In the aftermath of the last few weeks, this past week there was almost deafening silence. For four straight days, I had a sort of mental and physical reset. But as nice as that was, I was over it after about 24 hours. And I was even more over it when I realized that this one week was not going to be the end of it. There will likely be many more lonely days and awkward silences in the coming months, until everything changes for good like it needs to. In all honesty, I’ve come to hate those silences. I used to love them, because they served as a reprieve from the chaos in my head. Now, the chaos is much more manageable (or it’s the same and I’ve learned how to manage it better), but the silence invites even more of that chaos. I don’t know about you, but when I get in a quiet room with only myself and my thoughts, I tend to worry.
This whole week, I’ve had to keep telling myself to stop living in the future. I caught myself going months and months ahead, envisioning what life will be like, envisioning the ways in which it will be disastrous and won’t work out. I kept having to pull myself back and say, “No. Live right here. Deal with that when you get there.” Which is a huge change for me, as ordinarily I would say, “I’m just thinking ahead. Preparing myself.” But that is a complete lie. I’m thinking ahead alright— and worrying. And that does absolutely nothing except instill a self-fulfilling prophecy of negativity and anxiety. This week I had to tell myself: If I’m going to think ahead, it needs to be positive. If I’m going to plan ahead, it needs to be in a way that benefits me, rather than convinces me things won’t work out.
But try as I might, I returned, a little bit, to a past version of myself this week. I worried what people thought of me, I felt lonely, I binge-watched TV, I was blonde for a quick second, I fretted about my future and how it could possibly work out, and I started thinking up ways to get to a midnight release of a Harry Potter book while I am on vacation. By Friday I had worked myself into an anxious frenzy which culminated in a very loud conversation with Eli. I had started to convince myself that I was the past me, and that things were going to work out for me the way they always had for me before the magical year of 2015— terribly. I felt needy and lonely and I started to envision ways in which he would let me down or abandon me. I sort of pounced on things that weren't there...because I was afraid. And it's understandable...things are scary right now. Change is scary. But I don't have to indulge it, I don't have to let it win, and it doesn't have to change my behavior or keep me from doing things. Something I've always struggled with is that I often let physically uncomfortable sensations control me. I avoid confrontation, bees, strangely textured foods-- anything that makes me feel less than perfect. But fear is one of those sensations, and I can't let it keep me from moving forward in my life. My challenge is and will be to not indulge my fear.