The problem with life is it is filled with variables.
If X, Y, Z happens, A will happen to me.
If B, C, D happens, E will happen to me.
Most people accept and realize that all these variables are simply life, options, choices, things that may be, but are not yet reality. This allows them to live in the moment, to wait to see how the chips fall and then decide how to proceed when faced with new challenges.
My brain refuses to behave in this manor. My brain laughs a deep hearty laugh at those who live their life nonchalantly taking problems as they arise. How can a person POSSIBLY live a fulfilling life without always knowing how one might react in a certain situation? My brain haughtily chuckles.
By default, at times I am living not simply a week ahead, planning, checking, deciding and arranging, I am at times 6 months to a year ahead of the present. If I had the ability to write out what I would do, each future job change, all upcoming moves, holidays, completely lay out my finances to the letter, for the rest of my days, it seems my mind believes this would enable me to finally rest. The ultimate task.
This neurotic desire to plan and control when I'm feeling anxious about the unknown seems to be my ultimate nemesis. And yet, any anxious person will tell you it is also the one thing that keeps them ahead of the rest. Without my anxiety, how else would I have graduated in 4.5 years when one year I only took 10 credits? Without anxiety, how could I have possibly paid off a 10,000 dollar student loan that wasn't even due to begin payoff for four years, in only 11 months without my parents? Without anxiety how would I manage money? Plan a move? Host an event? What feature in my brain would assist me in making sure everything was in place?
Anxiety! The anxious person shouts.
Anxiety keeps me sane! Prepared! On time! Organized! Without it I'd be a lazy schmuck that said things like, "Wow. I didn't expect that to happen. What now?"
I'm fighting so hard to understand that my anxiety is not this wonderful tool I've believed it to be.
Without the anxiety would I not still desire an organized work space?
In the absence of anxiety would I not still be a hard working individual who found enjoyment in completing a task correctly?
Without the crippling feelings of anxiety would I not make sure my house was in order before friends arrive for the weekend?
Without feeling as if my heart was going to beat out of my chest thinking of things to do, possible fights that may or might not erupt, and imagining every worst scenario before they've come to fruition, would I not be able to enjoy a holiday at my home with my family?
Most definitely yes.
And dear lord YES.
My young life could go in so many different ways at this moment. And yet, it could stay exactly the same.
So many of the deciding factors, the true game changers are completely, 100%, out of my control.
The most terrifying words I know.
My defensive mechanism is to plan. For each option, how will I cope? What will I do? What will we do? How will this work? My brain moves in such mysterious ways it has been known to wonder if we some day moved, and moved into a smaller house with a little tiny kitchen, one that my beautiful not even one year old dinning room table could not fit in, what would I do with the beast? Store it in anticipation of another move to a larger home? Sell it? Try to make it work?
All that, for a house we're not moving into, for a move that isn't coming, for a table still standing proudly in my dinning room.
But anxiety reasons, "What, if?" My brain wants to run through all options now, so when it finally happens, I already know exactly what to do.
As silly as this all sounds, these many layers of problem solving for problems that do not exist swirl through my brain in a never ending loop. Anxiety tells me to go there because there truly are answers to every one of my burning questions, so why not find them now to avoid feeling sideswiped with them later? Yet I must remind myself that they simply cannot be realized, today.
I am trying to slow the wheels. Live for today. Reminding myself that in this world, the only true control I have is what I do with my life in this moment. Living for this very instant.
Sit at that beautiful table of mine and love it right now because it exists, right now.
Because sitting at it and wondering if one day I'll be parted with it, forces more chaos that it brings peace.
I never thought being present could be so crippling.