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Angie…. (ummm… so how come I always start my posts with Angie’s name? ummm…)

As a child, Angie used to spend her days and sometimes her nights thinking about how her life would be when she will grow up. When she was 8 or 9 years old, there was one picture or vision or dream that used to scare the hell of her, she would imagine her life at this stage, like the dawn waiting for the sun to come up. And sometimes she used to be so scared of the colors, the movement, the changes and the noise made by the sun that she would want to stand still and shake… It has been a while since she has thought of that dream.

A couple of hours ago, she read the following passage in a book she cherishes a lot.

“As a child, I grew up on a Missouri farm; and one day, while helping my mother pit cherries, I began to cry. My mother said, ” Dale, what in the world are you crying about?” I bubblered, “I am afraid I am going to be buried alive!”

“I was full of worries in those days. When thunderstorms came, I worried for fear I would be killed by lightning. When hard times came, I worried for fear we wouldn’t have enough to eat.”

Angie took a deep breath and thought to herself ( ummm… so how come Angie thinks so much? Don’t you think she should get out there and do something else instead of just “thinking”?) .. She took another deep breath and found herself thinking about her own worries of not being able to sustain herself once bad days come. She was taught as a little girl to pay attention to her expenditures and to think carefully about how to spend her money because her parents weren’t very rich. She remembers clearly that her worries and her fears as a little girl were almost similar to Dale’s fears. (Dale is the author of the book she was reading).

She looked at the horizon in front of her and continued reading…

“I worried for fear I would go to hell when I died.”

Angie stopped reading again and asked almost loudly: “who isn’t actually worried of going to hell after death? If we weren’t worried we wouldn’t be so careful hiding our mistakes and trying to find forgiveness… If we weren’t so afraid of our own death, we would probably stop thinking about what others would say and simply live… Because life is here and right now…”The voices in her head urged her to stop philosophizing and to continue reading…

“I was terrified for fear an older boy, Sam White, would cut my big ears – as he threatened to do.  I worried for fear no girl would ever be willing to marry me. I worried about what I would say to my wife immediately after we were married.”

After reading this sentence, Angie didn’t know if she was about to brust into tears or laugh out loudly… because this is exactly what she has been worried about for a long long time. She used to spend minutes, and hours and days and sometimes weeks worrying about what to say to people she would meet that she sometimes used to freeze not knowing what to say or how to behave.  Sometimes, when she used to meet some interesting people ( I will elaborate what I mean by that in some other posts) she used to ask them about what to say in a dialogue or during a conversation. Some of those people would look at her with big wide open eyes and wonder what was she talking about, other used to disregard her and her questions altogether. She grew up not knowing exactly what was the answer to that question. She know now, that it doesn’t matter and as one of her dearest friends once said, when people are one the same wave and they get along together, words would come and it wouldn’t matter what topics are discussed as long as they are enjoying them…

Lost in her ideas, she looked at the horizon again and thought of finishing the paragraph she was reading:

“I imagined that we would be married in some country church, and then get in a surrey with fringe on the top and ride back to the farm… but how would I be able to keep the conversation going on that ride back to the farm? How ? How ? I pondered over that earth-shaking problem for many an hour as I walked behind the ploy.”

Angie paused again and said :”Oh Dale, Dale, Dale, you are worried about what to say to your wife after you get married? don’t you think you need to worry about how to meet the girl of your dream, talk to her, go out with her, propose and then marry her? How come you are worried about this tiny moment after marriage but not about all the other moments before and after and in between?”

“As the years went by, I gradually discovered that ninety-nine per cent of the things I worried about never happened.

For example, as I have already said, I was once terrified of lightning; but I now know that the chances of my being killed by lightning in any one year are, according to the National Safety Council, only one in three hundred and fifty thousand.

My fear of being buried alive was even more absurd: I don’t imagine that – even back in the days before embalming was the rule – that one person in ten million was buried alive; yes I once cried for fear of it.

One person out of every eight ( in the forties) dies of cancer. If I had wanted something to worry about, I should have worried about cancer – instead of being killed by lightning or being buried alive.”

Thank you 🙂

(The text in italic was taken from the book “How to stop worrying and start living”, chapter 8, by Dale Carnegie. The rest is written by Zeina Gabriel)