I used to be so afraid of today.
I use the term ‘used to be’ like I’ve climbed a mountain, and I’m staring down at base camp. But sometimes, I feel like I’m still at base camp.
In truth, I am still afraid of today. And not because it’s a special day—although I know somewhere out there it is. Aside from the fact it’s the start of National Suicide Prevention week, today 360,000 babies will be born, the Earth is rotating on an invisible axis, and you breathed.
Breathing—even the heavy, painful kind, that comes after you have conquered the darkness, reminds me that each day is a miracle.
But that doesn’t change the fact that I am afraid of today.
I could blame my fear on lots of things. An anxiety disorder. OCD. Depression. (I went back to therapy this year and the wad of issues that came up could fuel the blame-game for a decade.)
But I think what it comes down to is this: I am afraid of today because I’m scared I’m not worthy of tomorrow.
I’ve been chasing tomorrow for a long time.
No one dreams bigger than I do—my heart is filled with hopes in foreign countries, and people I haven’t yet met. The hope that tomorrow could be better got me over the line when I was suicidal and gave me air when my heart broke in two. The possibility of tomorrow pushes me to create something new on the days my work is rejected, and reminds me to stay the course.
But when you keep chasing tomorrow, it inevitably becomes today. And the small miracles—the living, breathing kind—pass by in the wind. We forget that we have survived. We forget that we are more than what could be. We forget that we are alive.
I know what it’s like to have a heart so heavy you feel like you’re standing in quicksand. It makes it difficult to let yourself live for the here and now.
Sometimes my brain still feels like a ping-pong table. My anxiety propels an unlikely scenario into being, and some combination of my will power, medication and years of self-care desperately tries to intercept before OCD comes up to bat to kickstart a full-blown panic party.
I thought the best way to overcome the pain was to push through and plan ahead—sometimes that’s the only way to survive—but now I want to do more than survive. I want to live for today, not just tomorrow.
Even though fear screams that I am not worthy of goodness and hope, every sunrise reminds me that this is not true. Every night makes way for the promise of morning, and that means every breath I take is sacred.
So I’m going to try something new.
I’m going to live for today.
Because even though I am afraid, even though I make mistakes, even though my heart is heavy, I now know this truth: I make today better.
I am part of a universe of life that is ever connected and ever reliant on each character in its story. My love changes the lives of the people I meet. My breath fuels invisible forces that give life to trees that flourish and bloom, and my presence fills a unique void in time specially designed with me in mind.
If this is true, then I am certain: I make today better.
I want you to know this truth, too. Even if your body is rebelling against you, your mind is in chaos, and trauma has told you that you are too broken to be fixed—you make today better.
Someone said that fear is a liar. A lifetime of living shows me just that. So let’s chase the sunrise until our hearts are filled with the truth that we make today better.
Today, tomorrow, and with every breath to come. I promise—you make today better.