Fear. The most cutting of all four letter words. I've talked a bit about fear and consciously choosing to surround myself with supportive folks. (For example, this blog post here.) I am talking about it again because it's a common theme in my life, and as I have discovered, a common theme in many people's lives.
I am a strong believer that for anyone who is attempting to suss out a life by way of uncharted territory, it is extra important to choose the company you keep carefully.
There are people that throw around the word "can't" too freely. They wield it like a sword ready to cut down those that seek to stray from the acceptable path.
The strange truth is that despite how it may seem, these people are probably not out to hurt us. People who inject such negativity into other people's lives are far too consumed by their own experiences for it to truly be about us. It is about them. Their attitudes are a reflection upon their own inhibitions or life circumstances.
This awareness lends me some compassion towards people that say unsupportive things, but it does not mean that I need to choose to prolong interaction with them. And nor do you if you find yourself in a room full of naysayers. You can leave that room.
I'm also learning that fear is not a bad thing. It is how we respond to our fears that matters.
These days my level of inner calm is a pendulum.
I started to panic about moving back to LA because I had, somewhat arbitrarily, set the end of April as my departure date. This having to do mainly with the fact that my birthday is at the end of April and therefore it felt like a good time to high-tail it out of here. Seeing as how it is already mid-April, that date was clearly overly ambitious. Time flew and I felt completely unprepared. I was supposed to fit in multiple trips before leaving! Not to mention actually getting packed and ready.
The pendulum had swung too far to the right; I was feeling rushed, completely caught off guard by the swift passage of time.
Then my mother calmly reminded me through an episode of hysterics on the phone that I set this date for myself and I didn't actually have to be out by a certain time.
As it turns out, delaying making concrete departure plans was a good thing, as there are new developments in the works causing some shifting in dates.
After this release of my timetable, I had a few days of genuine calm. I felt at ease for the first time in a while.
And then the pendulum started to swing back the other way. Now there were too many questions! When AM I getting out of here? Seriously, what AM I doing? Is LA the right move? GAH!
Hello, my name is Katie Anxiety Habib.
I am a bit ridiculous and I suppose the only redeeming quality is that I know it and can ultimately laugh about it; you know, when I'm not in the midst of a frenzy. Wait, I take it back. I have been known to do a laugh-cry.
The take away here is that it is all going to be okay.
(Did that feel like a leap? Stay with me.)
And since that is really all that I ever need to hear, I am saying it to you.
It is all going to be okay.
If you have genuine dreams and are in active pursuit of those dreams, keep trucking! Living with uncertainty is a rather uncomfortable place to be, but I am a big believer in pushing ourselves, striving for new horizons and embracing change. Even in my only 27 (nearly 28 now!) years, I can already see the truth in Mark Twain's words, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the things you did do."
Foraging ahead is scary. It is. If we are the one clearing the path then we don't know for certain what the future looks like.
Living in the questions is not how we are taught to function. If you find yourself in a state of anxiety over your life, make the question smaller until it feels manageable. If your entire life feels like one big question mark, and at the moment that feels terrifying instead of freeing —and it can absolutely be the latter! That's my ultimate goal. If you are already there, Bravo! But if you are like me and that level of trust is still a burgeoning practice, give this a whirl— stop asking that large of a question. Don't ask yourself how your life will look five years from now. Focus on just this year, or this month, this day, or even just this very moment. What is it that you want to do right now? What would make you feel calm and centered right now?
And trust me, we want to feel calm and centered. From that place we can conquer the world.