anxiety’s arrival

August 5th, 2016

It’s only my second day in Iceland. Day 10? Of my trip. I don’t usually count the days but I’m feeling – I dunno – sad? Confused? Lost? Not all who wander are lost, but am I? Why did I decide to do this? What am I doing? I could be at home in Chicago living easy and working and hanging out with people I love dearly – and yet – I’m here. In Iceland. On this adventure. Alone. I don’t have enough money. Are you sure? I say to those thoughts, the little anxious voices in my head. Probably not, I reply. But somehow I am here and have convinced myself I’m doing this as an investment in myself. I went/am in debt because of university – how different is this? I’m learning things about the world firsthand, through new people and places. I’m feeling my age more than I ever have – I’m only 28. Do it while you can! Everyone says. I put on a happy face for my social media – and I am happy – I did get here by myself, I will get to the next place by myself. Anxiety ridden and all. The curious thing about anxiety – a mental illness? What is a mental illness? A trap? A mental trap. Let yourself go. Let your mind go. I’m looking for that freedom. That release from the prison of my mind. Aren’t we all prisoners if our minds? The limits we put on ourselves are our own cells. If we are so convinced we must do something, we are trapped there until something snaps.

And why, after a lovely day of conversation with two other like minded girls and much exploring if a new beautiful city, why am I feeling so distraught about this most recent project? Because I spent money? On cards for those at home? On a charger I need for my phone? On chocolate I need for my soul? Or because I’m still terrified of the unknown, yet have thrown myself into it. Or because I haven’t drank enough water, and it’s that time of the month, and won’t let myself go out to eat, and haven’t done any yoga. I need to get my adrenaline pumping and shake morbid thoughts and embrace my life and my health. Remember this is only one period of my life and there are many more to come. Time does fly. It slips through our fingers when we’re not paying attention and even when we are – it’s gone. How does one pass a year? All differently around the world. So many different cultures and values and ways of living. Where does everyone find happiness? In success? How does everyone find success? 7 billion people in the world – can we all be successful? Where will I find my happiness and my peace? What will it be to look back on this time? What will I think of it? At 28 I planned an unplanned trip. Will I want to do this again? What will my next experiment be? How do I justify and explain myself to others only to beat myself up before and after? Fake it till you make it?

A little wine and a little conversation and a little smile will do you good, I think, always, and especially today. Stockpile my photos, show the world my smiling face, my brave face, my I can do anything face. Hide my fears, hide my tears, belittle my anxieties, do away with my worries. Everything will be okay.