Anxiety alert! Anxiety alert! Danger ahead!
That alarm goes off in my brain when big changes in my life (let’s emphasize the ‘my life’ part, for relativity’s sake) are about to happen or when something new and unknown (and 99.9% of the time totally awesome) is on the horizon.
I’m a creature of comfort. Oh sure, I’m all for new adventures, new friends, new food, going out and doing whatever! But when it comes down to the core of my life, I grow very attached to ‘the way things are’ (if things are the way I like them).
Case in point: In 3rd grade my parents converted our downstairs office into a bedroom for me. Our family was growing thanks to the additions of my awesome little sisters, Hailey (Hully Bully) and Tessa (T.Rose), and there weren’t enough bedrooms upstairs. So I got my own! awesome! cool! room downstairs. I quickly covered it from floor to ceiling in Seattle Mariners and Sonics posters, and over the years it evolved with me. Summer before freshman year of high school, though, my brother, Reed, and I decided to switch rooms. Actually, I’m not really sure who decided this, but for some reason I was moving upstairs and he was taking over my room. MY ROOM. Even though I was actually excited for the move and the prospect of redecorating, my last night in my downstairs bedroom I just couldn’t sleep. I was too anxious. I was sad. I was going to miss this place so much (what, was my two years in the Peace Corps up or something? Why was this such a big deal??). I was so distraught that in the middle of the night I went out to our back porch and started crying. Our wonderful new golden retriever puppy, Kailani, quickly noticed that something was wrong, and she came over to comfort me. Cuddling that soft little fur ball, I told her why I was sad, and even though she was barely even five months old, she was full of wisdom, and helped reassure me that everything would be okay.
It was. Thanks, Kai. Love you and miss you.
I’ve had similar experiences with basketball camps:
Morning of Day 1: I don’t want to go! My stomach hurts, I’m nervous!
Afternoon of Day 1: That was so awesome! I met this person and this person and this person. This coach is great. I did this well, I need to work on this….
Morning of Day 2: Ugh, I don’t want to go! I’m not feeling well, do I really have to go?
Afternoon of Day 2: Wow, today was great, I had so much fun!
Wash, rinse, repeat.
My adult life is no different, and I think it is most evident when it comes to my cell phones and me. Yup. Cell phones. You thought it was going to be something a bit more significant, didn’t you. Well, in the 13 years that I’ve had a cell phone, I’ve owned only four different ones, and they’ve all been basic – nothing more and nothing less than what a textaholic like myself needs. I learned those things inside and out so that I can text with my eyes closed. T9 all the way, baby!
Whenever my phones have died, it’s been a strenuous process to find their replacement. Sometimes I deliberate for days. Most recently I’ve had the Samsung Gravity T459. About two years ago I went in to upgrade my phone with something smart and fancy schmancy, and I returned it in five days. I hated how it texted, it was too big for my hand, blah blah blah. And somehow I managed to keep my lil’ Gravity alive for another year+. When it finally was on its last leg for real for real, I went into the store again to see what phones were available. I have an iPhone 4S for work, so that’s probably one reason I’ve been able to operate without my own smart phone for this long. However, I’m with T-Mobile, and they have yet to add the iPhone to their arsenal. I couldn’t find anything that I liked. So you know what I did?
Ordered a new Gravity T459 on eBay, of course! Seventy dollars and a beat-up package from China later, and I was a very happy camper with my new and improved (but exactly the same) phone. I told myself that I’d keep it until T-Mobile got the iPhone. But then I started hearing raves about the Samsung Galaxy S3, and I got all sorts of confused about which one would be best for me. I’d hear one thing about one of them and say, “Okay, I’ve decided, I want that one,” and then 30 seconds later I’d learn something new about the other one and say, “Wait, that one does that thing better than the other one?” Oy vey. I kept prolonging the decision-making process.
Finally, thanks to the help (and patience and good humor) of Jay, I’ve gone and bought the S3. I’m planning a retirement party for my Gravity if you’d like to attend, where I’m going to recount all of the wonderful memories we’ve had together, such as the time when I forgot to lock my phone before I put it in my pocket and when I took it out it told me this:
Good times, yeah? Ah, the memories.
There is a point to all of this, I promise. It is here: I ultimately get over these humps (anxiety, ‘big’ decisions) and go on to be happy. But it’s always the ‘letting go’ part and just trusting that everything will work out the way it should that is tough for me. I’m not the only one who goes through this, right? Although maybe not all of you are as obsessed with your QWERTY keyboards and T9 as I am.
In 2013, I have many goals for my photography, from booking more clients, to re-branding, to writing an actual business plan, and more. I know that many changes are on the horizon, many things that will make me nervous, scared, anxious…but I also know those things will only help me grow, will make me a better person and photographer, and will help me find success in all aspects of my life.