Dream Big, Little Chief.

“I’m so anxious.”

If you’ve been around me for anymore than about fourteen seconds in the last two weeks, you’ve heard some variation of this sentence come out of my mouth. Anxiety. What is it? How the hell am I supposed to deal with it? I’M IN COLLEGE. WHY DO I EVEN HAVE IT?

Anxiety is really just getting overwhelmed, right? But if my life is so great like everyone says it is, why am I anxious? Here’s the deal, it’s not perfect. No one’s life is perfect. Not mine. Not anyone’s, but it is amazing. It’s my kind of perfect. I like to do the spontaneous, out-of-left-field type things. But with those kind of decisions, anxiety trails right behind along with stress and about nineteen other negative associations.

I’ve been reevaluating a lot in my life the past few weeks and I think that’s because my graduating in May just became official. I am OFFICIALLY done with college as of May 2014. Like, what??? After my whirlwind college experience, from the 24/7 rage in Arizona to the amazing days I’ve had in Illinois, I think it’s safe to say no one thought I would be graduating on time, let alone early. But here I am. Proved you all wrong. Suckers.

That’s one thing I love to do. Prove people wrong. Everyone holds people to expectations and wants them to do things their way. But who are they to talk? No one. That’s the answer. No one. So getting to defy all of the odds against me and finish my college chapter and open up the next one is absolutely awesome to me.

A lot of people are criticizing the graduating early thing. To acknowledge this as bluntly as possible, I don’t actually care what you think. I’m sorry. It is my life, my decision and for someone to tell me that it’s wrong is kind of absurd to me. I think that graduating early opens a lot of doors and opportunities and I like to think I’m about 95% ready for them and I’m hoping by May I’ll be 100%, but if I’m not, whatever.

Back to the anxiety. I know that this anxiety is coming from thinking about my future. With job interviews happening and figuring out how many days I’ll have to actually live in my parents’ house on top of the school stuff here, it’s just all too much sometimes. I know with Kerm and my parents I have a pretty kick-ass support system, but still there are times I want to just sit in my car and scream for about three hours, maybe listen to some Mumf or Lord Huron or the Lumineers and cry and then recollect my life and sanity. But that’s not really considered normal most of the time, so I went to Bloomington today to see my family instead and I realized something. That’s what this post is about so pay attention right now.

THERE ARE GOING TO BE BAD DAYS. If you don’t have any bad days, there’s no way for you to know how great the good ones really are. So what I’ve learned is to embrace those shitty days and let them happen. Feel sorry for yourself and eat a damn red velvet cupcake or drink a bottle of wine. Throw your book across the room and go take a nap instead of going to class. (Maybe not the best advice but….) Then, the next day when you wake up and the problem is beginning to be solved and someone does a random act of kindness towards you and you smile, your entire mood will turn around. It’ll feel like a weight was lifted off your shoulders and good for you. You let it made it happen that way because you let the universe take its toll on you and you won. Kudos.

Second thing I realized. I was driving home and I got lost. At first I was like “oh, $@&!. Where do I go? This is FOR SURE going to end up on Dateline. My body, side of the road, like Fargo (God help that movie).” But then I pulled onto some back dirt road, turned my headlights off, put the music even louder and looked at the sky and just sat. Literally. I just sat there. I was like one of those lame quotes off of Tumblr or something. I have no idea how long I was there. After what seemed like maybe twenty minutes, could have been like three hours, I grabbed a napkin and a pen and started writing. I wrote everything that was stressing me out and everything that was making me happy. I vowed to myself, on some farm road of some family that I’ll never know, that I would use those things starting today. I would take the things that were negative in my life or affecting my days in a stressful way and I would stare them right in the face and fix them. If it was something out of my power, I would fix my attitude on it. I would take the things that were positive in my life and made me obnoxiously thrilled to be alive and I would embrace them. I would tell those people how much they meant to me and I would nurture the relationship so that it would never ever go away or keep doing the happy things. In essence, I looked my life in the eye tonight and I challenged it.

My post advice to you is to try this. Do it in your own way. Find your own path with your own happiness and your own sadness and trials. Be free to experience what your life is, but challenge the universe as it is challenging you. You never know what will happen next. Good luck, my little babes.

Al

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