Anxiety vs. Excitement

Several years ago, I was not at a good place in my life. I’ll spare you the details, but trust me — it was NOT good. I happened to be making solo international travel plans at that time, too, and I was filled with dread. Every little thing that didn’t go exactly as planned would send me into a tailspin, both during preparation for the trip and while flying. There was a compressed mass of anxiety (the negative cousin of excitement), seething just below the surface.

Today, I still feel that same amount of energy, but its texture is so different. I mean, I still know I will miss people, will feel loneliness, will screw some stuff up, will be uncomfortable (umm… see my last post if you don’t believe me!). And I did feel some anxiety this past week when trying to hassle instructors about sending in their materials for this course, wrap up a job for which my temporary replacement has yet to be determined, pack up and move my belongings from my apartment, and do the bazillion other things necessary to put life on hold in that location for a bit. You should see the daily and overall to-do lists I generated! Impressive, really (or maybe only impressive if you’re OCD. hmmmm…).

Those to-do lists allowed me to be organized and relaxed enough (peppered with my fair share of just wandering around my apartment trying to assess what the hell I should do with all these things) to have a bit of free time before I left town to say farewell to some of the things I love the most about that town: The View, The Trail, and The Lake.

And I have been and am filled with immense gratitude these last few weeks for the people in my life who made the anxiety as minimal as possible. I have friends and family who listened to me complain about everything I had to do. I have friends and a boss at work who helped me wrap things up as smoothly as possible. Family who came to visit (my brother showed up multiple times!) to say goodbye and offer help. A friend who let me forward mail to his house. A friend who let me park my car at her house. A friend who let me store the entire contents of my apartment in her basement. Friends who helped me schlep said contents from said apartment to said basement (even supplying tools to take the feet off the couch when we thought we may have to just leave it on the sidewalk, driving the U-Haul when I got all wussy-pants about driving the truck over that damn giant bridge, and providing post-moving beer from the trunk of a car). And the list goes on. This transition has been filled with Charmed Life Examples #647 to at least #763, I swear.

And right now, with all the tedium of preparation behind me, I feel like there is excitement fizzing below the surface, and I am as delighted by it as a friend’s two-year-old once was when she took a sip of soda for the very first time and, wide-eyed and full of joy, exclaimed at the top of her lungs, “BUBBLES!”

Cheers to the bubbles of excitement, my friends!

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