7 May

“When I look back on all these worries, img_2382I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”

–Winston Churchill

You’d think that I would have learned my lesson after all these years. But I haven’t. I still wake up in the middle of the night, riddled with worry about the things that I have little control over. My go-to worry is usually about money—that’s there never enough of it—though compared to the rest of the world, my standard of living is in the top one percent. I worry about our house being eaten by termites. I worry about my weight and my health. I worry about politics (who doesn’t?) I worry about my kids, my husband and my aging mother. I worry that I’ll never find an agent for my book—that people are sick to death hearing about me and my dumb novel and how I can’t find an agent who loves it enough to sign me.

I worry that I’m not a good enough writer.

I lived with some form of worry my entire life, most of it pointless. Almost eleven years ago, my worry turned to terror when our daughter, Isa was diagnosed with cancer. Now, that was truly something to worry about. And boy, did I ever get good at it. For almost three years, I carried a tight ball of fear in my gut that never went away, not even for a moment. And when it was all over and Isa was cured, the worry slowly began to dissipate. I was left with this incredible sense of relief. Everything was sweeter and brighter and more joyful. I began to practice feeling grateful.

I stopped worrying and I found my passion.

I began to write.

And I’ve kept at it. Over the past six years, I’ve written 135 blog posts, published two essays (in actual magazines) and even earned $75 for one of them. I’ve managed to send out my annual Holiday newsletter. Every. Single. Frickin. Year. I’ve become friends with many amazing writers (virtually and in person.) And I wrote an entire novel, which most of the time I think is pretty good if I’m feeling generous toward myself.

But in the process of following my literary bliss (and the subsequent rejection I’ve faced with my efforts of trying to get published) I’ve allowed the worry to come back. I began practicing self-doubt instead of self-appreciation. I’d forgotten that what’s important is the path, not the destination (trite, but true.) I’ve been so focused on getting to the end of my journey that I haven’t allowed myself to enjoy all the beautiful things in my periphery along the way.

The worry attached herself again. She’s kept me up at night with her tortuous ways.

Eleven years ago, she held onto me so tightly that I could barely breathe. I learned to beat her back. And I’ll do it again. She’s a tough one, but I’m tougher.

Bring it on, Bitch.

13 Responses to “Worry”

  1. Sadah May 7, 2018 at 2:43 pm #

    Great piece.

    • Allegro non tanto May 7, 2018 at 9:27 pm #

      Thank you ever so kindly!

      • Sadah May 7, 2018 at 10:47 pm #

        Would you like to share your content on our open blogging social website?

  2. Jayne Martin May 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm #

    Forget about the agent. There are soooo many good presses that will consider writers who don’t have an agent. Tons. Just go for it. 🙂

    • Allegro non tanto May 7, 2018 at 9:28 pm #

      Ugh. I keep wanting to try to do it the traditional way, but as time goes by, I’m getting to the point where I must look into other presses. I’d appreciate any suggestions you may have!

  3. Liz May 7, 2018 at 4:20 pm #

    Jessica, you are tough, one amazing badass in the best possible way! You shall prevail! ❤

  4. Elaine Smith May 7, 2018 at 4:33 pm #

    I am a huge fan of YOU, your many talents, , and now your writing, Jessie. I look forward 😍 to everything you send out to us.

  5. Becky May 12, 2018 at 11:20 pm #

    I hear ya! It’s hard not to worry about life’s innumerable challenges, but worrying about your writing is something you can take off your plate. You are an excellent writer, whether you find a traditional publisher for your novel or not. I hope you know deep in your gut that you have what it takes, that your words are powerful, and that you WILL be published. You may have to keep digging to make it happen, but it will happen. This writing life is definitely not for sissies, and lord knows, you are no sissy! Full speed ahead, my friend! 🙂

  6. melissa May 21, 2018 at 9:23 pm #

    Jessica — please, keep writing! Keep believing in yourself! Remember that worry is the opposite of faith, and I so understand where you’re coming from, but I have faith in you and I want you to have faith in your writing. So much about getting a book accepted isn’t even if the book is good or not. It’s who you know. You will find an agent, I’m sure of it. I’ve been gone from the blogging world for a while, so I’m not up to speed with what you’ve done so far. But have you gone to any writer’s conferences? The best connections I ever made with agents was when I was a board member for a local writing organization. Showing an agent that you can devote your time to things like that means that you are serious about your writing and — who knows? It may turn the tables for you. For now, keep on believing!

    • Allegro non tanto May 22, 2018 at 10:11 pm #

      Thank you, Melissa. Your encouragement means so much. I will keep on believing!

  7. Laurie Connolly Braun August 30, 2018 at 7:43 am #

    This.is.so.good. Carry on! Can’t wait to see what you write next. 👍🏽🎈

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