Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Worry is wasteful and useless in times like these


I tend to worry a lot, I always have. I worry about what's going to happen or what's not going to happen. I worry about what people will think or are thinking, what they will say, what I should do or should not do. I worry about everybody and just about everything in my life. My stomach is often in knots about this or that. My grandmother used to always tell me that if I didn't have something to worry about, I'd be worrying because there was nothing to worry about. She also used to say that "worrying casts a large shadow for a small thing." She knew, because she was a worrier herself. And while I know that worrying doesn't get you anywhere, it really hasn't stopped me and I'm pretty sure that I come by it honestly. I realize that most of the things that I worry about, I don't have any control over....so staying awake at night distressed with anxiety is really serving no purpose at all-but still, I often find it hard to calm my nerves.

Life is not a dress rehearsal. There's no script to follow, no way things are "supposed" to unfold. Life just happens and for the most part, things usually end up being ok. This is what I tried to tell myself as I hysterically drove home from work today in a fit of anxiety and emotion with Arcade Fire blaring from my speakers and tears streaming down my face. My mother's soothing voice was on the other end of the telephone telling me to calm down and take deep breaths.

Over the last year, I think I've grown a lot as a person. I've certainly figured a lot of things out. To be quite honest, it's been a whirlwind. The relationship between myself and the person who I had always thought of as my true love, my soul mate, completely dissolved. I was forced to refocus. I had to admit that what I thought I wanted at one time, was not really the right thing for me at all. I moved out on my own to the neighbourhood that I wanted to live in, I started a new career in an industry that I am passionate about. What I have figured out is that at this moment in time, I have every right to be the most important person in my life. I can not look to anybody else to "complete" me or be my every happiness personified. I have to look out for myself and I have to fulfill my own destiny. I can't ride on the coat tails of somebody else's dreams. I have to go after what I want and make it happen. I deserve to have all my needs and wishes and dreams actualized as much as anybody else. It took me a long time to see that. This is not to say that I don't still have days like today where I lose my grip and feel like I'm spiralling...inevitably there are moments when I feel overwhelmed. My improvement is in being able to pull myself together and get back on track much more efficiently than before.

People come into our lives and influence us in many ways. Some of these people will stick around a lifetime, others will make only brief appearances. Either way, these key individuals help shape who we become. I've felt what it is to be with somebody who appreciates me like I am, somebody who thinks I'm a beautiful person no matter what I think of myself. I'm pretty sure that at least to some degree, I will always feel not so sure of myself and my abilities, and I will always be trying to work harder. But I now recognize the importance of being able to function as a human being and not be dependant on praise and external adulation. There are things that we all have to do and go through. It is in having experiences of all kinds that we truly live. I have been so fortunate in my life so far to have been touched by so many dynamic individuals. These people are my soul mates. I am so blown away by authenticity. I love to be surprised by people who are themselves. For the first time, I feel like I am really myself.

Matthew Good shared a personal comment on his site today and this quote really struck me; he wrote,
"Popularity, looks, social status - these are little more than transient elements in our lives. It is the pillars that remain to support our foundations, imperfections and all, that matter most."

So on days like today when I get down and I lose control, or I find myself worrying about trivial things, I try to remind myself what is really important. I am so blessed to have such a strong support system. I could not be more thankful to have those pillars to support my foundation, no matter what.

3 comments:

JaG said...

I should so start listening to that Matthew guy.

Shando said...

I can relate. That's forsure. Except my crying epiosodes always want to come at the worst times. During Work!

I loved your part about "I can't ride on the coat tails of somebody else's dreams." I wonder if I do this a lot. Sink my efforts into someone else's dreams, goals, aspirations. Easier to hide behind someone else's successes and failures. Not brave enough to go on my own yet.

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