CW: talk and blabbering about anxiety.
Do you ever wonder where you’d be or who you’d be if you took the path less travelled?
Do you ever wonder who you are because you didn’t take the bait?
Do you ever wonder what you are to others when they seem so far away?
Do ever stop and ponder, am I a thing at all?
Our minds and soul and heart are always connected. Though during our busy day-to-day lives we can forget that. We lead only with one and not the other. We quell one to prop the other to get to the end of our day, to do it all again the next. We’re never quite taught to lead our life with all that we are, every day. The passage of time, the maturity of experience, the weight of age can open us up to living full time in ourselves, however, that journey is fraught with anxiety, sadness, depression. It is rarely smooth or joyous. That – the joy – comes later; like strays of light through a looking glass. Pieces we capture. Twinkles we chase.
I’m a deeply cautious and wary introvert. Spur of the moment is not for me. It causes great anxiety. My cautious nature has paralysed me for a good portion of my life. I don’t necessarily know why, I don’t even know if the why of it would inform the future or only muddle the past. However, I am working on being more spontaneous to varying degrees of success. Since ‘anxiety’ as a modern lexicon was never used when I was young, I had no idea that’s what troubled me – or you- when I stood sweating at school dances. Or threw up before the first day of school or jobs. Or talked me out of, well, almost anything. I had no idea anxiety was what drove and drives me still to take whatever someone is giving me, even if it hurts my heart and my soul (logic abandons the building). The apprehension of upsetting a balance, even an unhealthy one continues to be the struggle of my life.
And will that struggle have a conclusion? A resolution? Will I get any joy at the end? There’s an end, right?
Even if I am introverted and work to put myself out there more, my brain hasn’t quite caught up. It likes to tell me lies. It likes to whisper like a lover to me and tell me sweet nothings; sweet, fabricated nothings. And if my brain is the only one caressing my soul then it’s all the more difficult to listen to anything else. You’re conditioned to listen to ministrations over and over like your favourite song (Blackbird, The Beatles). I like my song. It is safe and who else is noticing you’re stuck on repeat? Who can see your song and want to introduce you to a complimentary tune? Am I a thing at all?
My trepidation at taking on new things or new people I do believe has gotten better. If I try and fail, then so be it. I don’t think it’s easier. It doesn’t necessarily make me happier to at least say I tried, but I know I did the thing even if it doesn’t help in silencing the tune in my head. It’s just tempered. A slow staccato. I’m not for everyone. I’m maybe not even likable. In my attempts at being “more out there,” I can reveal my ridiculousness too soon. I can be too quick to get to the end and say, oh I did that, check; ah, we’re friends, check. I can rush to just get to the good stuff because the disquiet in my mind is a little less if I think I can scurry down the back of the hill the fastest. And trust me I am not fast in the least. Let’s just say I identify with the hare.
What I do find does work for me, with effort, is fighting for my heart to get the say first. Lead with your heart and the rest will follow. This is not an easy route. It’s exhausting the best of times. It is incremental battles over an indeterminate time. But if you see my love – in anything at all – know I can see you too. I’ve been a combatant who achieved that clarity. If I can love a stranger, an idea, a tangible person, I am getting better at quelling the never enough voice, the repetitive tune. I am closer to being a thing at all.
Leading with a heart is a challenge. Anxiety and especially depression don’t care for this tack. They paid for this band and they are going to get their money’s worth, even if it means working against you. Constantly. That’s where things can get hairy. And not damn, I forgot to shave my legs hairy. But deeply lonely and deeply alone. You’ll not get the choice to take a road less travelled because it’s been demolished. You’ll not find yourself because you passed on the bait. You’ll never know what thing you are because you stopped looking for light. So it is a choice I have to choose. All the time. There can be no other choice getting in the way. Less the cacophony takes over.
I don’t write any of this, any of these weeks for anyone or any goal. That it makes any sense is a testament to a mother who taught me to read and teachers who taught me to spell (Grade 3 spelling champ). I’m having a conversation, a needed one, with myself. (Though very Dr. Seuss like it seems). And it’s better now it’s here than confined to my head. Might you have one with me and you, yourself. Together and apart.
I want to break the record and tell the band to go home, the venue is closed.
I want to tell the voice it’s time to move along.
I want to tell my heart I love it above all.
Am I a thing at all?
“Step with care and great tact, and remember that life’s a great balancing act.” the Dr. Seuss