Whether he goes by the name of doubt, fear, or some other moniker, we all have a negative voice burrowed in our head that reminds us of our limitations, be it intellectual, emotional, or physical. This voice tells us we aren’t good enough, we aren’t talented enough, skilled enough, strong enough, fast enough — we aren’t enough.
When we were little kids, I used to follow behind Robbie and Jeremiah—unbeknownst to them—as they made their way on foot to the pond in the woods off 727 in Phenix toward Red House way. They’d walk side-by-side with fishing reels in hand. I’d follow in the distance on my bike. As they set up to fish on the bank, pulling the black dirt covered worms from the styrofoam container and hooking them, I would watch from a distance at the tree line.
Hello, anxiety. I know you are there. You’re like an old friend come to see me again. You have been dormant for some time. I want to sleep but you do not want me to sleep. You want my chest heavy, my breath thick and shallow. But I will breathe light yet deeply. I will acknowledge you, but you will not nestle in my thoughts as my bedmate. Tonight, even if only an hour, I will sleep.
There’s a story blowing up my Facebook feed this afternoon. It’s called 10 Small Towns In Virginia Where You’d Never Want To Live, by Bud Tapman. On that list is my hometown of Phenix, Virginia. And since everyone I know in Phenix has yet to drive and park their car at the municipal building in an effort to pick up wifi internet from the library, I’ll have to step in and defend Phenix until they are able to read this shameful article.