Ideal

Over the past week or so, I have been rather forthcoming about my anxiety issues.  With people I don’t know well.

On one hand, I realize that speaking my fear immediately robs it of power.  If I admit I am anxious, suddenly I am less anxious.  My particular brand of anxiety is fed by the nonsense in my head… once I speak the words, I find things shifting back into perspective.

On the other hand, it is difficult for me to acknowledge that I don’t live up to the persona I have chosen for myself… the one who is always relaxed, carefree, confident.  My anxiety issues are a constant reminder that I fail to live up to my own ideal.  Bummer.

But perhaps my willingness to share my story with others lessens their anxiety.  I would certainly rather help someone than to preserve a facade of ever-present calm.  Besides, I am pretty sure no one ever worked through an issue by surpressing it.  I can’t deny my anxiety or simply wish it away.  But I can learn to breathe through it and to keep moving forward.

(Oddly enough, this post is not a reflection on any current anxiety that I have… I feel pretty chill right now.  But, I am dealing with new graduate students about to teach for the first time… and their anxiety, both spoken and unspoken, runs like an electric current around me.  All I know to do is share my experience and show them that I am still standing…)

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