Colour me a positive and call me a dreamer

Instinct, it’s that funny thing that is neither feeling nor thinking but more of a sensation. It leads us to and from and around different situations, sometimes you have it in spades and sometimes you simply don’t. Instinct is something I try to live my life by because despite all of the soul searching, the endless attempts to ‘find myself’ I am still mystified everyday, so I have decided to say sod it and just go with the flow. Thats not to say that coming to that decision has been easy, I may only be twenty-eight but sometimes I feel ninety-five, equally sometimes I feel twelve, the point being for some people I am young and for some people I am old but all I know is that for me, I have a lifetime of feelings and thoughts, obsessions and confusions that have led me to this point. Today I admitted something to myself, something that has been lingering at the back of mind but that I have been too afraid to acknowledge properly, I am at a cross roads, I have a new dream and I will give it everything I have.

As I have mentioned, I have signed up for a writing course which is due to start in under a month’s time, I am beyond excited but also apprehensive and nervous because for some time I have had this notion of being a writer. All I have now is this blog, it was my starting point, an ‘in’ to that expression of thought and creativity, an opportunity to connect with people by sharing what I know, anxiety and life. In the short time I have been writing it, I feel that my writing mind has developed and changed, improved even (hopefully my readers will agree). Now I am faced with a new juncture, I can continue as I am or make a real go at a new dream. Giving up on my last dream wasn’t easy, for my whole life all I ever wanted to do was act and sing and perform but the reality wasn’t something I could sustain. Saying farewell to something that I had committed twenty-four or so years to was not an easy thing to do and I don’t relish the thought of having to do it again, so it is with a certain level of trepidation that I say aloud, for more than myself to know and hear (or read), that I dream of being a writer.

So there it is, as with anything new it is difficult to know where to start, I am a fairly systematic sort of person so here is where I am up to in four (not very easy) steps:

Step one, start the habit of writing — tick.

Step two sign up for a legitimate helping hand in the right direction — tick.

Step three, find someone to be a guide, a writing friend, someone to bounce ideas off — tick.

Step four, write, write and write some more — not quite.

The first question I have to ask myself is, ‘what kind of writer do I want to be?’ I have always loved fantasy and I have tried on several occasions, to start a fanatical tale but I haven’t had much luck, maybe this will come with time, I certainly hope so. Without realising it, the instinctual writing, the style that comes easily to me is writing what I know. That probably sounds obvious to some people but sometimes we can’t see what is right in front of us, so actually maybe I will start there. It took a meeting today to come to that realisation, it showed me the value of having someone to bounce these thoughts of off, to help motivate me and keep me on track so that I can keep the enthusiasm going and give it my all. 

I suppose the point that I am making in all of this, is that life is all about dreams, dreams that come to fruition or dreams that we never seem to attain. As infants we have dreams of being ballerinas or astronauts, the world is our oyster and our imaginations can run free and wild with only bedtimes in the way. As teenagers we realise our dreams need to be more solid and so we have to set down paths for our futures before we really know who we are, let alone who we want to be — don’t even get me started on the teenage angst and drama that gets in the way at this point. As young adults the reality of bills and money and tax and making ends meet become a scary and intimidating part of life, our dreams fall to the way side because keeping afloat is the most important thing. By adulthood (and scarily I am in this category) we are habitually living from day to day, most of us do what we do because it’s where we are and it’s easier to carry on as we are than strive for our forgotten dreams. Whether they be dreams from childhood or dreams that have developed over time, making a change is bloody scary and it’s hard, but isn’t everything worthwhile? If it were easy would it even be a journey we wanted to strive to complete?

What is it about our society that makes it so much the norm to just accept  the punches where they fall, we are knocked down and we get up again but what if we didn’t just get up, we actually punched back? As a child our whole life focus is on education and learning, understanding numbers and letters and social interactions, relationships and politics. As adults our whole lives are about getting a promotion, earning more money, having a family and getting married — thats the box that society has put us in. Well, I am fed up of it, I am almost certain the unrealistic and unattainable expectations put on me by society are part of my struggles with anxiety — as well of course as past and present experiences — I don’t want to be in this box that says ‘oh you are nearly thirty, you had your chance to dream now its time for reality’.

So this is me saying, I have a new dream, it might work out or it might not but I have regretted things in the past and now I don’t have any time for regret, it is far better to say you tried and have no regrets than to be a bystander in your own life, collecting regrets like we collect bad habits (numerous and damaging).

You might be wondering what this post has to do with living with anxiety, well it’s because I have spent the last couple of months fighting to change my habits and behaviours in an effort to re-train my brains responses that I am ever more driven towards positive change in other areas of my life. Today I felt groggy and exhausted, completely disconnected from the world, like an alien living in my own body; my normal reaction to that would be to stay in bed and submit to the invalid persona. Today I didn’t, I had made a promise to myself that I was going to change my approach to dealing with my anxiety, there is no respite from this type of change and I will not allow myself to fall back into old habits. Today, headache, fog and all I travelled into town to go to a catch-up I had arranged weeks ago and it was honestly the best thing I could have done.

I met up with someone who, in complete honesty, has been merely on the friendly periphery for the last seven or so years; it was the best and most inspiring afternoon I have had in a long time. It felt like talking to an old friend, comfortable, easy and fun, there was tea and books — as all my favourite activities seem to include — but there was also support and a commonality, perhaps a new friendship that I don’t think either of us expected. Back at home, barely through the door, I opened my laptop and started to write. So inspired and positive am I from my afternoon with a like minded soul and I have even more to ponder on now that I have finished this post.

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