My last few weeks have been filled with uncertainty. Icky, unsettling uncertainty.
There’s a chance I may lose my job. About 10% of us will. At the moment I am not terribly worried about it – our managers seem to think our group will be spared – with the exception of occasional pangs of panic when the implications of that what-if hit me. We have some savings, I have some marketable skills, but we also have a Vancouver-sized mortgage and an unfriendly job-market. I should find out in the next few weeks whether I might be affected.
My mom was pretty sick recently. She came down with a severe case of pneumonia and spent five days in the hospital being pumped full of antibiotics. Across the world from me. She came through all right and is recuperating at home now – by herself. It’s all a rather harsh reminder that I can’t be there to help her when she needs it. And that’s not going to change in the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, I keep waiting for my eyes to heal, each day assessing my progress and wondering where I’ll end up. There’s a very good chance I’ll get 20/20 or better vision (I’m pretty close now) and the doctor says I’m healing well but I can’t help but worry just a little now and again. It’s my vision after all.
I’m not here for a pity party because this is all rather normal. Unfortunately none of us can be all that certain about our jobs, our health, or our loved ones’ health.
But we like to pretend we can.
In fact I think we have to to get out of bed in the morning. The world is too scary otherwise. We create a bubble around our lives that we pretend we can control; if I just buy my insurance and look both ways before crossing the street and dedicate one hour each day to thinking through all the terrible things that could happen in order to prevent them from happening I’ll be fine. The world won’t get me.
Those moments when you glimpse your true vulnerability – when it sneaks past the intricate psychological barriers your brain has been building up since you first realized your parents don’t control the entire universe – are bone-chillingly terrifying. And then you rush to close your eyes before that image is burned into your mind’s eye forever and you stop being able to laugh till you pee a little at stuff like this.