Faith. Hope. Charity.
As this year draws to a close, those three words come to mind. They represent my best self, not my base self. Not the woman who laments and procrastinates. Who curses and cries and says cruel things. Who allows herself to be swept into the maelstroms of other people’s lives. Who is so often swallowed by self-recrimination and doubt. Who reacts– carelessly, needlessly, and without consideration. Who yearns for something other than, whilst failing to appreciate what she already has.
My base self began this year drenched in a flop-sweat of fear. It’s ending in a fit of painful coughing. Good health is paramount but, until it was taken from me–dangled on a stick just out of reach–I didn’t cherish it. Even so, I was lucky. The cancer is gone and this–bad cold or flu or some crazy combination of the two–won’t last.
I just need to wait it out.
That was my mantra for much of 2014: Wait. For test results and diagnoses. For fear to leave me, and pain to go away. For a decent bowel movement. For good health to return to me. For agents and editors to get back to me. For my novel(s) to be published, right? Because I am, for all intents and purposes, a writer who wants to be a published writer. I need that. I yearn for it. . .
“. . .wherever I was, I wanted to be somewhere else. And, I always saw myself, wherever I was in life, staring out the window.”
― Angelina Jolie
I know what she means. I recognize that yearning. But here I am, in this place at this moment. Maybe right now is where I need to be.
Faith, hope and charity, right? Okay then, I shall try to keep the faith, small that it is, smaller than a mustard seed, even. I shall endeavor to keep my little ember of hope burning bright, safe in the palm of my hand, protected from ill winds and harsh reality and sodden disappointment. I shall try to remember how much I have already; how much there is to be thankful for.
In other words, I shall try to be my better self, if not my best, even on days such as this, when I feel physically vulnerable and adrift in a sea of melancholia, keenly aware of another year unpublished, and nearly passed. Especially, perhaps, on days like this.
None of us knows what the future holds for us, what life has in store for us and so, in this moment, I shall wait. And as I wait, I shall be grateful for what is, blow my nose and dream of better things.