This time it started right after I dropped my oldest off at the bus terminal.
I was walking to the ferry and I saw a woman reaching back to hold her little boys hand in the backseat of her car. He was in his car seat smiling back at her and I got that sharp pain in my gut- tears started welling up in my eyes and I felt that heavy feeling coming on. My season of inner turmoil was beginning to brew.
I’ve heard Sarah Silverman describe it in a way that I can totally relate to- “It feels like you’re terribly homesick, but you’re home.”
I can see the signs now and I can acknowledge what it is- “Oh, it’s you, you’re back” -that’s why I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’m waking up in the middle of the night filled with fear- reaching out for something to worry about.
I’ve been here before, quite literally since I was in Elementary school. Mrs.Dellasandro- the school principal came to our house to talk to my parents about what was going on with this usually happy little girl. She’s crying a lot at school and keeps asking if she could please just put her head down on her desk for a while.
My parents did what they knew best. They listened to me talk about my worries and fears, they assured me I’d done nothing wrong, they told me that I had nothing nothing to worry about, followed by many hugs. Ultimately I think they knew it would pass.
I love how Elizabeth Gilbert describes her acknowledgement of fear in her book Big Magic.
“I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still- your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest detours; your not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”
So, at 49 years old, in early October, having just weathered this seasons inner turmoil and now on the other side of it- I’m grateful; grateful that I have a supportive husband who listens and “gets me.” I’m excited to embrace the next change in my life. I’m ready to explore again. I’ve got happiness back in my life and pulsing through my veins. I can feel it and it feels good.
I know my old friends “fear & anxiety”will be back again, and I’ll have to remind myself that there’s no reason to be afraid of them-I know that life just gets better, I also know that they’ll pass, and that’s the most important thing.