Number one. I am afraid of… there's a certain hour that comes in the evening because I have anxiety. So if I don't get to bed at about, you know, by 11:00 pm, my anxiety kind of comes up and I get out of bed and do push-ups to push the anxiety out of my body. Sometimes Xanax helps. Push-ups or Xanax.
Number two. My body's limits.
Number three. I have a lot of fear for... that I would have another breaking point. About five years ago I spent three months on my mother's couch, and I couldn't go anymore, I couldn't work anymore, I couldn't. I was in the middle of beginning a language revitalization program, which was very intense and very emotional work, on my reservation with my elders. And it was really, like, one of the scariest moments I've had is to wake up, yeah, to wake up in the morning and then not know how you're gonna get through the day. And part of that worry is that growing up my mother had really bad depression. And so she spent about four years in bed. And I'll never forget an image that’s just kind of burned into me. We came home from school one day, and my father, he had, like, carried my mother to the shower to take a shower. She couldn't even do that. And so my brothers and sisters, like, we all helped him wash her hair and stuff. And so that to me feels like a very real worry that I try to stay aware of.
Number four. I'm afraid of snakes. I dream about them a lot, and they're often trying to talk with me or communicate with me in the dream. And, you know, I'm really lucky that I have a relationship with, you know, some of my elder family members. So they're always saying, “You need to listen to them in your dreams to hear what it is they're telling you.” But also... they're also snakes, and so maybe in a way it's a little bit more of, like, there are things I know but don't want to know. Or things I should know, but I'm not ready to know. Or something.
Number five. I think a lot about wasting food. So, I have this kind of, like, Matrix-like ticker tape in my mind of all the meals I haven't completely finished. And I think about them because I think, in the context of thinking about food deserts, but also thinking about food scarcity.
Number six. Food scarcity.
Number seven. I am afraid that that human beings have diminished the world in such a way that they can no longer exist on it at a very near point in the future.
Eight. Number eight. Something else I'm scared of is that the work that I've chosen to devote myself to… that it will have no effect on America. So I wake up often and think, like, “You're a poet. Like, what are you doing?”
Okay. Number nine. I have a fear and an awareness of white women. And I'm not saying I'm not also afraid of white men. But I feel like, in many ways, white women are the cog in what can change in America. I feel like if anyone was going to reach white men it's white women. But I feel like oftentimes white women are also afraid to sacrifice any comfort or any power. And I've also watched the way my mother has been treated by white women and, yeah, so, one of her bosses was a white woman at the school. And this woman brought their change back from the trip that they had gone on. I guess they were given, like, per diem, and they had to bring back change, but they brought it back in a pickle jar full of pennies and dumped it on my mom's desk instead of giving her dollar bills. And just to hear my mom tell us about that. That's a… that was a good first example.
Number ten. The last one. I am afraid of what I might compromise in order for America to love me.
My name is Natalie Diaz and these are 10 things that scare me.