On panic, responsibility, and the only thing I know for certain
January 5, 2018
I woke up in the night last night panicked. I was sure I had lost my boys. I had this heart-wrenching feeling ripped right out of my chest that they were just gone, and somehow I was responsible. It was as if I had left them somewhere, as if I had forgotten about them, as if I had lost track of them. I sat up, I got up, I flipped on the light, heart pounding, and then I remembered. They are fine. They are with their dad. They are fine, but they are not here, and yes, I am responsible. I checked my phone. 4 AM. I went back to sleep. My head was swirling with thoughts of transitions, love, money, responsibility. I didn’t dream.
I’ve been thinking a lot about responsibility, about phases and transitions. I spent a long time as a young girl wanting so badly to be loved and being so afraid that I never would be. That fear was so real and so difficult to live with and sometimes now it comes back and it’s so familiar. It wrenches at me and it whispers to me and I have to shut it down because I am no longer a young girl. I have responsibilities that far outweigh the need to be loved.
I’ve had a lot of people try to tell me lately all about what I deserve. They say I deserve better, I deserve more than what I have, I deserve to feel good, I deserve to be happy. But do I? I’m not sure about the word “deserve”. I don’t feel as if I “deserve” anything more than the next person. Happiness and love are not things that should be measured and doled out according to your character and choices. The quantities are limitless.
So yes, I deserve to be happy, I deserve to be loved; I also deserve to be responsible. To answer and accept my choices in life and how they ended me up here in a place where I all at once feel so loved and so free and so alone and so obligated. I deserve the panic, because the panic is what pushes me to be better, to push through to that next phase and transition.
We can’t run away from those middle of the night moments. We can’t run away from the whispers of who we used to be. We can’t get caught up in what we deserve. Sometime we just breathe, and let it swirl, and we don’t dream. I don’t deserve love; I am love. I’m going to be just fine as long as I can remember that. It’s the only thing I know for certain.