So I get people saying “Wow, I wish I could do what you do!” A lot. And I have a confessions to make that I’ve been mulling over writing for a few days now.
I find people generally terrifying on some viceral level.
It’s true. I’ve had anxiety from the moment I left New York to see the world, over 10 years ago. You know how people talk about getting out there to “find oneself” and get over such things? Well I can’t say that I ever truly managed to do so…I’ve managed to make peace with my scared inner child, but I’ve never outgrown him, either.
I never really managed to become Indiana Jones, like I’d planned. Some days, I totally am! But others…It’s more like “okay, I’m going to work up the courage to step out that door and not mind what happens. And when I mind what happens, I’m going to try and not mind that too much.” Sometimes I really just want to stay home and read, even though I just flew 12 hours to be at said location!
I don’t think many people know this about me, but I actually suffer from crippling levels of social anxiety at times. The kind that feels like your soul is trying to peel itself from the man-suit it’s wearing and hide under a rock; a wrenching sensation of fear that snags one’s attention and mind and sometimes makes it impossible for me to even hear what people are saying to me because its so demanding.
It’s been my greatest teacher when I can smile and accept it, and my darkest demon when I’m already down.
But I remain, still. Because my fears weren’t always there, and one day, they will disappear and I’ll still be here. I just remember the adventurous child that’s also here and says “what’s over the horizon?” The curious child that’s also here and says “what does that dish taste like?” The spirited child that wants to give an opinion, quite often “no, I don’t really want to do that.” And I get them all to hug the child who thinks he’s still an awkward youth who will never fit in and is constantly being judged.
Compassion is bringing it all together again.