I've talked a lot lately about what I want out of this life, where I am going, where I want to go. This theme of uncertainty yet knowing exactly where I want to be and how frustrated I am that I can't quite seem to make it there. I put my dreams on hold for so long but I will make something very clear. I have no regrets with the choices I have made in my life. I would gladly walk the same path all over again for that man sitting outside on that deck, for that child downstairs singing Pat Benatar, even for those two kitties chasing each other right now in this moment. Would my life be different without them? Absolutely but it wouldn't be better. I spent a lot of my life taking care of other people, of putting other people first. I look back at all those faces that have come and gone, knowing that in the moment my heart touched them they were all taking care of me, too. I needed to feel needed, wanted because those feelings made me feel loved. And in that need, I willingly put aside the things that made my heart smile. I believed that if you smiled at me that was all that I needed... but at some point those smiles didn't seem enough. I know that sounds a little rude. I don't mean it that way. At some point I started to hear this voice inside me ask when was I going to take care of me? When was I going to water my own garden? And I guess I finally heard.
This week has sucked. Plain and simple sucked. Tuesday night I came home from work after a really hard day and had a full on anxiety attack. I haven't had one in awhile. It scared me because I thought I had gotten beyond that. I had thought I finally conquered this fear inside of me but life sneaks up on you. I was overwhelmed, angry, burnt completely out but what sent me over the edge was the disappointment I felt in myself, in the day I had, in where I had landed. I had spent my entire day being pulled in twenty different directions with things I didn't know how to do and no one seemed to care, realizing in the midst of all that chaos that I didn't even care about the job at hand. I didn't care about the people at the other end of the line, about their problems, about them because the whole thing was just a disappointment to me. I left a place because I wasn't happy and thought I was going to a place that was going to be the first steps towards my dreams finally coming true. Reality hit me on Tuesday. I am nowhere near where I want to be and the steps I thought I had taken actually took me two steps back. So, my head went into a spiral of questioning everything I had done in the last year. I finally had started to take care of myself only to put myself in a full blown anxiety battle, a war I thought I had won. I often think during the day about stuff I probably shouldn't because it only aggravates me. And having people bitch at me about things that really at the end of the day don't matter? Well, that only exasperates me more. That desire to make other people happy? Yeah, well, it just doesn't hold the same weight as it did before when I feel like I am suffocating.
Tuesday passed and the next day came. I woke up with my head clear, my heart full. I thought about my husband the night before. I laughed at what a saint he is to deal with these roller coasters that I sometimes find myself on. I couldn't be more grateful for his patience, his kindness, his understanding that when I get sucked into these downward spirals that I have to find my own way out. And I did. I woke up realizing that whatever lesson, whatever reason I found myself here has been learned. I needed to move on from one stage of my life and I wouldn't have if this opportunity hadn't shown itself to me. So, I tried on these shoes and, at first, I really did believe they fit well but after awhile the fit didn't feel quite right. That's OK. I understand the value of recognizing of when something is not right and when it's time to find something new that will be that better fit. What I can take away from this experience is that it has giving me a platform to truly explore my art, my writing, this talent that I just now admit I have. I know clearly my direction. I've spent my life taking care of other people because most of my life that is what I needed. I don't want to spend the rest of it not knowing what I am truly capable of. If something isn't right, I don't have to suffer in it. No one does. I may fail again. I may have another anxiety attack in five minutes but I don't want to live the rest of my life suffocating.
I try to be careful about what I write because I know people in my life sometimes read these things but I don't want to be scared being vulnerable either. I put the world ahead of myself to protect myself from anyone seeing me. It wasn't a selfless thing. It was out of self protection. Wednesday I woke up and I laughed, realizing that the amount of pressure I was putting on myself for a shoe that doesn't fit was absurd. It doesn't matter. What matters is that I draw my pictures, write these words, love my family, live my life. I don't have time anymore to get stuck on things that don't make me want to be better. Sometimes a job is just a job, a place is just a place, people are just people. If my life fell apart tomorrow, I would still be all right. If they told me to walk out that door, I would still be all right. I have these two feet and even at their weakest they've always managed to hold me up. Now it's time to start walking. I don't want to just stand anymore. And I can no longer afford to be scared of a misstep because so what if I do? I correct. I keep going.