Tonight at the end of my yoga class with the lights turned off, I found myself holding back torrents of tears. They weren’t tears of sadness. They were tears of relief. I began to realize just how much weight I’ve been carrying around on my shoulders for so long. It’s a building tension and I’ve gotten so used to it that it wasn’t until tonight’s class, when I finally managed to relax that it all threatened to come flooding out all over the gym floor.
There are so many good things going on in my life right now. I’m taking so many positive steps towards my dreams. It was the prospect of having kids five years ahead of plan that made me realize that I don’t have to have a $60,000 down payment to rent a house in the suburbs with a yard, a barbecue, and space for a dog. Billy and I are thinking now that we’ll likely move when our lease is up in 2011, maybe find a place we can rent with the potential to buy.
We bought a car – or, I should say, we’re 90% of the way to buying a car – which will help me get closer to nature while we wait out the rest of our lease. One thing I’ve realized about myself is that if I don’t get time to spend with real, actual earth, I start to die a little inside. The carefully landscaped gardens and properly positioned trees growing out of holes in the sidewalk just don’t do it for me. Having the car means I can go hiking when I feel like it, or go for a walk on the beach in the rain on a Tuesday night. What a relief.
And, I’m finding ways to bring the creativity back into my life. It probably sounds kind of corny, but making this llama toy has really sparked something in me. I LOVE making toys. Who knows… maybe this can lead somewhere more lucrative. The volunteer work I’ve been doing with the Photography Explorers in Brooklyn and the knitting/crocheting group I’m working with at a nursing home on the Upper East Side is really helping to keep my work productive and fresh.
But all this good stuff really builds tension. I’m a worrier by nature, but with all the good things that are happening, my anxiety levels have gotten out of control. I worry about EVERYTHING, every minute. What will I have for dinner? Do I have it in me to go for a run? What if it rains? What’s that little bump on my arm? Am I going to lose my job? What am I going to do about this speeding ticket? What if I can’t afford the payments on the car? Why is she looking at me like that? Am I getting enough sleep? Are we going to be able to afford to buy a house in five more years? (!!) What’s that noise? When am I going to get to clean the apartment? What are we going to do about the cockroaches taking over the kitchen? Why won’t the toilet stop running? What will my friends say if I don’t have a 30th birthday party? How are we going to get to the Outer Banks? Am I being a good enough friend?
I just can’t shut it off, is what I’m saying. And the calmer I get with regard to reaching my long-term goals, the higher the pitch of my anxiety. It’s this really strange and tenuous balance. Nearly anything can spark an urge – to cry, to fight, to throw up, to run away, to lie on the floor and play dead. It’s exhausting and exhilarating all at once. But I’m tired. I just need a rest.