If I hadn’t told you guys before, I was a bit of a nervous Nelly when I was a youngin’. Yep, I was wimpish and bookish and didn’t blend in so seamlessly with my project surroundings. My Nana, ever the over bearing watch dog knew this. When I was in elementary school, every day before I left her apartment in the concrete jungle I would engage in the same ritual with little deviation. Looney Toons would be first. I’d laugh anxiously as Bugs Bunny gave the business to Elmer Fudd just one more time, subliminally terrified of the day ahead of me. Not for any concrete reason most of the time. I just was. Then, Nana would toast, and on more occasions that not, burn me a strawberry pop tart. As my time to head the bus stop drew nigh, she’d would call me to her always slightly sticky kitchen stable. There I’d discover her with her well worn bible cracked to the same passage, the 23rd psalm. We’d read. I wouldn’t feel any better than when we started, but she seemed to.
Fast forward to now. JEEZ! It takes everything in me on some days to slow down the fear train going on inside my head. It starts off when I open my eyes:
…and this is just the first 30 seconds.
Thankfully, most days, I get at least 30 minutes if not more to settle my thoughts before I have to face the world. I journal. I pray. I meditate. I avoid the news before 9 am. These things allow me to get out the door. Once I have though, it’s often hard for me to settle down again before literally falling out at the end of the day. ¡No es bueno mi amigos!
The fear creeps back in, usually around noonish, and sucker punches the shit out of me for the rest of the day. What’s a girl to do? Well, I already have a plan don’t I? I just need to implement it more. I can also take a look at the things I’m afraid of. Is it a realistic fear? Can I do anything about it? If so, do it! If not, let it go! Simply answers to a complicated process. However I feel so much better when I’m at least attempting to do something about what going on in this dilapidated building between my ears. NOW, those ritual mornings make so much sense. In hindsight, I think my Nana felt better because she felt like she was doing something to help me. As a parent, I now know what it’s like to try to ease the sometimes unrealistic fears of a child. I love and appreciate her for the effort and for introducing me to the concept that it takes more than just white knuckling through out of fear to make it in life.
Life, I’ve found is just a series of decisions, one after the other until you’re no longer alive. When I make those decisions based on fear, I’m usually miserable and confused. I find balance when I live for the day and move through one well thought out decision at a time, trying my best not to over complicate it as I go. My anxiety will probably always be with me to some degree, but I embrace it today like it’s the nervous little child I was, reassure it that it’s going to be okay, and tell it to GO THE F*CK TO SLEEP!