Day 16: Challenges

When I was a kid my mum made this rule that if my sister or I had a friend over, we would both have a friend or some mix of friends to make it an even number. She started this because if only one sister had a friend over, someone from the group was left out and would end up upset, left out, angry, or crying.

For a long time, until my mid 20’s, I would never do things in threes. Even the simplest things like eating nuggets, buying things, or actions I had to repeat, it was almost always two or four. I was conscious of it daily. I’d hold back on eating something if it made it three or I’d have two more to make it four. I hated things in three, I avoided it wherever I could.

When I was 18, I dated a guy for two years and three was his baseball number, I tried to like the number but it was never going to work out. I carried my fear of three (Triskaphobia) until I was about 26 and then one day, I decided to stop.

My grandad always said 13 was lucky and one day I made a tattoo appt for Friday the 13th. I had drawn it on paper, sixteen evenly placed dots to go on my left forearm. Eight dots of two different custom shades of green, two by two, in a pattern around my arm like a beaded bracelet. Sixteen, a square number, two times my birthday number 8, the fourth power of two.

Since that Friday the 13th, I have been tattooed on that day a bunch of times. This month, Friday the 13th was my last day out and about in the world before isolation diary started. Today was our first full day up at the cottage with Sean’s daughter and I felt that fear of three sneaking back in like when I was a kid.

Today was challenging. I am finding it hard to stay calm and positive. As much as I am outgoing and fun, I crave order and structure. Dealing with this pandemic is challenging. Being an entrepreneur, a partner, a parent, they’re all tough jobs and they’re even harder right now. Also, being a pre-teen girl and living with one has its challenges. Living in the age of the internet comes with challenges. Living through a global pandemic where nobody really knows what going on, while isolated, has a lot of challenges. Trying to stay calm and not freak the F out right now is challenging.

We are all in this together and we’re also all figuring out how to adjust on our own. I don’t know how to do this. I am trying. Behind the smiling selfies and colourful photos, there are challenges that I’m facing too.

Writing has always been there for me. It helps me deal with my feelings, to remember them, to learn, to move, change, and grow. I’ve been writing here for 15 years and never imagined I’d be documenting this situation that feels like a movie, but it’s not.

I feel a weighted blanket of anxiety on my chest and it’s heavy.

I went for a long walk in the woods, to the end of the road, then a bit further. It was eerie and quiet. The only sound was nature, moving and melting. I was about 1.5k from home when it started raining, so I turned back, and let the rain wash over me.

I don’t know how long this will last, how the world will change, or if anything will go back to the normal we used to know.

I do know that tomorrow is a new day. I am responsible for facing my fears and challenges, just like I did with the 16 evenly spaced dots on my left arm, that one Friday the 13th.

We will get through this.