A Message from the Scary Dark

Change is hard, and sometimes it is hard on those around you. Recently I’ve made a lot of changes, and my life looks quite different than it did a year ago. Those that know me start to wonder if they really know me. I’ve had some tough questions come up from those I love. “Do I think that I am better than them because I am taking a different path? Maybe I am just trying to cover over loss or run from something? Why do I even write anyway? Am I maybe a little bit crazy right now, quitting a good job to follow…question mark?”

When I made these decisions to uproot the familiar and follow a life goal, I was shaking in my boots. Today, if I think too hard and follow the rabbit hole of “what if” and “what did I do?”…I get scared. When people I love start to question what is going on, I start to question myself. That inner critic of mine, it gets all fired up and starts to rage again.

Maybe I am a little crazy. Maybe I should just go back to what I know. Maybe I have absolutely nothing of value to say.

So I started not to write. I got down. I didn’t want to be vulnerable again. To put my crap out there and then hope to still be accepted. To think that maybe someone out there could relate. It’s scary. And when I get scared I want to quit. To just throw up my hands and run away.

But then this small still voice, it started speaking from my soul as I lay worrying in the dark last night. “Switch on your light. Write.” And then again. “Write Jessica, you are not the only one that needs to hear this.” So here goes; here is what I wrote to myself.

Some of you, are thinking of making a change. You are worried how it might be received. Be brave. You are not alone.

Some of you want to quit something that is uncomfortable right now. Yet it is where you are supposed to be. There are times of comfort and times of pain. Annie Downs’ (Looking for Lovely) reflects,

            “I’ve never been good at looking past my current pain

            or suffering and trusting that it will pay off in the future. I

            think the road has always seemed too long. So when

            a situation feels painful or scary or hard, I want out.”

Don’t quit. Rain can bring flowers. (I say to myself in the mirror).

Again, you are not alone.

Some of you are comparing yourself to others. To unattainable false magazine images, to people that are happily married, to people that are independent, to people that have a great job, to people that don’t have a job, to people with perfect kids, to people with no kids, to people that are younger, to people that are more mature. Don’t let others, media, or even the all knowing Facebook tell you who you are, what you need, or what you are missing. Know that you are made exactly how you should be. You are on a journey along with the rest of us. You are designed, and it is GOOD. Some of you are ignoring that, ignoring who you are…to meet some standard. You are cramming yourself into a tiny proverbial box. YOU are so much more. Hear it again. YOU are GOOD!

Explore your life. Don’t be chained to expectations, others or your own. Be free to stay where you are scared; be free to try something new. When others doubt you, use it as fire to light up your darkest places. Face those places and don’t be afraid of what’s there. Don’t hide, even from yourself. And don’t be silent out of fear.

We are growing, each at our own speed. We all make blunders. SO WHAT?! Those that love you, will stick by you. Those that don’t, love them anyway. Because we are human, and complicated, and on different paths that intersect. Be grateful for those intersections and realize that happenstance is a beautiful and scary design.

So, my answer is…“Yes, I might be a little crazy. But deep down, maybe we all got a lil’ crazy in us. I love the crazy. Because that’s where life gets interesting.”

Written By

New Yorker, photographer, blogger, and life time dreamer.

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