know that when I do it will break my heart. I know that I will not be able to hide the broken parts any more. That my fears and my dreams will finally join us there and transform themselves in to so, so many regrets. It kills me to think of it.
So, for now, I will continue to take your name in vain. To use it to negate all that I am and all that I will ever be.
Sat across from you I desperately began my search. I was longing for a different life and you felt like my last chance. But I was still unsure.
I tried to trust you, to trust myself. Inevitably, it felt impossible.
Week by week we waded through my thoughts; thick, tangled, twisted. Alongside you I allowed myself to face the darkness. My darkness.
For so long I had feared what I might find. Was it the truth? I am still unsure.
Fragments of feelings flashed burning and bright rather than the dim and distant memories I dreamed I might discover. They hurt. They still do.
And what am I left with? What might I make of these broken parts? How will I fix them together to form my future?
“Just relax, breathe, and focus on the next five minutes. You can get through the next five minutes, right?”
He was right. Of course he was. I could lay there, safe and warm and still next to him for a few of those said minutes then get up, walk the short distance from the bedroom to the bathroom, turn on the shower and, by the time I got out, that would be it; my five minutes would be up. But what about the next five? Or the five after that?
Five minutes can be a long time.
Long enough to watch the drama unfold; the headlines, the breaking news. Enough time to win the game. Or to lose. To make it just in time or all too narrowly miss it. Disappointment. Relief. It’s long enough to meet someone new. To find yourself face to face with a stranger and wonder who you have to be. Or how you might even begin to be them. A new friend. A lover. Your own child. It is enough time to say goodbye. To speak those simple words without ever realising that it is the end, the last chance. Long enough to get it wrong. To say something or do something that ruins it all. Or get it right and realise you might not be ready as you start to doubt whether you ever will be. Whether another five more minutes will ever be enough. Long enough to see the truth. To watch it spill from someone’s lips and realise that you might just drown in it. Or to spill it yourself. Long enough to be forced to face to consequences.
Life has taught me that five minutes is all it takes. All it takes to change things forever.
And I not sure I can get through that.