Hey. So I’m all over the fucking place. Here’s the thing. I think I developed a case of the scaries a.k.a. anxiety. It happens. It happens to me every holiday season. Maybe because the holidays are a time of change, a time of endings and beginnings, a time of reflection. Maybe because, even though I’m with friends and family, I still feel alone.
When I was younger, I used to watch Urban Cowboy on repeat. I would cheer on hottie Debra Winger as she straddled that bull and showed John Travolta what’s up over and over again. My idol. I know, it probably wasn’t the best flick for a five-year old to watch 176 times. Anyway, I’m in Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday at the moment and nothing was going to let me leave this place without recreating my own, less scandalous, version of Urban Cowboy. So after many long years of not riding a bull, I finally rode one. I definitely didn’t look anywhere close to sexy as Deb…or as flawless. I also may have only lasted 5.34 seconds…BUT I DID IT.
That same night, I gave country dancing a whirl. My old friend from college whipped me around, twirled me up and down, and one-step, two-stepped with me all over the circular dance floor (…while I stared at my feet and counted in my head the entire time). Many tequilas later, I hopped on the bar and line danced like a good ‘ol Texas girl should. I’m not sure I remember the last time I smiled so big.
In a somewhat bold move, I recently booked a trip with someone I had met two days prior. YOLO? Don’t worry. I don’t think this person is an axe murderer. Heh…heh…
Speaking of, my current travel schedule is taking me from San Francisco to Dallas to San Antonio to Dallas to New York to Los Angeles to Seattle to Houston to New York to about six cities in Florida. Don’t panic. Don’t panic.
Since beginning this country tour 12 days ago, I’ve seen my friend who recently got engaged; my all-time bestie; my childhood bestie and her cutie pie of a son; some friends I made at Burning Man, including one hottie I sometimes stalk on Snapchat; my Texas bestie; an Aussie pal from New York who happened to be in Texas at the same time; my mom, my brother, my dad, my aunt and cousins; my dear friend from college (i.e., the country dancer); and a sweet friend of mine who moved from New York to Austin and who has the most adorable family and home ever. Whew. And it’s only the beginning.
Lately, I’ve been looking in the mirror and seeing someone who needs to get her health and weight in check. When did my face get so droopy? These jeans are a bit tighter than they used to be. Shit, I’m getting old. Should I cut back on drinking? GASP.
About a week ago, I finally closed on my apartment. Apparently, it wasn’t as smooth of a process as it is for most people. “You’re a special case,” said the real estate agent. But hey, I’m officially a homeowner. It’s all done. To be clear, I already owned the apartment I live in but it was with him. Now it’s just me, myself and I on that beautiful mortgage of mine. It’s my Queendom now.
Seeing my parents over the holidays is always a tough thing for me. Will we have enough to talk about? Will I lose my cool? Am I spending enough time with them? How guilty will they make me feel for not spending enough time with them? We’ve been through so much…have we forgiven each other for all of it? Spoiler alert: They do not think I’ve spent enough time with them and yes, they’ve made me feel guilty about it and yes, I lost my cool. Oof. Gotta work on that.
Since starting my YES journey, I’ve been seeing a lot of people from my past–some of whom I haven’t seen in more than 10 years. The reunions tend to increase over the holidays so lately I’ve been a bit busy with that. And every single time I get so nervous that I won’t have anything interesting to say or ask. It’s the introvert in me. The good news is that the awkward silence that I fear so much actually hasn’t happened yet. People are so fascinating, you know?
These past couple years, various people in my life have encouraged me to write a book. This is my dream. I want to write a book. I really, really want to write a book. I’ve gotten about *this* far with it, which isn’t that far at all. I won’t give up on the dream but I know I need to clear out the fears that are holding me back if I want to move forward. Will anyone even care to read the thing? Can I even write? It’s fears like those that keep paralyzing me.
There are a few new developments in my life that are throwing me for a loop. They’re making me think differently about what I want…what I want in a relationship…want I want for myself…what I want in love. Shit, shit, shit. Did I just say I wanted love? No. Ugh. Ack. Ugh. Sorta. Yes.
Should I get bangs again? I need a new tattoo. When did my credit card bill get so out of whack? I think I want to take a solo trip to Mexico for Christmas. And what am I doing for New Years?
Back to that lonely statement I casually mentioned earlier. I had gotten very used to having a partner to spend the holidays with each year–his family, my family, no family, vacation, just together. Since entering the single life, the holidays have become a reminder of how alone I am in this. I feel like a child again. Visiting my parents in Texas, updating them on my job and that busy life of mine, sleeping on an air mattress each night. I don’t know if I’ll ever get use to it; but I’ll keep trying to make the best of it.
You feel my anxiety? My heart is racing. It’s there. It’s alive. It’s real.
The thing about anxiety is that it’s natural. It’s a natural human response to that sense of fear and apprehension you feel (see: booking trip with stranger). It’s designed to heighten your awareness so you’re prepared for any potential threats (see: ready for love). You can’t will it away, you can only cope with it (see: riding bull, tattoos, travel, and dancing on bars). And the tricky part is keeping it from becoming unhealthy (see: droopy face and unfinished book).
I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m trying things I’ve never tried before. I’m taking risks that are terrifying. I guess it’s normal to feel anxious during times like these. In fact, what if this means that something really great is going on and that maybe, just maybe, I’m moving in the direction of my dreams? Goodness, I love a good fantasy.
Whether this is true or not, whether I’m going toward or away from my dreams, I’ve found that it’s worth taking the leap(s) to see what’s on the other end. Otherwise, things will just stay the same. Unchanged. Not different. Same. I don’t want the same. I want the ride. I want the YES.
Bottom line: It’s okay to enjoy yourself. It’s safe to be happy. You deserve to prosper. You simply need to breathe through the discomfort and the scaries and enjoy all the seconds, minutes, hours of this beautiful, wonderful life.