Ugh. I totally feel terrible right now. It's September 5th, at 1pm, and it hasn't been a great day so far anyway, but my anxieties about maybe someday living a fantastic life, or not, are just horrible.
Since this is a journal, intended for publication, and not a diary (for personal reflection only) it is, of course, intentionally oblique on the subject of my own personal life. And as opaque as I can make it on the personal lives of people I have actually met and are still living.
But I really love how I can come to this journal with an escalating anxiety (or excitement) about any topic at all, and just writing a very few sentences down will totally puncture the intensity of that anxiety. Or excitement. I literally felt better about being petrified before I even started this paragraph, and I haven't even explored the topic fully enough for publication!
Hopefully I can still do a good job now that the intensity of my feelings on the subject are (temporarily) diminished.
I don't remember if I mentioned it here or somewhere else, but I have been writing scripts in my head since I was in elementary school. I noticed it one day, walking to or from school. I was having an imaginary conversation with the cute boy in school. (Me and my best friend both had a crush on him. This was not a problem in elementary school.)
And after I'd followed that train of thought, "imaginary conversation with cute boy", way way WAY far out into the boonies, I started to feel silly.
Mostly because I wasn't having ANY conversations with that boy, so it's not like I could even claim to be rehearsing for real life.
But also because the scope of the conversation was SO FAR OUT a) that it triggered my credibility sensor for real life conversations with that (or any) boy, and b) from any conversations I actually had with anyone, full stop.
At the time, I started nipping that 'rehearsing my part' instinct in the bud, solely for the purpose of avoiding feeling silly when rehearsals veered so far from any reality I found credible. I have had plenty of actual conversations, since then, which do veer way out into the boonies, and I LOVE them.
Maybe I have been silently rehearsing my part in some of those, too. But way back in the undiscovered portion of my brain, the non-verbal part. I am ok with that.
But I have two additional reasons to TRY to nip those conscious rehearsal conversations in the bud.
The second reason I try to avoid rehearsing imaginary situations is more a combination of philosophies about 'rehearsing' life. In terms of anxiety, that's adding, as I have mentioned before, an extra level of suffering in my life. For problems that rarely come up.
This can come up for things that are NOT problems too--I got up out of bed (where I was TRYING to relax for 10 minutes) to write this very thing, because I am rehearsing ways to avoid a situation I am philosophically and practically speaking, totally willing to throw myself into!
A situation, I must add, that is entirely hypothetical.
And that leads me to another philosophical perspective on avoiding this 'rehearsal' of things that may never happen. Which is 'the story', the narrative arc that ties related and unrelated factual events (and far too often some flight of fancy) into an explanation for the world we have just survived. The 'story' also passes judgement on itself and everybody in it, and for some reason I try very hard to appear non-judgmental.
And that reason is unsolicited criticism is actually worth LESS than you paid for it. Just like normal unsolicited advice.
I am totally digressing from the topic of being petrified, though I have approached it obliquely. I think that's good enough for today, as long as I notice that my fears may be trying to sabotage my hopes.
And pick the hope over the fear on anything I really care about.