I live my life in a near-constant state of freaking out. I'm not sure if that shows on the outside or not - those of you who know me in real life will have to share - but on the inside, I am normally in some degree of turmoil.
It wasn't always like this. Or was it? I remember plenty of conversations where I was the footloose and fancy-free one; I've always been the type of girl who will take off, at a moment's notice, on the most random of adventures. In fact, I seek them out.
Doesn't that make me a free spirit?
Not really, as it happens. Looking for chaos, whether that be in the form of a last-minute trip or in the creation of a problem where previously one did not exist, is just a way I make my outward circumstances match my inner mindset. If I have something concretely chaotic to focus upon, I don't have to consider why my mind is always racing. I need an off button.
In true all or nothing fashion, when I finally do relax, I REALLY relax. I don't want to do ANYTHING, don't want to think anything, don't want to have to figure out anything. I don't want to worry about being social, because then my mind will start spinning again, trying to figure out if this person is having fun, and what about that guy over there? Who's he with? Do we need to include him? Is my house clean enough? Was that a tuft of dog hair I just saw tumbleweeding across the floor? I just vacuumed YESTERDAY, for goodness sake. How much can one dog shed? Now everyone is going to think I keep a nasty house. Wait, did we just run out of chips? I KNEW I should have bought more than two bags. Oh and now what will we do? Am I supposed to come up with something? Because I don't FEEL LIKE DOING ANYTHING!
It's beginning to get tiresome.
I envy the ease with which many of my friends go about their lives. They go to work, they put in an hour at the gym, they go to the grocery store, they pick up their house. They fold laundry. They have visitors drop by unannounced, and they don't care. They fall asleep without a television on to drown out the noise of their relentless thoughts.
How do they do that?
I realize that much of my stress is self-inflicted. Like I said, I almost seek out the chaos in a situation, because I am so used to being in that state that I feel like I wouldn't know what to do without it. I made the decision to start my own retail business at the age of 24, despite being warned numerous times by many, many (well-meaning) people the statistics on small-business failure (over 90% in the first two years) and the ridiculously fickle nature of retail. Duly noted, and then pushed aside. I went for my dreams! I knew it would be hard!
And holy geez, it is hard.
I guess I'm in that middle part of "living your dream". The part when all the difficult stuff has been realized; the reasons so many people don't do what you're doing become abundantly clear, and you have moved well beyond questioning your own sanity for making the choice you did (verdict: clearly insane). But I'm not yet to the point where I can fondly look back and say "wow, I really did it, didn't I? I just took the leap and crossed my fingers and hoped for the best, and if I knew then what I do now, I probably wouldn't have done it. But my goodness, am I glad I did!"
Yeah, I could say the first half of that sentiment rings true. But not that last bit.
At this point, I guess all I am wishing for is to be a little more Zen. A little more in touch with myself, and a little less inclined to have this constant, relentless "you'renotdoingthisright!" bearing down on me. I catch myself doing something totally innocuous - stepping out of the bathtub or looking at a not-quite-ripe orange in the grocery store - and I suddenly get a rush of bad adrenaline, that overwhelmingly negative something-is-wrong-feeling. And if I don't pull myself out of it, the brief moment of self-awareness will pass by and I'll just continue about my day, now saddled with an (unnecessary) impending sense of doom.
The thing that bugs me the most is that I just KNOW the stress sneaks by me undetected more often that not. There's really no reason to live my life this way; no reason to go from one activity to the next with a giant storm cloud brewing above my head. Sure, some things are bad. Some parts of my life are not the way I would want them to be. And some of those things I can control (to a point) and some I can't.
So what I want - what I need - is to just chill. I need to stop the sneaky advances of stress from ruining perfectly innocent grocery store trips. I need to try my best, and know that it's GOOD ENOUGH. I need to allow the phrase "good enough" to exist in my personal dictionary. And much like a good friend ended her entry the other day, this is not a "pity me, I have it so hard" type of post at all. It's much more a "does anyone else have this ever-present feeling of doom plaguing you at all hours?" type of thing. And if so, what do you do about it?