I forget this.
I’ll see kids my age who seem to have things a lot more together than I do. Who have more money than I do, who have nicer things than I do, who go on trips and do brunch and share jokes with an endless circle of friends, and it is very, very easy to feel small and inferior and alone and scared in a city so big, a city that can chew you up and spit you out, a city that does not apologize for that cliche because it is very true.
The fact of the matter is, I left a good life in Connecticut, an established life, a life where I was making friends and had a routine, a life with a surrogate family, a life surrounded by good people. And something didn’t sit right with me. It wasn’t a matter of my situation, it was a matter of my heart.
So I took my savings, and I left.
And now I’ve been building my life back from square one.
Less than that, sometimes.
Twice already, I’ve decided I didn’t like the foundation, so I pulled out everything and started anew.
I am making new friends. I am finding new places to hang out, new places to write, new places to hide away with a book.
I am learning new ways to cope, because I had an anxiety attack in Whole Foods the other night and had to text somebody because I didn’t know what to do, and I was scared. It was paralyzing and humiliating and I kept looking around, wondering if people knew, if they suspected, if they had any idea that I was going crazy, and I don’t know why I cared why perfect strangers would care that I was having a mental snap, but I did, which only made matters worse. These things are cyclical.
I am learning that it is not a scarlet letter to admit that you are scared.
You are not supposed to have your life figured out, not now, not ever. When you do, where do you go from there? It’s good to have paths and plans, but plans hardly ever take into account what little roadside desires pop up along the way, and what if those are pressing and important and really speak to you? What if those desires point you in a whole new path? You’re not supposed to have all the answers, and you’re not supposed to be not-crazy.
Because crazy doesn’t define you. it doesn’t mean I’m not good at my job, or stable, or can’t function as a coworker, as a friend, as a girlfriend, as a human being. Going through a tough state of mind doesn’t mean you’re inferior or unemployable or a risk. It doesn’t mean I’ll be a gray cloud in the office, or wreak havoc in whatever I do. It doesn’t mean I’ll drag the people I love and the people who love me down with my own ship. What it means, is this:
Sometimes, I’m scared.
Sometimes, I don’t have my shit figured out.
Because the difference between being stagnant and complacent and staying within a life that makes sense and works and is safe and bores you and stunts your growth and cripples you, and being scared and confused and lost and fighting to find your way and reinventing yourself all over is the difference between dying and living.
I would rather be alone momentarily, and spend Friday night in without anything to do or anyone to see, and make new friends and slowly fill my weekends, than to be not scared.
I am not a fearless person. I am just too stubborn to listen to my own fear most of the time.
And it’s the act of eradicating that same fear, the voice that can cripple me and stunt me and leave me a nervous wreck in the middle of Whole Foods on a Saturday afternoon — that’s the part I’m working on now.
Sometimes, being a little crazed and a little scared and a little unsure of where you are is just the kind of inspiration you need to keep you going.
I would rather be brazen and rash and have a trillion questions and not have my life figured out and rebuild that life with my heart than let my mind play those dumb games with me. Not anymore.