September 17, 2013
My mother had severe anxiety disorder. Diagnosed. Verifiable. Psychiatric level.
She'd sit in the living room, what iffing life as it passed her by out the window. What if that check doesn't come? What if that bill is high this year? What if I can't go? What if it snows that day?
My 16-year old go-to response was always, “Mom, everything's going to work out. Everything always does in the end. Don't worry.”
And at the time, I truly believed it. Whether out of necessity or naiveté, every tattered piece of my teenage heart believed it. I had to believe it. Believing it was our only hope. I was a cross-that-bridge-when-you-come-to-it kinda gal, razored deep with faith. Probably my only faith.
But then, of course, as the years went on and the disappointments stacked up–death, money, betrayals, life–I became bitter. Hostile. Hardened.
I saw first hand that sometimes things don't work out. Sometimes faith has an affair and walks right the fuck out on you. And sometimes, you can't simply cross any ridiculously proverbial bridges “when you come to them,” because the path you're on is so uncharted, a bridge doesn't even exist.
During those times, those moments, those years, I would lie awake and try to convince myself of my former ideals. Everything's going to work out. Everything always does in the end. Everything's going to work out. Everything always does in the end.
But somehow, it wasn't the same.
Somehow, I had stopped believing it.
And this is the moment in the story when I take a puff of my pipe and casually pull a wrinkly newspaper from a crevice in my brown leather couch. The date reads October 2010.
Headline: Foolish girl sells car, takes meager savings in approximate amount of zero dollars and four cents, and randomly flies to the country of Chile to start life anew. (Remember that?)
Okay, so the headline didn't say that, because there was no headline, because there was no newspaper, but just GO WITH ME HERE.
In October 2010 I had had enough. Enough of the fears. Enough of the what ifs. Enough of the disappointments. I would not watch life pass me by from the other side of the window.
And it was the year that followed, as I explored a country that wasn't my own, building my life–and a new business–when I realized what the caveat was.
Everything's going to work out. Everything always does in the end. …when you stop waiting for someone to build you a bridge, and figure out a way to build your own motherloving bridge, instead.
Because things don't just work themselves out.
Nothing naturally falls into place. (Not even toupees, you guys.)
And we can't bet our lives on “what will be, will be.”
The trick is that you can't have faith in the universe, because the universe is an unfaithful brat, and that Secret guy can send me ALL THE HATE MAIL HE WANTS.
Because the only thing you can have faith in?
Scratch that–MUST have faith in.
Isn't your ability to cross any bridge,
but your ability to build one.