How Not to Freak Out

By Kelly Grace Thomas


This is how not to freak out

1. Drink coffee. Lots of it. Stare into the dark, try to assemble a reflection in what seems strong and bitter. Bear it black when you have the energy. Use cream when you need to. Don’t beat yourself up. Know that you are trying.

2. Run. Run like you have given a name to the thing chasing you. Sprint full body rotation like an Olympic athlete who can hear the cheers of their family just beyond the finish line. Once you arrived at the moment, where with each footstep you put yourself back together, instead of falling apart, turn off the music.

3.Do laundry, sweep the floor. Clean surfaces to remember you have layers. Things cloud on quiet days.

4. Read old journals and know that you have fought these monsters before, in college dorms wrapped in ivy or on foreign Mediterranean beaches, know that you have survived. Scars tell a story. Count them like constellations.

5. Find the swings. Fast. Stay as long as you need. Smile at the five year olds with chocolate on their face that squeal in the sunshine as they beg for one more push. Know life is waiting to push you.

6. Cut vegetables. Let your hands seek therapy in the repetition of familiar. Think about progress, even if it is only making thing smaller. Things are constantly seeking new form; do not get attached to expectations. Mince, dice, Julienne. Live in the now.

7. Listen to classical music and visit the aquarium. Count the colors and feel the way underwater kelp surrenders to the current. Name every fish you see. Invent their backstory and wish them well. Love the ocean. Love tears. Love sweat. Love the sea. Know they are the cure for anything. Know that you will be just fine.