As part of my participation in My 500 words, I am posting what I write each day.
I’ve spend the past three days talking about my life and the history of all the jobs I’ve held. The prompt that I got three days ago was to write what I was afraid of. I had something on my mind and I got right to work. The thing is that I allow for less than an hour each morning to write. 500 words takes less than an hour. So each morning I would pass the 500 word mark, then get to a good stopping place and leave off until the next day. Three days about fear? Am I really that much of a worrier? I didn’t think so.
I concluded yesterday in the present day with a description of how my life is now. It might be a bit obvious what I’m afraid of already without me saying it. My life is comfortable right now, but I have all my eggs in one basket so to speak. My home is dependent on me having this job. Part of my salary includes this home. The tenant in my mobile pays very low rent because of that. Maybe it’s bad business, but I hope to keep her this way.
I don’t have any real marketable skills. I’ve taught school and I’m pretty good at it, but I don’t have any credentials. I’m a good fiction writer, but that won’t put food on the table. It feels like everything I have is reliant on me holding this job.
Do I feel my job is in jeopardy at all? No. But I still get anxious. I lost two jobs in a row in 2003 and 2007. And while there were warning signs for both of those times, I denied them. So am I living in denial now? I don’t know, I’m a much healthier person today than I was.
So what are you afraid of, David? I didn’t have to ponder this question for very long when it was a writing prompt earlier this week. Once in a while my imagination goes too far and begins to cook up worst-case scenarios. I try not to dwell on them, but they won’t leave me alone, following me like a case of distracting hiccups that interfere with everything. So when I got the prompt, I thought about how afraid I was of losing my job.
We would have to get rid of most of our pets, all the chickens and the big dog at least. We would have to get rid of most of our furniture. We had no room for couches in the mobile home. My wife and I would both have to go to work, and we might not be able to homeschool our kids anymore. That’s just a start. The worst things in the world really compound after that.
But over the past three days I’ve kept up at work. Done my job, said hi to coworkers, and done well at what I do. Tuesday morning when I got this prompt my fear was tangible, but after a few days not so much. I tried not to dwell on it as much, instead, I wrote out a long explanation of how I felt. By the end, my fear was vaporous.
I’m done writing about what I’m afraid of, at least this way. In the future, fear will take its rightful place in my writing, in fiction. I’ve got a week before NaNoWriMo and that’s what I want to be dwelling on instead.
Get behind me, fear. You’re just vapor.