I think a part of it has to do with how I was raised, and part just how I’m wired. It’s like, any slight deviation from the norm causes this bubble to fester in my chest, and for the life of me I can’t seem to catch my breath.
This is the one thing that I dislike about myself.
I’m always one to say, “If you’re not happy with something, then change it.” For some reason, I am unable to change this fatal flaw so easily. I mean, I can face my fears when backed into a corner, and I usually find myself in a better situation than I was in before (go figure). But if I had it my way, nothing would ever change and I would never progress. Wow. What a scary thought. I guess that’s not entirely true. I’m a realist, so there comes a point when I recognize change is inevitable, though I still have my reservations.
This sudden self-awareness arises from a major change looming in my own horizon: I started an apartment search, after staying in my college apartment with the same roommate for three years. My current apartment is beautiful, affordable, spacious, comfortable. That word—comfortable. That has defined me my whole life. I fall into this comfort zone and if that zone is threatened in any way, stress and anxiety take over.
My roommate and I resigned year after year because it was the most convenient option either of us had, even after college ended. It turns out it’s not so convenient for her anymore, so I looked at a few places. I found one, actually, and already have a deposit down on it (my apartment search lasted 16 days because I’m a fucking boss). What was the first thing I did after signing the deposit check? Got in my car, called my mom, and cried my damn eyes out like a little pansy. Not because I thought I had made the wrong decision, but because I’m out of my element. Even after getting the validation from multiple sources regarding my decision later that day—what I thought I needed—I still wanted to burst out in tears at any moment.
They say anxiety doesn’t come from thinking about the future; it comes from trying to control it. It’s time to take a step back, have faith that everything will work out exactly the way it’s supposed to, and dive in. Worry is a misuse of imagination.
You’re allowed to let change and the future scare you, but you can’t let that fear dictate your decisions. You can’t let that fear prevent you from going for it. Even if it doesn’t work out the way you plan, it could be amazing. Without making changes, we would not be able to grow.
And anyway, in the words of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”