Well, it’s been a while. There’s been a lot going on: in my world and in the big, wide, real world. I’ve written recently. I’ve written a lot. The writing’s been heavy. It’s been sad and difficult for me to read myself and be inspired, let alone expect others to read it and be interested in it. As Bob Dylan would say:

“Oh the times they are a changing.”

I love singer/songwriters. Whether their voices are stunning or stoney, one can derive the real, true, heart-wrenching or elation-inducing meaning that was intended when the structure of that song was poured onto the page. As Bob’s gravel-y voice explains, MY times are changing.

I’m about to embark on some new adventures. Effective Christmas Day, my little thoughts in the big city will no longer come to life while chasing the sunrises and sunsets in the Greater Cincinnati area. And guess what? I’m nervous.

I think about how time can change the varied scraps of life that, when sewn together, create the patchwork quilt of your life. The stack of squares at the start of your life can change by the time you get around to attaching them to where they belong. Some scraps made of the same fabric may come up in your stack over and over but appear in different rows, different shapes and sizes and may have faded. The recurring scraps, things like emotions, are those things that you experience throughout your whole life. On tonight’s run, days before I’m about to embark on a collection of journeys that will change the course of my life forever, the scraps of life representing my, “nervous,” grabbed my attention.

As a little tyke, I was nervous about things like whether Santa would know I was at my Pop and Grammy’s house for Christmas or if he would think I was still at my Mom’s house. I was nervous about if I was going to remember to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day because I didn’t like getting pinched at school. I was nervous about Track and Field day at school and if it was going to be postponed AGAIN because it was raining.

Nerves changed over the years and by the time I got to high school, nervous looked completely differently. I was nervous I wasn’t going to get asked to the dance. I was nervous about every track and cross country event. I was nervous I was going to ever get anything less than an, “A.”

A couple of quilting rows later, I was nervous about getting “that job.” I was nervous about becoming the power of attorney for my Grammy and selling her house, car and stocks to pay for her nursing home. I was nervous about being nervous.

On my run tonight, I found myself in a new place. Previously, nervous always seemed to synonymously exist with fear. I’d never processed this. After getting some beautiful words of wisdom from some much-loved advisors and benefitting from the clarity of a long cold run, I’ve decided the fabric that makes up my nervous will no longer be blue with fear. This nervous is an exciting orange. I refuse to allow the opportunities presenting themselves to me to be tainted in any way by fear.

My take away? I’m nervous for the success I’ll achieve but I’m not fearful to learn the lessons from my failures. I’m nervous for the people I’ll meet. I’m nervous to spend time and live with those I already know yet still have a great deal to learn about. I’m nervous to be completely vulnerable but I’m not fearful because I know what an amazing relationship will come from complete and utter transparency. I’m nervous at how quickly things seem to move when they’re exactly what’s supposed to happen but I’m not fearful because, as someone told me today, this happiness is just what I deserve and what I’ve always wanted.

My resolve? Be nervous as much as I want but leave the fear far away from the thing it can destroy: my happiness. And when I find myself afraid? That’s when I’ll rely on those who truly love me to remind me that I’m not really afraid. I’m just nervous for the adventure about to begin.

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