Being Direct

For a long time, when I was growing up and even when I became an adult, I just shoved down the way I felt even though I was miserable. I would get angry at the way I was treated by others or sad because of some reason or another and I’d just pretend it wasn’t happening. It would eat at me until I exploded. I’d get so angry that I would yell and scream and insult. It never ended well. I’m pretty sure I lost a few friendships that way. (Although the question remains if we were really good friends to begin with, if one fight could break us.)

Anyways, I finally realized the only way I’d feel better is if I talked about the way I was feeling. Then, it was up to the other person to work it out with me or decide not to be friends with me. It still sucked a lot of the times because usually the problem had arisen due our world views and ideals not aligning and that meant that it would be difficult to remain friends unless we wanted to argue or be annoyed all the time. It was better for both of us to walk away at that point. At least, we maintained our sanity and civility.

As I get closer to 40, I thought that most of the people I knew subscribed to this thought pattern. I realized recently that I was wrong. There are still a few non-confrontational people out there. And somehow, you could be doing something and never know it was happening because no one told you that you were doing it. It’s a difficult way to maintain friendships because it requires you to be perfect all the time.

I learned after having quite a few meltdowns and having a few spectacular blow out fights that it was better to be uncomfortable with someone for a few minutes but have a stronger friendship for it. I’d rather talk to someone about something even though, honestly, I dread it. I get nervous and anxious just thinking about being in that weird zone where we have to talk about our feelings. There’s the possibility that the discussion will end in a fight because you’re both arguing your point of view and no one is really listening. But there’s always the possibility that you both will figure it out and it will make you both better for it. I’ve had practice having these discussions with my husband because it’s impossible to have a happy relationship unless you’re both willing to discuss the important issues and listen honestly without getting defensive. I’ve been in the relationships where it was just attack and defend. Those aren’t any fun, trust me. You have to be able to admit that you might be at fault (even accidentally). Everyone is human. Everyone can make mistakes.

After the last few decades of my life, I also learned that it’s okay if not everyone likes you or even wants to be friends with you. My personal goal is to be honest with myself and and believe that I’m doing the best I can to love myself and to be a good person to everyone I know.

After that, whatever happens, happens.

Get It

I want to be really good at just one thing. I want to be known for at least one thing.

Let me explain to you where this came from. Everyone has their thing. I follow enough people on social media (and honestly, in real life as well, because as we all know, social media is a little bit of a fantasy world) to see who have hobbies or careers where they are living it up well. They have made something they enjoy into something that they can really live for.

I want that. And while people who know me might say that I am also doing that, it sometimes doesn’t feel like it. It could be that time just travels so slow so it’s hard to see things changing as we are going through them. And one day, I’ll wake up and realize that I have been doing exactly what I wanted to be doing. But it’s frustrating right now at this moment.

I constantly tell my kids that they have to learn patience. It seems as though I need to learn it as well.

Do any of you ever have a reaction when you think about what you want to accomplish? Lately, when I think about this one particular dream I’ve had since I was a kid, I get this immediate negative reaction where I can’t even think about it because I start getting anxious. Trying to analyze the feelings makes me anxious as well. It’s like I already want to believe I can’t achieve it. It’s a horrible way to feel. And I give my usual excuses on why I will fail at it. I don’t have enough time right now, I have other priorities, how would I even start, etc.

I want this feeling of accomplishment, like I set out to do this big thing and I did it. I’ve done it before with other dreams so there’s no reason why I can’t do it again.

What are your dreams and/or success stories? What have you accomplished that you’re super proud. Please share and let me live vicariously through you and inspired by you.

Anxiety…My Hidden Companion

At 8:53 a.m. I was still curled up in a ball in bed.  It was Monday, and I had work, but I was thankful that my 10 am meeting had been canceled. The cancellation allowed me to stay curled up in bed a bit longer before I absolutely had to get out.  I had originally woken up at 4:08 am. “Breathe in. Breathe out,” I told myself as I tried to relax and let the anxiety pass. But it didn’t. It stayed with me.  It stayed with me all day.
I thought about every single thing I could be stressed about but there was nothing in particular that was actually stressing my out.  This prevented me from going through the exercises to try to at least manage my anxiety by telling myself that the reason I am anxious is well just not a good enough reason to be up at 4:08 a.m.  I turned to web browsing to tire myself out.  A little after 5:00 am, I was finally falling asleep.   When I woke back up again at6:54 a.m., I thought “6 more minutes…”  As I started to become more awake, I realized the anxiety was still there — without any reason.  I could feel my heart beating loudly in my chest.  I tried holding my breath.  I tried meditation.  I tried trying to slow down my breathing.  I tried to just feel my anxiety so I could accept it so it would decrease.  Nothing seemed to work today.

In the midst of client calls and work, I felt my heart beating and my chest constricting.  By 1:37 p.m., I wanted to cry.  I was tired of dealing with my anxiety.  Today was especially emotionally draining to “manage” my anxiety (because I am not supposed to “control” it) and still have to work.  I wanted to feel “normal.”  The idea that there are actually people out there who don’t have to deal with anxiety without any explanation was envy worthy.

But the anxiety wasn’t going anywhere.  Sometimes, I have an entire few hours without anxiety.  It’s rare for these hours to occur when I am alone.  Mostly they happen when I am able to just lose myself in the moment around some family or friends.  My unwanted and unwelcome companion just rides through life with me.  Some days it’s more overbearing than others like today.  I have learned to smile through it, but it’s there. Lurking – in the background.  Always.