I am afraid of the tremulous weight of my own existence. What it means to exist; what responsibility is placed upon my shoulders by the sheer happenstance of my birth. My whole life I have followed maxims to do no harm and to strive to be good, and in my interpretation of truisms I apologize for taking up space. I apologize that I exist.
To put my words out on the internet is surely vanity of the highest order. How pretentious must I be, to imagine my words have merit enough to warrant being read by another. In my quest to be a good soul I keep the majority of my thoughts to myself and go through life in a manner that is as silent and unobtrusive as I can manage.
I am in awe of those who take up space. I am in their shadows. That another person can write, “Check out my latest blog post here!” and assume that others, of course, will want to read it. I wonder at the confidence these men and women possess. They shine like radiant stars, and as I glance at disheveled scribbles and half-hatched blog ideas, I know that I will never be like them.
But I am not without my own merit. This, I am sure of. This quiet heart that beats inside me and loves so hard, and dreams in beauty; she has a voice. It is a little voice, but when I listen, very closely, I can hear her.
She says: “Why are you afraid of living?” And she asks, “Aren’t you tired, of being so afraid?”
I am afraid of existing. I am afraid of the terrible responsibility to do something meaningful with the time I have been given – time that is always running from me, leaving me blinking in surprise. Was I not a child, just a moment ago? How am I so suddenly grown? How am I so suddenly tasked with the herculean quest for purpose and meaning; and the awful responsibility of making a difference, and leaving this world somehow better than I found it?
It is probably better to leave it to the others. The people with louder voices and more certainty. They will only step on my little heart if she gets in their way, after all. I am more afraid of being stepped on, than I am of wasting this life, I suppose. Ah – but then I get stepped on anyway, because I can’t help but take up space. No matter how hard I try, I can’t keep myself from existing.
Well, if it is going to happen anyway… maybe the point isn’t to be like the others.
Maybe it’s just to find a way to be okay with the fact of my own existence… which undoubtedly will mean stepping on others without meaning to, as I take up space. Which undoubtedly means subscribing to the fact that I can’t always do no harm. I can’t live a life without mistakes.
And so: here are my words on the internet. They are not very life-changing or noble. But they are my words, and if you happen to read them, I hope you receive them as my heart reaching across the internet to say “Hello” to yours. Hello, and it is nice to meet you. Please take up space in your day, and don’t be afraid. You are not here to be the same as everybody else, either.