Saturday, September 21, 2013

I will dare

I'm a different kind of tired. Usually, these days, I am tired because I am tired- because I have worked a long shift, been awake for too long, have been running around the hospital, have been writing notes and answering pages. That kind of tired, it's an easy kind of tired in a way. All it takes is a little rest, a little sleep, and for the most part, it goes away.

This is not that. I am the kind of tired that involves waking up at 3 am in a panic, that involves never feeling quite well-rested, that involves a churning sensation in the stomach, a steady state of anxiety. There's a fatigue that comes with that. The constant nerves eventually translate to pure exhaustion, but not the kind that can be relieved by sleep alone.

I'm so close, I'm so close I'm afraid to even name it, I'm afraid to want it. I want it that badly that I'm afraid to say it out loud. Does that make any sense?

That's the kind of pit in my gut that I've been grappling with this week. Yesterday, I had my first interview, and it should have been the easiest, but it was actually the one which worried me most, because, again, it has to do with wanting, and being afraid to want, and of course, at the end of it all (and haven't we all felt this at one time or another?) the fear of not being good enough. It had gotten to a fever pitch the night before, and I was nearing hysteria. I was bouncing around the house unsure what to do with myself.

I could have prepared in the traditional way. I could have read through my CV, reviewed possible questions I could be asked, all the things they say you should do. But I'm not so sure that would have done anything to help, not for me, and my miswired brain, my weird way of coping. So instead, last night, when I really felt my fears bubbling past the surface, threatening to boil, I decided to just face a completely different fear instead-- the terror of homemade pasta.

It is ridiculous, I am aware. But when you distill it down, the fear of making pasta from scratch is really just as ludicrous and just as justified as most of my other fears. My fears regarding pasta are many. Do I have the necessary ingredients- do I have what it takes? Do I have the necessary tools? How will I know if it is right? Will it form, will it all come together? And the biggest fear of all-- will it be any good?

This recipe had coincidentally been posted that allayed a lot of my fears, as orecchiette does not require a pasta maker. Don't get me wrong. I have wanted a pasta maker, have I ever, but I haven't been able to justify getting one when I don't even know how to make pasta. I divided the recipe by 8, because this was just a test batch. This was for therapeutic purpose, strictly. And while I kneaded the dough and then tried to make the coins curl into pasta, everything within me focused on that. I calmed down.

So maybe I won't get what I want. Maybe nothing will work out. Maybe I'll continue to bash my head against the proverbial brick wall. But not all endeavors end in failure. As evidenced by the orecchiette. Was it perfect? No, not even vaguely. However, it tasted good, and I knew what I needed to do to make it better next time. And in short, I was no longer afraid.

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