On The Road Again: Trying to Find My Footing In The Face Of Anxiety, Self Doubt + Every Day Uncertainties
My oh my, it has been awhile hasn't it!
I just got home from sitting in the back of the jeep gazing out upon the pacific ocean, spooning out bite size pieces of watermelon to eat while I take some time to slow my mind down. After rattling my way back (Little Blue doesn't have the best suspension), I have plopped myself on the little balcony of the place I am staying.
Just the right amount of sun hits my face as I attempt to put my thoughts into words and then onto "paper." Sometimes, they flow easily and I don't have to think twice about grabbing a few here and there from the chaotic part of my mind, putting them into some kind of tangible form for us both to try and make sense of.
When I'm in this state, the unfinished projects and day to day stresses that I like to fixate on don't seem so all consuming, but when I find myself somewhere between panic and the longing for new and exciting adventures, these thoughts nestle themselves into nearly every corner of my life.
Then, it's the how to deal with it part: I see it as something that is going to be part of my life forever, so instead of trying to fight it with negativity, I want to try and counter it everything good and smile-worthy that I've got, and in turn not giving it the time of day.
And when it does get more time than it should, I turn around and say, "I see you, and I even understand where you're coming from, but there are so many other things right now that are more deserving of my attention. For instance, me and those that I love."
Running away from something, whether that something be a place, person, feeling, or combination of all, has never done be any good, even though it's usually the first thing I resort too.
Signs of this feeling can often be put under these categories (roughly):
- Scattered mind
- A sense of urgency
- Either lack of emotion or too much
- Inability to concentrate on any one thing
- Feeling like a fraud
- Self doubt
- Knot in your stomach or throat
I suppose the list keeps going, but I'll stop here, giving you a moment to look through and see if you have been dealing with any of the above recently, and if so, how can we acknowledge and work through them while staying in control.
More often than not, it's a feeling I am running away from. A feeling that has disguised itself as a place or a person (this may be the other way around for you). A feeling that comes from a place of not seeing myself as enough; nothing I do counts until I've done everything, and unfortunately friends, that is for the most part impossible.
We must pick and choose, learning to say yes to opportunities that lift us up and no go ones that drag us down, that tie those knots in our stomachs and instill that self doubt in our minds.
There is something to having a number of projects to work on. You know, an excitement around the opportunities that they hold, but there does come a time when the build up of to do's takes over and the space that is normally left for my mind to explore is boxed up, rendering me helpless and glued to the next moment rather than the one I'm in.
Here is where the balance and reality of it comes in: everything and everyone is always changing and we're having to change with it, doing our best to stay standing when the ground beneath us shifts. But this is also where we learn most about who we are and what we love, moments that bring the biggest smile to our face and the ones we know will be hard, people we can be ourselves around, and without question, how we can learn to love ourselves for who we are and what we both have and haven't done.
You, your happiness, and what you can do to make that a priority rather than an secondary option should be one of the first things you think of when you wake, because the world and the people in it are much better off when you're loving yourself, or at least taking the necessary steps to do so.
As I wrap up this post with tired legs from the San Francisco hills, windswept and disheveled attire from a sunset dinner overlooking the pacific ocean, and tired eyes from doing my best to take in all the bustle and excitement of this city, my thoughts linger on how different my routine is when I'm at home versus on the road, and how much I miss my dog, Kona and boyfriend, Adam when I can't just pop into the next room to see them; It doesn't take long for me to mull over the simple joys that my home brings when I'm hundreds of miles from those routines that I grow so accustomed too. Oh how lucky that I am that I have this place called home that my mind gets to wander too when I'm someplace new and exciting.
And this, this is when my mind is most quiet.
This is when I can allow the stillness to slip in, almost unknowingly, comforting the angst and the uncertainty that I feel when taking on new places, treatments, ideas, and projects. I want to continue to live a full and vibrant life, filled with creative projects strewn from one end of the room to the next, but without these adventures to help reaffirm and balance out my love for both worlds, I won't know how to fully and comfortably live in my own skin.
Living for the adventure of it and being ok with moving from one moment to the next while not knowing what thoughts are going to make their presence known. I'll just keep doing my best while eating watermelon with a spoon from the back of my jeep, feeling lucky that I am given the opportunity to take adventures that challenge me to feel it all, nothing, and everything in-between.
I have one more day in this beautiful city and then it's north, along the coast and through to one of my favorite places of all time, the little town of Mendocino, California before I make my way back home.
We'll talk soon, but in the meantime, know that all that you are right now is enough.