How many times have I driven down Highway 93 to Boulder feeling like my world was ending, when all it ever really did was change?
The tectonics fissured and cracked the Pangea of my first imagined doomsday passage, (move-in day for my Freshman year of college) and my continents had long drifted into a new landscape green with lush possibility and blue with deep nostalgia. I could drown or get lost anywhere in my world. This thin stretch of highway was nothing but a touchpoint for boosting every shift of mantle—taking the changes in my life to overdrive.
I know this. But for someone hugely anxious at any change in plan, every drive still felt like the day of judgment. Unexpected, panicky changes are my cycle. I start to feel a little stable, I tune out, and everything goes up in proverbial flames.
Even when I am going steady, it all feels like a transition. Everywhere is an in-between place, some liminal space separating where I’ve been and where I’m going to end up. I’m not very good at living in the moment, but I am adept at living in my head. Somehow it feels safer, but really, it’s messier there.
I lack the energy for consistency. I don’t write consistently. I don’t meditate consistently. I don’t give affection consistently. I don’t communicate consistently. I don’t clean the house consistently. My moods are erratic and so are my spurts of motivation.
Here’s the biggest thing I’ve learned though: it’s okay to be a little inconsistent. To do what you can when you have the energy and rest when you don’t have any effort to offer. As long as it all gets done, does it matter? There are plenty of unpleasant things we have to do and we have to make time for, so if you want to go the fuck to bed and watch BoJack Horseman instead of doing your daily mindfulness practice, that’s okay. The structure of schedule and habit can be freeing but forcing yourself to fit a that structure when you can’t, is imprisoning.
I know rest is necessary if I ever expect to be able to settle into changes. If I keep moving and stay busy just so that the anxiety attacks can’t catch up, I’ll never be able to sit with change and accept it. Everywhere will always be a liminal space.
I have four new goals: Do whatever I want. Make the big, tough decisions. Move forward. But for god’s sake, give myself time to rest.