Sometimes I worry so much that I feel like I’m about to self-combust. That worries me. Self-combustion. Very worrying. Very unusual way to die. I worry about every minor detail of my life. I worry that I’m starting to turn into my mother, who I love to a worrying degree. She is a worrier, her mother was a worrier, her mother before that was probably a worrier and so on and so forth. My brother is a worrier, my younger sister worries, my dad… not so much outwardly, but I am sure he still finds time in his busy schedule to worry. I’m a worrier who presents himself as a warrior for fear of being stripped of my dignity and status. I worry about how I look, I worry about my relationships with friends, I worry about telling work when I need time off over Christmas. I worry about how people perceive me, I worry about the standard of my writing, the standard of my jokes, the standard of my performances. I worry about being misinterpreted, I worry about time, I worry about money, I worry about what I eat, I worry about my body, I worry about the direction of my life, I worry about never being able to afford a house, a car, a fridge, a dog for the kids that I worry I won’t be able to provide for. I worry about my future. I worry when I drive on freeways, I worry when I ride my bike on a main road, I worry I drink too much, I worry when I’m hungover, I worry when I’m sober, I worry when things go wrong and I am drunk. I worry about getting sick, I worry about losing my mind, I worry about becoming depressed, I worry about becoming twisted, I worry about the variables that life could throw my way. I worry about love, I worry about passion, I worry about the tears that fill my eyes in public when I witness something beautiful. I worry I’m too soft, I worry when I’m too hard with people, I worry that I am not what I expected to be. I worry about my age. I fucking worry about being a failure in my eyes, the eyes of others, the eyes of strangers. I worry I’m too busy, I worry I’m not doing enough with my time, I worry when I drink coffee, I worry during sex, I worry when I come too quickly, I worry when I can’t come, I worry when I’m too attracted to someone, I worry when my desire fades, I worry when I’m slightly attracted to someone of the same sex, I worry, I worry, I worry. I fucking worry all the fucking time and sometimes it drives me insane. It scares me. It fills me with dread. It makes me sick in the stomach. Most of the time I just hate how much I let it affect me.
And then sometimes it is like an old friend. When I feel blocked and isolated and something is triggered in me to care about the welfare of someone or something. The worry fills me with hope and love and desire to live fully and openly with all my heart and soul that enters my nose, exits my mouth and breathes new life into the moment at large. The beauty of that vulnerability that stems from an event that causes me worry. That makes me worry a little less, knowing I’m still here and I’m still just a simple, flawed human being. It might sound contrived, clichéd and a little silly, but this worry has become part of me. There are so many things I would like to change and challenge, but essentially I am just another worrier and I’ll probably raise a couple of worriers who will go on to raise a couple of worriers of their own. And I’ll teach them that it isn’t a burden, it is a gift. One you can harness and constrict, but keep with you for those moments when all someone really needs is a listening ear and a hand on the shoulder. We can’t change who we are, no matter how desperately we attempt to enter into new phases of our lives. We can evolve and improve, maybe regress and withdrawal, but our foundation is what it is. It is the binder we keep our documents in, the bricks and mortar that our house sits upon, the bread for our butter and the air that we breathe. Working with what we are given is the crux of the narrative. However, it is the juicy bits that keep us on our toes, that fills us with purpose and passion alongside fear and trepidation. You can only work with what you are given.
I’m a worrier. And I’m vulnerable and fragile. But all that worry fuels my tank, enriches my existence and turns me into a person, with plastic wings and a bruised and battered helmet. A worrier with a story, and lessons to learn and teach, tears to be shed, smiles to be shared, clichés to spout and a long, long list of apologies to be made. This life is our fatal flaw, and that worries me. But I’ll be okay for now. I haven’t self-combusted today, I haven’t run out of peanut butter, I haven’t been hit by a car…
And I suppose that kind of makes me worry a little less… Then I realise I’ve started a sentence with the word and. In a way, that’s kind of beautiful.