Thursday, August 22, 2013

Friend Bugs

I realized something about myself since moving to the Hobbit Hole. I really am a city girl. I was on the phone with my dad a few days ago, and I was sitting outside in our lovely green backyard, and every time a spider or bug crawled on me, I squealed right into the phone. This occurred probably ten times. In the studio back in Santa Barbara, that maybe would have happened once, and I did see some crazy spiders there (including a green furry one).

Dad told me, quite sagely, that I was going to have to get to know the bugs, and let them get to know me.

A few days after that, I found myself outside. I had been in the Hole shopping for bed frames and yoga mats and under bed storage, and just found myself getting claustrophobic. It was dark inside, because it was an overcast day, and I was sick of being plugged into the computer. I practically ran outside.

Although it was a healthy move, I realized that I had allowed the overcast day to really dampen my mood. I allowed the darkness to overwhelm me, and felt fear and inadequacy: fear that I won't find a job, and at a loss on how to design a perfectly cozy yet inexpensive although surprisingly chic Hobbit Hole. Pinterest is supposed to inspire creativity, but at that moment all it did was encourage the feeling that other people are vastly more creative than me. I typically create words, not rooms. One DIY project is a big deal to me (which is why I write about them on the blog when they happen!). So I wasn't feeling my best, which led me to be the less than positive person who dashed outside, soul gasping for fresh air.

A good place to breathe...the pathway to the second part of our backyard.
Enter the bugs. I meandered to our second little backyard and sat in a plastic chair at a plastic table, and on this table was a bug unlike any bug I'd ever seen. His antennae were longer than his body. His head was a lovely russet, his body a translucent cream over black. He crawled around the table, stopping at intervals to flutter his antennae, and I checked wildly for wings because I was afraid of him. As I found the dreaded wings but remained transfixed by this strange creature, I realized, why would he fly up into my face, as I expect him to, save maybe for the sake of curiosity? He wasn't going to hurt me. He looked like he had stingers, but I wasn't disturbing him, so he wouldn't have used them on me. He was, as I used to tell my preschoolers, a friend bug.

Then, as I was writing this very post, a bug crept out from underneath the table, right above my dress. It was lime green and yellow with an orange and black design around the edges, and although it was maybe the size of a dime, I was startled. Just when you think you know the world, a lime green bug appears!

The lime green friend bug.

As I cringed away from the friend bugs, I remembered that my preschoolers often didn't have all the fears I have. Oh, they may have shrieked at a spider or two, but find a strange bug or lizard outside and all their faces would crowd around, as close to the insect as possible. They were inquisitive rather than frightened when face to face with an unusual, unpredictable bug.

Fear is what was holding me back from enjoying myself that day. It's the only thing that holds me back from getting a job, not a lack of qualifications, as I usually try to convince myself. Just today I got a rejection letter that said they were impressed by my qualifications. Fear is all that holds me back from experiencing these new bugs and new places. 

Yet it's easy to state a realization and harder to act on it. All I know is that if I allow myself, I could get mired in the fear.

Maybe when I feel fear creeping up on me, I should remember the friend bug, and that rather than be filled with fear, it's better to be filled with wonder.

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