I’m an emotional person. I’m not apologetic about it. It’s actually a very defining part of who I am. Anxiety runs parallel to emotion. Whether I am on the road of excited or fearful there is a service road of OMG cruising right next to it. Recently I realized I don’t exhale. Ok, yes, in the literal sense, of COURSE I exhale after I inhale. But I’m talking about exhale as in, “phew!”
I can’t remember the last time I had a solid, “phew!”
There have been moments of relief. Moments where I have been fall on the ground thankful my family was ok. Moments where I cheered over passing a hard test. But for the most part: all day, every day, I am holding my breath.
When you have been in the bottom you gain a new perspective on life. Previously “the bottom” was something “way down there”. It was something you fell down towards. But once you land in “the bottom” you figure out it’s just an inch away from where you were previously standing.
Once you crawl out of it, get pulled up from it, spring yourself free, you have perspective. You know everything can foul up at any minute. So you don’t exhale.
It’s been one year since I was let go from the local startup where I passionately worked. On the anniversary of the day I was let go the startup officially shut down. It was jarring to get an email from the company. Jarring to remember that a year ago I had so much more stability. A year ago I was able to save up and move my family to different house in a new neighborhood. Now I can barely sustain the minimum of savings needed for the account.
Just like that I was back at the bottom again. Back to feeling terrified and dreadful. I’m nearly mid-way through the 2nd semester of my return to school and it has been HARD. Somewhere, on the other side of a massive mountain, is the next chapter. I know there is so much further to climb and trudge through. I know things may get even harder, but I miss feeling calm.
Did I ever do calm? I probably didn’t embrace calm when I should have. I probably didn’t recognize life stability when I had it. It’s a bad habit of mine to not appreciate the wonderfulness of something right in front of me.
I can not wait to exhale.
Image Credit: “Spring flowers” by W