when i first moved to hawaii after college, there was a week-long period of time i was alone. my boyfriend at the time flew back to california after helping me get settled and my best friend wasn't joining me until the end of the month. i had no television, no friends, no phone, no car. i slept on a foam mattress and all of my belongings fit into one suitcase and one travel chest. i landed a job at a nearby restaurant but wasn't going to start for another week. i envisioned myself walking along the coast of the pacific ocean, the wind caressing my skin, my hair golden. skin kissed.
i couldn't leave the apartment. i was fucking terrified. i read the only two books i had with me. twice. i smoked cigarettes. i wrote in my journal. i listened to music with intensity.
on the third day, i showered and got dressed. forced myself to walk to the local drugstore. i wandered the aisles, my feet bruised, my eyes darting. i focused on my breathing, counting to ten with each inhale and exhale. i pretended to look at makeup, lotion, pens. i picked up a soda. walked around with it. put it back. decided on a candy bar. some nail polish. i wondered if the people around me could smell my fear. i bought deodorant. once home, i ran back up the stairs to the apartment. locked myself inside and lit incense and put on some stevie wonder.
as i painted my toes later that night, i felt brave.
i am not a 'bull by the horns' kind of lady.
sometimes i think i am going to look back at large portions of my life and wonder what the hell i was so afraid of, exactly.
this is why i submitted to be a part of 'expressing motherhood.' why i forced myself to not back out once they invited me to join them for this show. i didn't want to wonder what i was afraid of this time. i wanted to be able to identify it properly. what i didn't expect was the run-off. the thin, iridescent bubble of motherhood is a common denominator, of course. but the women involved in this production are more than that. i feel a sense of kinship that only happens when you put yourself out there for people to see. when you don't hide from the sun. i feel as though i am worthy of it. i didn't expect that.
monday, after a full weekend of shows, i walked to the drugstore. (well, metaphorically.) i took the kids to the natural history museum to meet an old friend who works there. she gave us a guided tour. and we walked next door. had lunch in the rose garden. wandered around california science center. we even braved the spider pavilion. (sweetjesus. all finn's idea. not mine.)
i am afraid of so many things. and i worry that my fears will trickle down my arms and land in my childrens' laps and they will swallow them whole.
strange that it took a combination of standing in front of a room full of strangers and a giant building full of taxidermied animals to expand the boundaries of my comfort zone.
strange that those boundaries know how to expand at all.
there are four more shows. next weekend. tickets are available here.