Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Internal weather

I'm feeling anxious. There is the possibility of new work is on the horizon, a book collaboration that an editor I previously worked with sent my way, which may or may not work out depending on whether the subject chooses me. I realize that if she doesn't choose me, I am making it mean something about me, something negative, something she saw and didn't like, which may be the fee I quoted her for the project, which is only the usual sort of fee, or perhaps my timing, when I can be available to start based on the work I already have, and yet I see anything that makes her not choose me as a failing on my part, even though I know, I know, I'm being silly, and that sometimes we get chosen, sometimes we don't, and sometimes, not getting chosen clears the path for something even more wonderful to choose you. Anyway this is what I'm trying to tell myself in this moment, as I write here, trying with everything I am to quell the churning inside me that I wish was not my nature.

I envy those people capable of serene faith that all will be well. I seem possessed of a deficit of faith and a surfeit of imagination. My catastrophic thinking is in overdrive. I need to quiet these fretful thoughts, this inner child sense of being somehow not right, and therefore not chosen. I need to recenter myself, so I can get back to the work I do have, from someone who did choose me. I am editing the most wonderful book, a novel based on the life of the author, who writes brilliantly, feels deeply, and has the most unorthodox yet perfect way of putting things. I'm not at the editing stage yet, I'm still just reading, and such a pleasure it is to go on this journey with her. I just need to shush all this noise in my head and get back to it. Maybe I'll go sit under a tree and read there.

That picture up top, under the small tree on the left, that's where I sat in Central Park a week ago, reading as children scrambled over the low slung branches. Maybe I'll take my sturdy folding chair that my husband researched to the smallest detail before buying two for us, and go sit in that place again. Let the fall breeze waft away my angst. Let the laughs and calls of children distract me, let the strings of classical musicians up on the path remind me that the outer world keeps wheeling along, no matter the weather within.


  1. I tend to catastrophize things as well but I also believe things work out in the end. I'm condsidering a career change in two years when I retire. I would like to work for a charity, something to do with the land and restoration. Something will come up. The universe does usually deliver.

    That park looks lovely, of course it does! It's Central Park. But it looks lovely because there are still leaves on the trees, there's no snow and you can still sit outside. Sounds like a good place to read.

    Stay safe my friend.

  2. Transitions are challenging, aren't they? So much in transition right now, inner and outer. Sometimes I have the courage to trust the process of change and other times I feel the frightened child within my 71-year-old self. Thank you for writing from your heart and sharing your evocative photographs.

  3. I think we all want to be liked and chosen. Waiting for a decision is a bit nerve racking. I think it is a normal reaction. Also, personalities mesh or do not mesh. I once read that decisions are made within the first 5 minutes when interviewing for high level positions.
    The rest of the interview is basically performer and inconsequential.

  4. My faculty often tell me I'm preternaturally calm, always centered. And weirdly, with them I can be. But not in life. I feel like in real life--with my writing, with my mothering, with my relationships,--I simply lack a center that CAN be calmed. And right now, of all nows, it feels difficult to parse out what is normal anxiety and what is pandemic anxiety and what is election anxiety, etc etc etc.

  5. I understand. Oh! How I understand. Even the GOOD things can bring massive amounts of anxiety. am is right- transitions are just hard for some of us. It does help to be outside, I think. I don't know what I'd do without my trees and squirrels and sky and chickens. Here's my hand, dear woman. Let's hold on tight. We'll get through this...whatever this is, we'll get through.

  6. Oh yes, I get your point, I have tried, as mother, as daughter, as woman, and I have resigned. Maybe it's an evolutionary thing for women to fret and worry.
    It's good to know you have this lovely outdoors spot. And I hope you get the work you are so good at.