Today’s Positive Note: I’m a good baker and a good cook. I like following recipes and making up my own, too.
As a teenager, I often found myself inexplicably anxious. I scribbled endlessly all over my school notebooks everyday. The pages were covered in inky spirals and bird swooshes. I didn’t know why I felt so anxious, but the scribbling helped to divert some of the anxiety. Eventually, I found writing, and that helped too. I felt anxious performing in front of people, but coming back to my notebook almost always soothed me. I am working on rediscovering that feeling — it is difficult to admit that I feel lost with my writing, since I credit it for saving my life. And I don’t always feel lost, but on days like today, where I feel like a cauldron, I know that I need to get back to my journal; get back to the moons and water birds and the carefully carved woodblocks that I used to write about. I am hoping that this blog will help me in this regard. I’m going to start by being honest and listing the addmitedly ridiculous things that made me anxious today.
1. Coming back to work after being away for a month. This makes no sense whatsoever: I have sweet coworkers, and my job is both easy and fun. Short of an exploding tea kettle, there was absolutely nothing to worry about.
2. Because I was on vacation for close to a month, I had no food in my fridge when I came home. There was a stick of butter, half a bottle of soy sauce, and a few more things in my plastic-storage-container-pantry ( I live in New York, remember. And in a dormitory, at that). Last night I began panicking about what I would have for breakfast and lunch, since I wouldn’t be able to grocery shop until after work. Of course, everything worked out fine (I had oatmeal from Starbucks and a sandwich from the farmer’s market), but I remained on edge all day. I hate being hungry, but I also hate having too many food options. Realizing this fact caused further anxiety. I hat being anxious about food.
3. For the past several months, I have gotten the same kind of milk in the same glass bottles from the same farm at the same farmer’s market on the same day of every week. When Ronneybrook Dairy didn’t show up today, I nearly had a panic attack. I started worrying about whether or not I should wait to get my milk until they return, or if I should just get it at Whole Foods with the rest of my groceries, and if I got it at Whole Foods what brand would I get, etc. Utterly ridiculous.
4. I had a short run on the schedule for today, and I knew it was going to have to happen after work. As 5:00 neared, I began to feel anxious about a 4 mile run. I have run 20 miles, 33 miles, 12 miles a million times. But for some reason, I could not wrap my head around this run. What route would I take? Would it be long enough? What if my garmin didn’t work? What if it was too dark? What if my shin started hurting again? Lord.
All these mostly minor issues began to lead to bigger issues. Like what if I’m alone my whole life? What if I never go on a date? What if someone I love dies? What if I fail a class?
Intellectually, I know that these are things I shouldn’t be worried about. I will conquer each day as it comes. But emotionally, almost everything worries me. Sometimes I think I feel things too much. I cry very easily, I retreat very easily. I am hurt very easily. I think for the most part, it’s okay to feel things, but when do I need to let go and calm down? Can I continue to be as sensitive as I am, but without the surrounding anxieties? These are questions that I am, of course, asking myself, and I know the answer will not be a sentence or a paragraph or even a book. Maybe they are just things I need to think about.
I also began feeling anxious today about what direction the blog should go in. Should I be a Healthy Living blogger? Should I be a depressed blogger? Should I be an aspiring-writer blogger? Can I be all of those things?
In case you can’t tell, I like asking questions. I actually find it very therapeutic. I always have.
I was going to talk about my groceries and the tasty sweet potato pumpkin chili I made tonight and finding a tasty almond butter and how my run ended up being quite joyful. But I think I’ll stop now, for tonight, and return to those things tomorrow.
What do you feel anxious about? How do you overcome your anxieties?
Today’s pretty pictures: