I was reading through my journal the other day and found an entry that was a bit different than the rest. Instead of being in first person from my point of view, I found an interesting narrative. As I read, I remembered what it was meant to be. My anxiety vs my optimism. I often have conversations like these where I try to figure out exactly how I feel about a situation. Will my fear outweigh my excitement? Will I back down because of my anxiety? Or will I push through, hoping to find the beauty in the pain or terror.
“Have you ever driven in a thunderstorm before?” She asked me. We lay on our backs looking up at the clouds. Of course I had, so I nodded. She looked at me, expecting me to elaborate, but I didn’t want to. I knew she wouldn’t want to hear about my white-knuckled terror as I drove down a winding canyon, or my near death experience of hydroplaning. I nodded again. “Yup. I have.” I prayed she wouldn’t ask for more. “Isn’t it just beautiful?” She spread her arms and legs out in a wide stretch. “All of that light and color and sound. It’s so much more beautiful when you are out in the middle of it.” She gave a happy sigh. “Is it?” I asked, astonished. I expected optimism from her but how could she find the possibility of death so inviting? Every moment contained a threat of lightning barreling into your vehicle, or a car veering into yours on the road. “It’s magic what the water does to the road,” She continued, “It turns it into a fuzzy mirror. All the lights from the cars and signs and billboards get reflected off of the road. IT becomes a blurry mess like a watercolor painting in real life. And then the lightning lights up the sky and pulled the mountains out in the silhouettes and it’s just beautiful. And the sound of the rain starting and stopping around overpasses and the mixture of lights from the city. I love it.” She turned on her side and looked at me then. “You really don’t see any of that, do you?” She frowned. I shook my head. “I wish you could see things the way I do. Then maybe you would stop being afraid of the world and you would start to live.” She turned back towards the sky, leaving me to my thoughts.