fears

Anxiety + geography fail = self-analysis

The anxiety this week, oh my! It was bad on Monday, improved on Tuesday, and then got progressively worse.

Yesterday, I was addicted to my phone, compulsively checking social media nonstop. Every 30 minutes, if not more frequently #ADDindahouse. Thanks to my recent travels and dance festivals, I’ve a boatload of new Fbk friends, artists and dancers from across the world. My Fbk feed is flooded with promotions for upcoming festivals in exotic locations, pictures of peoples’ travels to all of the places on my bucket list, or posts from their everyday lives – inherently more entertaining when located in Amsterdam/Cape Town/London. My Fbk feed is a vibrant, exciting, diverse, fantasy land, and I’m stuck in grey Montreal with 2-degree weather, reviewing the definitions of internal controls and prepping for month-end. My intense FOMO led me to designate one of the Dubai hotties as my new confidante and unleash unending verbal diarrhea at him. Highlight of that convo: mistaking Agadir for the name of an upcoming dance festival in Ireland. The dude is Moroccan. #geographyismyforte. He eventually stopped answering me. Ooopsies.

Accurate representation of my behaviour when chatting with that dude.

Today, I tried to figure out why am I so overwhelmingly anxious. As I’ve learned, it is important to nip these episodes in the bud, before they spiral outta control. I have the tools. A quick run-through:

  • Medication: my prescription ran out and I haven’t taken time off from month-end to go fill it. Solution: Tuesday morning, GO. My #dreamteam will survive without me for 4 hours.
  • Exercise: haven’t exercised once this week, as Teacher is recovering from his festival and Coach is on vacation. Clear violation of my therapist’s orders. Solution: exercise tonight, ballet on Sunday, resume normal schedule next week.
  • Diet: disaster. I ate bread for breakfast, timbits for lunch, chocolate as a snack and the only veggies I’ve consumed this week have been 2 cucumbers and some cauliflower with spinach dip. Solution: groceries tomorrow.
  • Friends: I wanna isolate myself. Solution: do NOT bail on my dates with my girlfriends today & tomorrow.
  • Writing: no writer’s block, just very busy. Solution: find the time.
  • Sleep: I flip-flop between insomnia and exhaustion. Solution: be kind to myself and listen to my body.

I felt better. Simple, easy solutions. But there remained a pit in my stomach.

Why?

Seeing BlondEyes and BossMan made me realize: I no longer feel that their ability to pursue their dreams and goals is something that does not apply to me. I (finally!) have the same thirst for life as them. My two Big Dreams (moving to Paris and one day living from my writing) are clamoring for my attention – having seen my two friends take necessary risks to build their vision of a thrilling satisfying life, my Dreams whisper, “we can do this too!”

While in Dubai, I mentioned my Paris dream to BossMan – of course, he asked me what I was waiting for? The right position, obvi. Timing too, it’s important to not jeopardize my professional career with hasty decisions. One day, when the right opportunity comes my way, I’ll be able to weld my Dream with my Career. BossMan scoffed at me: if I really wanted to move to Paris, I could apply to any job I’d like, and after 2-3 months of job hunting, I’d be a wannabe Parisienne. BossMan insisted I lookup freelance writer opportunities, in front of him, while he watched. He asked me: why not commit 5 hours a week to this dream? Calmly, between shisha puffs, he dismissed my I dunnoooooos and my maybe-one-days. Bluntly, he told me: You’re afraid, Vanilla. Are you really gonna let your fears stop you from living the life you KNOW you want?

Seriously, the Dynamite family, with their wisdom & advice that echoes in my head for weeks. EXHAUSTING.

So there you have it: my anxiety stems from the war being waged between Risk-Averse Accountant Vanilla and Vanilla with Dreams. My Dreams won’t be silenced – they’ve paid their dues, patiently navigating all those years of depression. Seeing my Facebook feed full of people living their unconventional lives their way, pursuing their goals… makes it very hard for me to pretend that I am not, as BossMan suggested, letting my fears stop me from living the life I know I want.

I don’t know yet how to reconcile these two Vanillas. But at least I understand what is going on in my brain, and acknowledge that this is something worthy of my time and consideration. Ideally, I’ll continue achieving these moments of clarity and self-awareness, without first portraying myself as an annoying platinum blond Kim K wannabe to a guy I barely know.

“Whaddya mean, ‘Agadir’ is NOT Portuguese for ‘leprechaun’ ?!”

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2 guys, same feedback: part II

This will surprise no one: I was really upset when I wrote 2 guys, same feedback. I felt so defeated. All of my progress these past 2.5 years, invalidated by the opinions of 2 guys. Both dudes are rational and worthy of my respect; furthermore, they have NOTHING in common, based on any possible metric including nationality, education, upbringing, religion, age, profession, height or weight. If two guys that would not be prone to share opinions had same conclusion about me, it must be true.

And it is true, kinda.

Yes, I shut down convos pretty fast if they get too close to topics that are likely to generate emotions in me.

Yes, until Beaut, if I met a guy that appealed to me, emotionally, I would ghost him and put up every possible barrier known to mankind. Yes, for most of my soon-to-be-7 years as a single girl, I rejected any and all scenarios that could expose me to an opportunity of meeting someone who could hurt me. Stands to reason – my depressions hijacked my life. The last one, if unchecked, might have killed me, and I don’t say that lightly. Why would I seek out situations that could expose me to a relapse?

Yes, I am still extremely gun-shy about meeting a guy that could hurt me. But thanks to Beaut, I know I can survive such a situation – I won’t enjoy it, it will hurt, and depending on the guy, it might put me through the wringer. But as I recently realized, if I can handle Queen B Vanilla (aka I can handle anger), I can also handle hurt. Getting hurt is no longer synonymous with falling back into depression. I’m stronger than that. I have the tools.

BUT, I am scared. Obvi.

So I reserve the right to proceed with caution. I will not give myself up to just anyone. I need to trust them first. Physically, maybe. But vulnerability, and that sharing of myself that both of those dudes so expect from me? No. Not yet. I do not trust them. I might like them. I might anticipate that sooner or later, I will trust them, but right now, if I am shutting them down, it is because I do not trust them, and that is my prerogative.

Fuck that whole “vulnerability or nothing” ultimatum. I am vulnerable enough – this blog is proof of that. I have deep, transparent, rich relationships with my friends and coworkers, including my staff. My life abounds with love. I am capable of it.

And if they so want to get to know the “real” me, they can start by reading most of this blog. Yes, I prefer this medium, because I get to chose what I share, and when, but that too is my right. Everything I share here is truth. My truth.

I will not be imposed upon, because my schedule for assessing trustworthiness isn’t compatible with a man’s. Either he sticks around and waits it out, or he doesn’t. I’m worth it. And I am trying.

#vulnerablelikeaboss