“So did you sleep through the earthquake?” my phone read this morning at 6:47 AM.
Honestly, I had completely forgotten about it, and my friend’s text message reminded me that I had, in fact, experienced a rather small earthquake in the middle of the night last night. My body shook back and forth on top of my mattress, and I heard the building rattle ever-so slightly, wondering when it would pass. In my sleepy and slumbery state, I didn’t really feel alarmed. In fact, I thought it was kind of a routine event.
But this morning I realized, well, if my friend knew about it all the way from Chicago, then it must have been kind of a big deal. I immediately Googled “san francisco earthquake” and the latest news came up. Turns out it was the biggest earthquake to hit the Bay Area since I was a baby, and it was not something “routine,” at least for the Napa area. Water mains broke, many were injured, and in some cases, buildings collapsed and fires were started.
I’ve been worried about a lot of things lately, hypersensitive and hyperaware of my every move and the moves of those around me. I’ve become so invested in all of the newness from the past months, that I’m finding myself clinging to lots of little things in an effort to feel some safety and security. It’s important, however, for me to remember that things will be shaky at times, and that the ground will figuratively, and literally, move beneath me. In moments like those, security, safety, and fun are not a reality, and there really is nothing I can do except ride it out and hope for the best.
But it’s hard not to get caught up in the microcosm that is our personal lives. We become so invested in our jobs, in important people, and we become so hyperaware of our own feelings and emotions, that we forget there is more to life than hiccups in relationships and bumps in the road at work. And when the earth moves underneath us, it’s there to remind us how grounded we once were, and how grateful we should be when things are at a standstill.
It’s a reminder that security need not lie in the external, but that security and safety lie within our perspective on the world, our resilience, and our ability to know that no matter what, in this moment, we are okay.
And that should be enough. Here’s to “riding it out.”