There has always been this fire inside me. A burning desire to create, to connect, to share the passion that I have with anyone who would listen, who would look. I wanted to do more than make a little splash in the pond, I wanted to create a tidal wave that would send roaring waves over the oceans waking the sleeping creatures from the depths of the sea.
But I felt like I had no options. I felt like I was dealt these cards in life and I would always remain poor, working paycheck to paycheck. I would work long, hard hours serving people that didn’t even know my name. They didn’t know what I have been through! They just wanted my service, my smile, and the surface joy that I decided to share. I was scared of sharing any intimate pieces of myself, because then I wouldn't be considered a fun girl! I wouldn’t be chosen! I wanted all the friends, and wanted all of the attention.
I have constantly struggled with the pressure of the daily anxiety I carry with me. I have seen others illustrate the concept of anxiety in a way that I never totally understood. In many ways anxiety is like a monkey on your back, or a weight that is tied to your ankles. But in more cases, anxiety is a part of you. It lives in you and feeds off of you. It is like a parasite.
Imagine you have a tapeworm inside of you. You know that you should be eating, but even though you consume every meal you still feel no satisfaction. The need to eat doesn’t cease. So, you eat more and more until you can’t anymore. And yet, the tapeworm grows. It will never have enough. It is alive and well and screamed at you saying “MORE!” It is greedy and selfish, and doesn’t understand that you have other things in life that you need to do other than eat and eat and eat.
This tapeworm is your anxiety. It lives inside you and it whispers all of your fears not just into your ear - it sends a message to every inch of your body. Even the brain doesn’t know what’s going on. You must wake up for work, and perform your responsibilities even when you are demanded to complete tasks well above your pay rate. You must answer every single text that lights up your phone and wakes the nerves in the pit of your stomach. You must attend every event that you are invited to with a welcome smile and a quiet mind - though you hear that whisper in the back of your head, and feel it all the way down to the tips of your toes.
The anxiety doesn’t rest, it needs more and more.
The only way to get rid of this fear, this anxiety, this living, moving invasive being - is to remove it.
Now, if I had the hidden formula/surgery for removing anxiety like it was a parasite I would’ve gone under the knife years ago. This is where my analogy loses some of its edge… Because it is not so simple. It’s almost backwards logic. See, you can’t get rid of the anxiety totally. There is no magic cure for putting your nerves at rest. So, we look the other way.. What are the things that make us anxious and how can we minimize the responses to these actions? And is the way that we are reacting to the situation a direct response from our anxiety OR is the situation triggering the physical response?
I bring all of this up because yesterday I quit my job. I walked in with a resignation letter, handed it in and walked out. The events leading up to this are not totally irrelevant, but also not incredibly necessary to the narrative of this article. Let’s just say that last week I had two panic attacks in one day - which is more than I had since high school. That was a big red flag that I had placed myself in a situation where I felt helpless, lost, isolated, and unsupported. My anxiety had not just crept up, it suffocated me in every aspect of my daily life.
So, I quit. No notice. No two weeks. No conversation.
Absolutely the most unprofessional and rewarding thing I have ever done in my life.
And I am OKAY. I am proud and strong and so incredibly ready to start the next part of this journey in life.
I am ready to work every day on pieces that light that fire and allow my passion to breathe and live and overcome the anxiety that likes to come in and say YOU CAN’T DO THIS! Because you can!! I can! It is possible to live every day for you. You have no obligation to anyone but yourself.
I’m not saying everyone should quit their job when they’re sick and tired of it. But, take a look at the daily habits in your life that give you that overwhelming pressure and ask yourself, “Why am I reacting like this? What can I do to limit the amount of anxiety I feel every day?” And then work on one thing every single day that will make you truly happy.
Because you deserve it.