I'm always going to be scared; of failure, of disappointment, of not being good enough. But I'm done pretending that I won't feel pain if I'm careful enough, or that I can prevent the pain of others by just wishing hard enough. Saying I'm sorry is a verbal tightrope act, and it's one that I'm done performing.
Whenever there is news of a shooting, kidnapping or attack, the first thought that goes through my mind is "Please don't let it be a Muslim" (with "Please don't let it be a Pakistani Muslim" following closely behind). For if it's a Muslim, it will no longer be considered an isolated incident. If it's a Muslim, I have the onerous burden of having to do the following.