June 20, 2019
Dear Darkened Rose,
Over the past month, I have had the pleasure of being employed to watch Mr. Ian Blayne. Can you believe he’s a decade old, now? I have found so much enjoyment in this past month with being able to visit with the people I care about. Although, I can feel that that comfort is pivoting quickly. It’s a bit unsettling.
I keep telling people that I am terrified or exhausted as I am currently preparing for a month and a half in Europe (leaving Austin this Sunday). I know that expression of fear and negativity serves no one. I think what’s most terrifying is simply trying not to let my emotions get the best of me, as I know they have in the past. I feel like (or I know that) I do not really deserve this traveling experience. I start believing that something terrible is right around the corner and is about to mess with my joy. I start to fear I won’t be able to handle it.
Over the next two months, I will be clearly transitioning into a different phase of my life. While that is rewarding, it also forces me into a position where I really have to learn to balance my own self-perception to finally include some wholesome pride, committed gratitude, and acceptance. Which sounds easy enough, but a large part of me is struggling with this. Not because I am innately a humble person (by any means), but because I think I have a compulsion to self-sabotage to maintain a state of inertia. I have already talked about this self-verification cycle, and right now I’m in the heaviest midst of overcoming it.
I have found that I might be addicted to chaos.
I know I am not alone in this, and I feel like I could certainly find a better way to cope with all of the stress that I create in that mindset, as others have. So I’m working on it. I find that I keep creating unnecessary issues for myself to resort back to negative self-talk. Daily, I cycle through these several questions about traveling:
- “What if, in my light packing, I don’t have the perfect outfit and shoes for these countries? They’ll heavily judge me, right?”
- “How much Italian, French, and Spanish should I have been brushing up on, and how ill prepared will I be to have not done so?”
- “Will I be able to control my eating and drinking once I open the floodgates of enjoying the foods these places have to offer?”
- “Is the daily strolls going to be enough exercise to keep me sane?”
- “Why can I not seem to get my face to stop breaking out? Is it stress? Can I promptly fix stress?”
- “Am I still capable of making A grades in this study abroad setting?”
- “Can I suppress the need to take pictures excessively, and only capture the moments that mean the most to me?”
“AM I PREPARED, YET?!?!?!”
I have convinced myself that any normal person would simply think, “Hell yeah, I have set myself up for getting to travel Europe.” My brain likes to remind me that I am just not that kind of human. I am a human who is healing from the depths of depression and anxiety. As always, I am sorry if I come off as unappreciative and distressed during this time.
Right in this very moment, I want to hold myself accountable to changing my language to reflect what everyone else has told me. I’m going to create an incantation, of a sort, that says, “This trip is going to change my life for the better. I am allowed to have a good time, and create room for that. Start dishing out gratitude, now! Everything has the potential to go smoothly if I can recognize areas of responsibility in my actions and reactions.” That’s my prayer to myself.
I can handle this. I’ll report back during or after my trip. I promise, now, that I will make sure not to unnecessarily embellish things, nor to write you a travel log. I won’t be here to make you envious of my trip, but to let you know that all is safe and well in my mind.
I miss you, and I know I will also terribly miss everyone else at home over the next several weeks (most especially my main man, Atticus). Thank you for still being a nonjudgmental resource for me talk to. I love you, Momma.
Enclosed are cool things.
The Song: The Humbling River by Puscifer