I feel down this morning. I feel like a scared, lost dog trying to find its way home in big, loud, foreign intersections. We've all seen that dog. It's the one that runs out in front of cars even though they're honking at it; it's the one that's not looking where it's going.
I'm anxious about all the things I think I should be doing.
My brain barrages me:
I need to find a plexiglass cage in Los Angeles for the May production of Brainpool's rock opera.
I should be waking up earlier. Look at how I've wasted the first part of my day.
I haven't checked email in days. People will be grumpy at me.
When am I going to reassemble the dashboard in that car I'm working on?
I don't write in my diary enough. I promised myself to do it every day. But, I don't.
When am I going to publish my book?
Is this the life I want?
I get so caught up in these kinds of thoughts at times.
I wasn't anxious for the last three weeks—or at least not very much. But, since I've been home it's been pretty bad.
I don't really know why I feel this way. When I look at life it seems better than great. I'm healthy, I have friends, I teach people, I take photos, I make records.
My doctor (and everyone else) keeps explaining how that's the thing about anxiety: it doesn't have to do with reality. But, if you think it's real you start to do things like try to escape it or fight it. And, those things make it worse. They sure made it worse for me.
I have been so anxious that I wouldn't get everything done and that all the people in my life will be disappointed because of it.
So, my plan to was to be more effective. I made endless to-do lists. Each day I tried to cross off as many tasks as I could. And, I write down new things I need to remember to do on the list.
It didn't work. It only made me feel worse.
I got a zillion things done. Yet, the anxious, scared feeling didn't go away. So, I tried harder and harder. I got more and more frustrated because I continued to feel worse and worse.
It was a loop. Nothing I could actually do would make the feeling go away. The effort I put into trying to 'fix' the situation only made me more frantic and sick.
I was feeling pretty great last week when I was in the studio. I took a lot of naps. I ate a lot of snacks. I rarely opened my computer. I barely did anything at all. Yet, my album got finished.
Does life have to feel like struggle, even when it's not? I'm guessing the answer is no.
I just think I haven't tapped into the flow yet.
When I worked at Apple my days felt mostly empty and meaningless. Blogging and friends were what I lived for. I looked forward to coming home each night.
Now I feel I actually get to make a difference in my world and do something that interests me during my days. It still feels empty and meaningless, just in a different way.
I played my album for the girl that sat next to me on the plane from Washington, DC to San Francisco. She listened to the whole thing and took notes with my fountain pen in my diary. She'd never written with a fountain pen before, and it smeared black ink all over her hands. After she was done listening she looked over her notes and then told me she thought I was looking for something spiritual, but I haven't quite found it yet.
It was quite a bold statement from the 20-year-old stranger in a velour sweat suit.
What's there to do about it? Nothing, I hope. I don't want to add anything more to my to-do list anyways.
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