I feel so driven by fear. Fear of stagnation, fear of change. Fear or being here, fear of being there. Fear of losing control, fear of being just an observer, fear of being too much, fear of not being enough, fear of attention, fear of being forgotten, fear of the past, fear of the future. I don't know what I want though I have some idea of what I don't want. Breathe in, breathe out. Another day, another anxiety-filled day of worrying whether some minor mistake is going to cost me my job. Fidgeting with my outfit, regretting ever stepping out dressed that way. Oh, a call. And another and another and another. Client after client, sales call after sales call. Need a goddamn paper clip? Val's your girl. Yes, that's me, isn't it? The keeper of the office supplies, the provider of the fruit bowl, the guardian of the beloved coffee cups, the voice on the other end of the call. Do I want to be that person? Am I happy being that person? Does it matter whether or not I'm happy being that person? We all do things we don't want to do, right? Right? I want to change that. I'm going to change that. I need time. Baby steps, baby steps. I am tired. Far too tired for someone who is comfortable and has everything she needs. There are starving kids in Africa, Val. There's war in Syria. How dare you even complain. I'm far too tired for someone so young. You're too young to be tired. You've only been working for two years. You have a good 44 more years of that. Better settle in. I hate that. Settling. Ah, the phone again. Hello, thank you for calling. How may I direct your call? Click. Bye to you too. I don't know why I keep up with the news anymore, why I subject myself to all that. Politics, racism, shootings, war, debt, extrajudicial killings, crises, calamities, hatred. I can hardly deal with the turmoil inside my own head. It wasn't a bad day. I ate, I got enough sleep, I exercised, I did chores. I was productive. Yet I feel like crying myself to sleep. I feel like a cloth slowly unraveling at the seams and I have no explanation, no reason. It's not always like this, thank heavens. Some days are incandescently happy. Days when I forget there's so much I don't like about myself. Days I don't have to practice smiling in a mirror. Days when I'm reminded that there's so much beauty, so many wonderful people. Days that are effortless. I want more of those. I dream of more of those. I miss you. I miss home. Not the place...the feeling. I miss when I didn't know much of what I know now. Maybe, even a bit, I miss who I was then.