Thursday, May 30, 2013

Between The Rain

After an incredibly long, cold winter, we are now having a long, cold, rainy spring. Everyone complains about the weather. In truth, though, the only thing you can do is rush outside the moment the rain stops, bundled up in your autumn attire, and enjoy every bit of sunshine and fresh air you can get. Rafael digs in the dirt, sifts through stones, blows bubbles, and kicks his soccor ball around the wet lawn until his sneakers are soaked through. I bring him hot chocolate and sip mugs of tea while he watches the children scurry and shout in the playground beside our yard. It's actually his favorite thing to do at the moment: watch other children play. It keeps him occupied for long stretches of time. 

My life, full of good fortune, but also, lately, hardship. Maybe that's why I don't write here often. It's a strange tightrope bloggers walk. Sharing of themselves, but not too much. Keeping some intimate things private. At least, that's how I feel about it. 

In some way, I wish I could write about it all, because writing has always helped me clarify my own thoughts and feelings. Also because I know that many of you would be able to relate, and then we might feel a little less alone in our struggles. We could hold hands and exchange words of comfort and support.

But, everything published here is so permanent. I remember going through a storage box and finding my journals from highschool, and rolling my eyes while reading them, thinking what a silly girl I was back then. I wouldn't want my highschool journals published, and I don't think I want the gritty details of my life now published here, either.

I can however tell you that, through a series of recent events, I have realized I am a person filled with fear of so many, many things. Fear of making irreparable mistakes. Fear of small spaces. Fear of ending up a struggling single mother. Fear of driving. Fear of making a fool of myself. Fear of betrayal. Fear of failing to be the mother my son needs and deserves. Fear of finding out that everything I believe is a lie. Fear of not living up to my potential. Of spending my old age filled with regret.

All of these fears are deeply-rooted and most of the time they dwell unseen in the dark, and manifest themselves in bouts of defensiveness and nervousness. These fears effect my daily life, and my relationships. 

It's easy to make big statements and promises to yourself about not letting fear rule your life. But a lot of the time, you only realize you were acting out of fear after the situation has passed. 

Something else I want to tell you is that, taking yourself (and what you know about yourself) seriously is important. Recently someone laughed off my in-flight panic attack, and it made me think quite a while about how different we all are, with our strengths and weaknesses...with our baggage. Yes, there are other people who can do many things without an ounce of fear that would have me paralyzed with fear. Some things which feel impossible to me come easily to others. I have a unique history, the story of my life with all of it's pain and beauty is embedded within, and it has formed who I am today. I can accept some things, want to change others, and discover even more about myself along the way. But what I know I will do from now on is honor who I am, including all of my faults and weaknesses, and try not to compare myself to others. 



  1. Dear Dawn - I wish I knew you IRL - I would love to sit with you and listen and nod and give you a hug and probably pray with you. I am especially moved by the last part of this post about honoring who you are, flaws and all. Thank you for posting. Your son is adorable, by the way, and getting so big.

    Susan, a reader in chilly wet Zurich

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words, Susan.

  3. Fear of driving... check! Fear of making a fool of myself... check! Fear of struggling on my own... check!

    For me, my biggest fears are absolutely nothing to everyone else. Absolutely nothing. (Social anxiety, etc). Other people would actually think they were silly fears, but to me they're like traversing those large mountains in 'Lord of the Ring's' Middle Earth... and with a few sword-wielding Ringwraiths lurking around the corner. :p

    I have A LOT of fears, so please please PLEASE know that you're not alone.


  4. Dear Dawn ~ I have been following you for quite some time now. Watching you go through grief, then joy at the birth of little Raphael and watching him grow.

    I LOVE the picture of him with his Dad. That is oh so precious.

    "Fear is the mind-killer. It will pass but I (you) will remain". That is a quote I remember from the first of the Dune Trilogy books.

    I also am a fearful person, and know how that can bring you down. But, I have come to trust in God to work all things out and to take care of me and all of my concerns.

    You dear heart are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  5. dearest dawn, how i so wish we lived closer...i'd pop by and hand you a simple bouquet of lilacs filling a mason jar from my garden and give you a tell you, you are not alone...and cheer you on. keep being you!

    show yourself grace. pray for peace as you sleep. wake up, start fresh and show yourself grace again.
    and then only invite those who will do the same for you; towards you....
    into your life.

    i am learning this myself. i am a broken, broken soul FILLED with self-doubt, anxiety, worry and fears. BUT, i will forever work on myself, promise to have a teachable heart and not only ask for grace from those i love, but give it a little more freely too.

    then, i want to find and surround myself with other women 'warriors' and people that live a life encouraging each other in whatever paths we choose...whether they are similar or not.

    sending you love, energy and giant hugs & shouts of 'carry on warrior!' (from one of my favorite authors; glennon melton)...

  6. Hi Dawn, I wish we could talk. I find myself having so many of these thoughts myself. Although I may appear to be "highly functioning" on the outside, I certainly don't feel that way most days on the inside. It's hard to accept these things about myself. I could write all day but I wanted to share this video. Have you seen it? It cheers me up every time I watch it. And I think there's so much wisdom there. It works for me. I think of the things I like and it pushes "the scared" away. I hope you'll see it! I always come back to your space here because you are so honest and open. It's a good thing. Please stay strong and go easy on yourself!!! Sending hugs from Charlotte!

  7. Dear, dear Dawn! I would love to give you a hug just now! I have had some of the same fears throughout my life, and I am sure I am old enough to be your grandmother! I wish so much that I had some words to help allay your fears. Just know that I think about you and send you hugs!

    Marvelous pictures here! Wonderful experiences you are giving that precious boy!

    xo Nellie

  8. You are write that sometimes writing things out helps to clarify the picture - maybe not on this blog, but in your own private journal? It also forces you to stop and take time for yourself. I don't know you personally but through the lens of your camera you appear to be a very caring mother and thoughtful person. You are right we are all unique and it is hard not to compare, but everyday try to see yourself as your little boy sees you.

  9. You could also do an anonymous blog as well. I've thought of doing that once before, just to be able to vent without anyone I know possibly seeing it.

  10. Oh Dawn, you seem like such a lovely person and I hate to hear that you have all those fears. Fear is crippling. My mother was a nervous, anxious type and I saw what it did to her. She was a fearful driver (didn't drive until age 47) and she worried about many other things in life.

    I have spent many years of my life fighting the tendency to be fearful, and I am proud to say that I have overcome it. It takes a lot of work and effort, but with time, you too can overcome many of your fears. You must believe you can do it. I started by not worrying about the future, because much of it is out of our control. I also put myself in situations that I was afraid of, and gradually those situations were no longer scary. I am now a very happy, relaxed and balanced person who worries very rarely. I wish the same for you!

  11. It is okay to have fears as long as they do not consume you. About 15 years ago I became afraid to even leave my home. It came on suddenly and I realized I needed to do something or end up "crippled" by it. A patient counselor worked to help me, first by phone and then eventually got me to drive to see her (crying the whole way)and after about a year I became more confident and left my home and went places, joined a writing group, joined a church, got a job...people who have witnessed my growth say they are so proud of how far I have come. When my husband died in Nov, last year, I was afraid of becoming homeless, losing everything because he left nothing. But I have been so blessed. I do not think you need to fear being a single mother, as I believe you are a very loved woman. God will be there when needed. I know.

  12. Dear Dawn, I'm so sorry to hear this sadness in your voice. Pearls of Wisdom come to us after facing and surviving...sometimes one day at a time...all the curves thrown to us along life's path. In my experience, I equate 'fear' with lack of confidence in myself. And, if those significant people around me don't support me in my individuality, then my self-confidence seeps away. ...I know how hard it can be sometimes to remain true to yourself, when other voices are critical. Sending you my gratitude for what you've shared, and prayers that your heart will find comfort soon.
    Judy xxx in So. California

  13. Sweet friend,
    You are definitely not alone, we all have fears and anxieties, it is just that they are different for each of us. It is amazing how we often look at other people and their lives and think they have everything under control and they do things that you feel take courage or strength. In reality they too have struggles, they are just different to our own.
    Not comparing oneself to others is something I think many of us strive for. It is something that I battle with constantly, but I am sure it will lessen over time. Building self-confidence and self-belief is key, after that I think everything will fall into place and before you know it, fears you once had will no longer prevail.
    Take inspiration from your middle name and know that a little faith can go a very long way. I have faith in you and everything you do.

  14. "I have a unique history, the story of my life with all of it's pain and beauty is embedded within, and it has formed who I am today."

    That's so beautiful and true. When I have fears, of which I have many, I try to think of all the pain in life that I have already gone through. And I tell myself that I won't lose anything else to that pain. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I agree 100% with you about not comparing ourselves to others and knowing what we like, can tolerate, and what is too much for us. As I call it, being kind to ourselves. We strive to be kind to others, so why aren't we kind to ourselves?

    I have always wanted to tell you that you are a very talented writer and artist, very talented. I know that being a Mom is top priority for you (and I completely agree!), but I hope you find time to develop as a writer and artist. And that you are able to reap all the successes that it will bring you.


  15. After I had my first child, I started developing all sorts of fears, like crossing bridges in my car, driving roads in winter, getting lost, and I don't remember having these sorts of concerns. But for years my hub complained that I got too anxious over stuff and even went so far as to keep bad news from me because he didn't want me freaking out. (which, when I found out later, made me freak out with him so that was lose/lose). So after all these years, I'm reading an article by a doctor who says that dramatic hormonal changes after childbirth affect fear and anxiety levels in women. And I realized much of what I was experiencing was due to physical changes in my body. So I really do get how you feel and your confusion and fear of feeling all these mixed emotions. I've coped by a lot of self-talking down the problem. There aren't easy, pat answers for these emotions - I am not sure they are even wrong to feel - much of it probably stems from instinctual responses for protecting offspring that in our modern world we don't need as much. And being rejected when you express your fears happens sometimes because anxiety can be contagious and people just don't want to feel that way so they push it away. The thing is, it all falls in the 'normal feeling' spectrum. I've read about your life for a couple years and I find your work so interesting, creative and GOOD. You've been gifted with many talents and as you proceed in life I suspect you will be successful at any attempt you make whether it's personal, family or professional. Like anything, though, it's all about moving ahead one step at a time and being as gentle with yourself as you are with others.

  16. You remind me of me at one time in my life. Doubt is a huge underminer. You do know what is right and good, you know it in your heart, trust that you do. Everything will be fine if you follow your heart and be true to yourself. I'm afraid of lots of things. That's life. We just have to work around them! xoxo with love to you dearest Dawn.

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