i distinctly remember being 8 years old and persistently experiencing something i only knew how to describe as "the empty feeling." it was a deep pit inside of me that felt like my heart was being stretched out low into my belly by something heavy. i had this terrible fear that my parents would leave and never come back. or that the fires that were always in the mountains would descend into the city and burn up everyone but me. it was morbid, fearful.
the pit was always about loss. not of something happening to me, but to those around me.
as an adult, i can clearly identify that feeling as anxiety. this deep, blanket fear that things will not be okay.
it's manageable, as a 32 year old woman. but it's still there. the empty feeling. lingering.
it came up today. it's here now. and i feel silly.
i feel silly because in the last 24 hours, all i've done is have fun with nic. last night we drank wine and ate tacos and watched old sitcoms. today we woke up early to play with the cat, make breakfast, and do yoga in the living room. we rented a tandem bike and rode through the parklands, laughing at how miserably unfit our legs are. we came home and had the most delicious cantaloupe and blt salad for lunch. we snugged.
so when i felt that pit of despair low in my stomach, i recognize that 8 year old girl and the immense terror she felt at the idea of losing what she most loved.
which is always people.
so when debew asks, what is it? all i know is, it's nothing. it's nothing real.
it's love and the fear of losing it. it's my immature desire to wrap my fingers around the neck of whatever's good and hold on so tightly i'm more likely to kill it myself than ever lose it. it's lack of ease. it's deeply ingrained fear. it is the inability to let go.
i feel like if i announce it, it won't have so much power.
so here it is: sometimes i feel empty. sometimes i am deeply afraid of how big and far and consumingly i love. sometimes the more i love, the less secure i feel.
sometimes, now, it is time to confront all the old paradigms. it is not just something to live with.
nic asks what i'm writing about. i tell him, the empty feeling. he knows about it already. he says:
"i think you're more level-headed than most people are. and ready to take on most situations. your ability to overcome whatever it is you're afraid of is why whatever you're afraid is never going to manifest in your life."
this man. i'm afraid of losing a man, who would rent me a two-person bicycle and choose the best cantaloupe and assert that i am unconquerable. i love him and, even though i purport to be very good, very well-versed in loving, it terrifies me profoundly. to have my heart so hurled open.
i guess, of problems to have, it is not so bad. the loving and being loved so much that it's scary.
he rationalizes with me some more and i say, it's not logical.
"i know," he says, ending his rational argument to lean over from behind my chair and kiss me.
there's so much to terribly much to lose.
and it's the greatest gift.