On Anxiety, Amirite?

Anxiety is a bitch. Seriously. Like the mean girl in the cafeteria who convinces everyone not to let you sit with them for no apparent reason at all, but even though you know you didn’t do anything to deserve this, you still wrack your brain trying to figure out what you did wrong, because it much be something.

I wrack my brain daily. More than daily. Hourly. As soon as that chest tightening feeling starts to occur and my breath feels a bit more shallow than normal, the brain goes into overdrive trying to figure out what I did to mean Ms. Anxiety.  Sometimes I think of concrete possibilities, “did I turn off my hair straightener this morning? Surely, I would know by now if my house has burned down…should I have said that slightly off-colour joke the other day? Have I gravely offended someone past the point of repair?” Yes. This is all one fluid thought, and I experience something to this affect several times each day.  The problem is, Ms. Anxiety is actually me, so it’s not just a simple matter of cutting her out of my life and moving on. I’m the one metaphorically convincing everyone to shun me.

What all of this means, is that I am treating myself the way that mean bitch in high school would have treated me. The old cliche is to treat people the way you would like to be treated, but I wouldn’t inflict on my worst enemy what I do to myself. Furthermore, I would probably have more compassion for my worst enemy than I do to myself. I beat myself up, then I beat myself for beating myself up. It’s a cycle, it’s vicious and I’m trying my damndest to break it. Stay tuned.

On procrastination. Part 2

I make a lot of excuses for not starting things. A lot.  My personal favourite is a weird O.C.D. like trait, in which I have to start on a significant date. My birthday. New Year’s Day. The day of my wedding. Since that last one is super unrealistic, the day AFTER my wedding would suffice, but if I wait TWO days then nope. Better wait until my first anniversary.

I think I have always been this way, but I know I have always been a terrible procrastinator and personal projects are the absolute worst. Without a rigid deadline and serious repercussions I won’t do anything. I don’t know why, though. Procrastinating makes sense when it comes to dry school or work-related assignments, but we’re talking about things that I enjoy! That I not only want to do, but feel the need to do! For myself! It’s so stupid.  Anyway, I’m calling it a personal victory that I started today, because not only did I push through my procrastinator’s tendencies, but this day doesn’t mean shit. My birthday was three weeks ago, my anniversary isn’t until March/May (more on that later), New Year’s is still months out, and yet, I just started. Yay, me.  To be totally honest with you, Mr. Nobody, I even had to fight the urge to start tomorrow or Monday, because either starting on a weekend or the first day of a week – any week – seemed more legit to my crazy mind.

The other frustrating aspect of the countless years of procrastinating is that I have so many ideas! I often drive or walk somewhere, alone with my thoughts, unable to mindlessly scroll through Instagram posts for fear of…well, death by vehicle. During these few and far between alone times, I think of so many blog ideas, writing ideas, plots for children’s books, plots for novels, podcast themes, you name it. I am not tooting my own horn, either, I’m sure most of them are garbage, but the point is, I have them and I do nothing.  Okay, I lied back there. It is so ingrained in me to say that I’m worthless (not ingrained by anyone but myself, please don’t go calling adult protective services or anything), that I said my ideas are probably garbage, but I actually don’t think that. In society, we, especially women, I would argue, are taught to be “humble” which is a slippery slope into self-deprecating and I am certainly not an exception to that. I actually think most of my ideas are really good, but I have a hell of a time admitting it (I feel like I want to say more on this later, there’s way more to unpack with this).  Anyway, the point is, I have ideas (good ones) and I’d like to spend a little less time sitting on my ass watching sitcoms and looking at former Bachelor contestants’ social media pages and a little more time trying to build my own presence on this planet.

On Procrastination

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I have had a rather extreme case of writer’s block for…oh, just about 12 years now. I kept journals as a teenager, rather religiously, or at least at certain points, religiously. They all seem to drop off at some point or another with a “talk to you tomorrow” and pick up a year or so later. Nevertheless, this is definitely the longest “drop off” at about 12+ years.

One of my problems with writing is the new (okay, not so new) age of the blog. As did everyone else, I’m sure, I always wrote in my journals with the thought that maybe someday someone would read it. Not just my mom or sister, but some famous publisher would find it (in my messy bedside drawer, obviously, makes complete sense) and just HAVE to publish my inner most teenage thoughts. We are all terribly narcissistic at 14, aren’t we? I know I wasn’t alone in this though, thinking that my teenage troubles were somehow unique and fascinating to more people than just myself. The problem today, however, is that if you choose to write a blog, which I have mulled over for nearly a decade, your words are likely to be read. Sure, I could jot down feelings and ideas in a journal, but in many ways, I am still very much that 14 year old narcissist. Don’t get me wrong (yes, I am aware I’m doing it now, talking to an imaginary person, but bear with me, Mr. Nobody), I know that there are millions of blogs falling under the self-indulgent, self-deprecating, self-aggrandizing, self-loathing and any other self-centred genre you can think of. Mine would just be another needle in the world’s largest haystack, but that has still somehow held me back from writing. As if, I want people to read my words, but I also don’t. As if, I know that the likelihood of going viral is approximately zero, which both encourages me to just do it and also discourages me from even bothering.

I am a procrastinator, through and through (and through and through and through), so that has been a huge part of it, but I have also felt myself drawn to writing more and more and more lately. It’s been missing from my life for so long, and yet, it was only recently that I started feeling an undeniable urge to get these thoughts down on paper (metaphorical paper; actual keyboard/computer screen). I’ve started to think in written form which is something I haven’t done in many years and something only a writer could relate to, but if you write, you will know what I mean. And yet, here we are, at 31, writing for basically the first time in over a decade.

We’ll see how this goes.
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