Is modern fear addressed enough? I’m sure it is, I just don’t look in the right places. If you know of any spectacular articles, please feel free to send them my way. I try not to use this blog as a journal too often, but a lot of you are twenty-somethings that I closely identify with often, so I always hope that something I write will help you identify with me right back. September 8 to October 8, I am traveling—New York, London, Milan, Paris, and Minneapolis, and while I’ve thrived on being present and living in the moment in each city I’m lucky enough to experience, I’ve had a little grey puff clouding my head with worry. It’s been distracting and preoccupying, and I hope that by typing it out, it might dissipate—just a little—and I can live my last, lovely week in Paris with the hope that something even better awaits me on the other side.
Fear of guns.
As many of you know, I’ve been in Europe for the past two weeks. While I was in Milan, there was a shooting at the mall in the town where I live. Five were shot, and all of them died. It was a targeted shooting, which means the shooter was trying to harm someone in particular, but there were still five people that were killed for no reason. I’ll tell you I’m aware and up to date about the gun violence all over our country in the last few years, but I’ve learned—now—that it all changes when it’s this close to home. It makes me afraid to go back. It makes me afraid to go to home. Death is so finite, and while I don’t fear dying in itself, I do fear the immediacy of it, the aftermath, and the moments before in a situation like that. How do you go on and go about your day without feeling paralyzed by what could happen in the moments you can’t foresee? How can I ever go back to that Macy’s and browse the sale shoes like I do when I’m bored on Sunday evenings? An answer might be, “Eh, you’ll forget about it,” or, “You’ll get over it,” but what does that mean for the victims? What does that mean for the four women and one man that died at the hand of a cold and hating man this week? That we’ll forget them? Is it selfish to not want to be forgotten? Is it morbid of me to put these thoughts into words and publish them to the Internet?
Fear of my future.
I got this job. I accepted a job as a library technician in my town, and my immediate concern is that it isn’t the right time for me. A lot of you already know that I’m passionate about library work and how a library functions within a community, so I spontaneously applied for an open position a few weeks back. Surprisingly, I got it—surprising as in they adjusted the starting date to accommodate my month-long trip abroad. I felt so much pressure and desire to take it that my hesitancy was overwhelmed by excitement. Then of course, once I said yes, I immediately questioned the timing and my abilities and my blog and where am I going from here and how does this job fit? Will it ruin my life? Will it be the best thing that ever happened to me? How much time will it take away from writing my blog? What does that mean for truelane in the next two months? What if I find something I love doing more than blogging in the next two years? What if it means losing all of you that I’ve grown so fond of? I have to keep convincing myself that change does not equal loss. Becoming something more does not mean giving up what you have. Maybe it means truelane will become a book, or a magazine. Maybe it means I’ll become a librarian and wham, my life’s goals and desires will have flip-flopped. I can say 'maybe' as much as I want, but the possibilities still give me anxiety, and a reason to remain stagnant.
Fear of America’s future.
Whatever side of the fence you’re on, America is feeling the heat. It tires me to think of going back to the States and see twice as many headlines about the upcoming presidential election as I do here in France. For now, there seems to be no solution, so what does that mean for the next month? Why does no one know where America is going, and why can’t anyone work together to figure it out? I’m not saying that there is an Answer For All Time, but I want an answer for now. I want our country to grow with compassion, not with contempt (everybody wishes this, and then when you voice it they say ‘do something about it!’), but think about this—is there anything we can do about it? To me, it feels like there’s nothing I can do about it. I am registered to vote, and I will on November 4—but I don’t have political knowledge, and I don’t have the gift of public speaking, and I am not your typical person to stand on a parapet and announce my plans to change the world. I work in quieter ways, and often, it feels like the slowest—or even a standstill. Welcome to politics.
It’s hard/weird for me to publish this post because we’re all different. I’m in one situation, and you are in another, and we won’t always see eye-to-eye on things. A situation within the topics I’ve addressed above might and probably will be drastically different to various readers. Everything always seems to pile on my mind at once, and I often file my fears away as a midlife crisis (which happens to me weekly). But this month? My fears are a consuming presence. It takes a lot of energy to quiet them enough into just letting me sleep. I’m a smart person, but I’m not the smartest, or even wise. So for now, I don’t have answers, just questions that I only ever want to ask the universe—afraid, of course, of what the answers could be.