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The Enchanted Outlook

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anxiety

Hello Again!

profile pic Daniel's wedding

Greetings blog world! I’ve missed you! It’s been a while, so I thought I’d update you on a few of the things I’ve been up to while I’ve been, ahem… not blogging.

  • I’ve been getting to know my new city and taking in all the sights.
  • I’ve finished four grad school applications, with a fifth one in-progress. I should hear back in March-April, so fingers crossed!
  • I’m halfway through my year of service with a local literacy nonprofit, and am helping nearly fifty students in an under-served school meet their literacy needs.
  • I’ve lost seven pounds! I wish I could give you some tips and tricks, but it’s been mostly burning calories shuttling children around at work. Bad cold (or flu?) and stomach bug also contributed, unfortunately.
  • I’ve been on a book binge! Books on tape driving to and from work, reading books all day to kids, and a small book club with my high school friends. (New favorites blog post coming soon!)
  • I’ve been learning a little Korean. Or, at least how to read it. Work in progress on that one.
  • I’ve been on a minimalism/zero waste/plant-based food kick. These are all works in progress too, but I’ve really been enjoying watching Youtube videos and making small changes. I bought almost an entire new work wardrobe second-hand from Clothes Mentor and Thred-up and saved a ton of money in the process.

Now, confession time, I HATE life transitions. I mean, absolutely hate them. Big life changes make me terribly nervous and I have a tendency to want to avoid them. This year, though, changes were thrust upon me, and I just accepted that I was going to be anxious about them. Accepting that aspect of myself somehow made things a lot easier because I was kind to myself throughout the process rather than trying to be hard on myself. I practiced self-care and self-acceptance rather than trying to perfect the process. I also treated the whole thing as an adventure and decided to be grateful for new opportunities, because every life experience is temporary anyway. I’m still in a very transitional place in my life right now, but I’m learning to enjoy that more and to live in the moment.

So, now that grad school apps are almost done and I’m past the half-way mark with my year of service, I’m hoping to be blogging more often. I’ve got a few new ideas, but also let me know if there is anything you would like to hear from me!

Chatting with Fear

fear-1

I once wrote a poem that started with, “What is fear but the unnamed, unexplained, unappreciated monster, the bump outside our fortress in the dank, dark night, the tickling, prickling of our feet as we dog-paddle across the deep, dragon-infested waters of the unknown?”

It was a silly poem, but fear is arguably the most vulnerable emotion, is it not? At the least, it is hand-in-hand with love. We would much rather shove it in a corner, cover it up, push it down, than admit to it. However, it is only in admitting to it that we can accept our fear for what it is.  So many other more complex emotions are largely a mask to cover up that scary emotion called fear.

What is hatred or bigotry but fear of the unknown, the different, the “other?”

What is anger but fear of losing the ones we love or fear of being unloved ourselves?

What is complacency but fear of change?

What is arrogance but fear of rejection or failure?

What is anxiety but fear of what could go wrong?

Today, I invite you to invite your greatest fear into your home, sit it down, and serve it some metaphorical tea and cookies. Listen to what it has to tell you. Don’t try to hide it, change it, or move past it. Not today. Just let it be, and accept it for what it is. In listening to it, you may find a beautiful truth, something you never knew about yourself because you were too afraid to find out.

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