I’ve been an anxious person for as long as I can remember. When I was young, my favorite companion was a little white bear (now grey) named Tetty. I carried him with me everywhere; he was my best friend and confidant. One day, a terrible thought came over me: what will happen when I die? Where will Tetty go?
I was four.
Throughout my childhood I had many of these crippling, fearful thoughts. Irrational worries about abandonment or danger, even death, entered my mind as a very young person. I’m not conscious as to what triggered these fears early on, but as I got older, these concerns and anxieties became more rational. Later, I learned to cope with these fears by avoidance, unhealthy relationships, making impulsive major life decisions and my favorite, the perpetual geographic cure. I loved to run away… change seemed to fix everything.
Surprise, surprise: none of these “remedies” worked; at least, not for the long haul. As I reflect on the past decade of my life- my first post-college decade- I have lived in numerous cities, had endless types of jobs and more relationships than I can count. This month, ten years ago, was the month I finished my Bachelor’s Degree, moved to the Detroit ‘burbs and started my first real office job. After about a year of “The American Dream,” I decided it wasn’t for me. It was time for a new challenge, so I called off my wedding and moved to San Francisco. It was really as simple as that (although my fiancé wasn’t too pleased)- and despite growing up as an anxious person, I just now realize how strong my faith must have been all along- I just never realized it.
I never questioned whether or not a major move would work out- I always just had faith that it would. This past move to Boston was no different. Having faith doesn’t mean I don’t still worry or have anxiety- I do- but now I know better how to fix it. Prior to moving to Boston, I received several very clear signs that this was the place I needed to go, so I packed up and took the chance. Some people may have thought those signs were silly, but to me they were very clear, and very real- it was obviously a spiritual experience. Today, those spiritual experiences are what guide and comfort me.
I don’t like plans very much; I find that my own plans get in the way of the Universe flow, thus blocking my openness for what truly is best for me. Yes, I will make a list of goals, things I want to accomplish and what logistics need to be put in place, but I came to Boston with nothing but a mission- to continue to grow, discover myself, and start fulfilling my purpose, whatever that purpose may be. I knew I needed to be oceanside and I knew I needed a blank slate with a change of scenery.
Nearly six months later, I still have those things- including the blank slate- yet without any idea what my career, love life and future may hold, I feel peaceful today. I don’t have to run today from fear.
Today I can stand still.
All of my needs are met. I am content. I have an abundance of love, positive energy and most of all- a willingness to connect with whatever else is out there for me.
It’s been thirty-two years and I am happy to inform you that Tetty is still going strong- he’s still by my side throughout the moves and the madness. Oh, who would have guessed all the adventures we would have together!