Your mum used to say this to me all the time when we were teenagers, Lottie.
I was the scaredy-cat, she was the brave one. That was how we operated. Any time I was freaking out about something like flying in planes, or going on log flumes or thinking I was going to die from drinking too much blue alcohol, she’d look at me, and solemnly say:
“It’ll be fine. Trust.”
There was something about that word, and the way she said it that meant I really did: trust. And I’ve realised that as we got older she stopped saying it. But I started. It’s my mantra. Any time I’m scared, or worried, or can’t predict the outcome of a situation, I ‘trust’. When I’m on a plane and we’re about to take off; my heart in mouth, hands gripping my seat until it hurts, I remind myself to ‘trust’ in the pilot. Or when I or someone I love dearly is ill and in the hands of doctors, and I’m hopeless, all I can do is ‘trust’. Sometimes we have to lay an incomprehensible amount of trust in other people. It’s scary when things are out of our hands, but I always find it feels good to acknowledge that trust.
There’s another kind of trust too. Now, when you’re older you may be religious, or spiritual, a bit of both, or agnostic or atheist. I’m still not sure where I sit, I fluctuate between various states of these. But I think there’s a kind of trust I always lay in the workings of the world, no matter where I’m at spiritually. Through your life you’ll no doubt hear people say things like “Everything happens for a reason,’ or ‘When God closes a door, he opens a window.’ To me these are ‘the workings of the world.’
Sometimes things happen in life. And some of these things happen to be terrible. Things going wrong, break ups, injuries and worse stuff. I’m sorry. My advice for most of these situations would be: “Trust”. Because often we can’t see the bigger picture. Sometimes you have to blindly lay your trust in things that you can’t see or even begin to understand. But in my eyes, this trust becomes hope, and hope is a great force. And at times it’s almost impossible to summon, try if you can, I promise, whatever the situation, try to find the hope. This doesn’t have to be Pollyanna’s ‘Glad game.’ You don’t have to be sickeningly happy and positive in a dire situation. You can moan, cry and stress about how rubbish it is. But (maybe a a little later on) look for that tiny piece of hope, no matter how small it is. It will help. Trust.
Me and your Mama, 2006 in ‘His Dark Materials’. I’m head of the Harpies. She’s a witch. We’re both a bit bonkers.