Being in your late 20s is hard… for me at least. It’s kind of like when I was getting ready to graduate from college but I hadn’t found a job yet, and I didn’t have a boyfriend and the only things anyone asked me were:
1. “What are you going to do for work?” and
2. “Are you seeing anyone?”
Now, at the ripe old age of 28 it would appear that I have my life together: job, CHECK, husband, CHECK, but adulting is sometimes more pressure than when I was 22 and faced the prospect of dying alone and jobless.
Now all I need to be is in great shape, working at a great job but still able to make sure the house isn’t a disaster, make sure food is available, not drink too much and also be pleasant because who wants to be married to a raving lunatic?? But I mean really.. details….
Which brings me to another stress…
Have you ever had one of those days, weeks, months, etc. where you are mad at everything and everyone and you just can’t seem to shake it?
- No one on 75 knows how to drive so you take the tollway.
- Why don’t all of the people who are going to cause accidents stay on 75 so I don’t have to pay to be in STAND STILL TRAFFIC?!
The struggle, it continues to be so real. I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I start to feel that way, if I don’t actively work to correct it, my entire mood snowballs into a *usually* silent fit of rage.
The same is true of when I am feeling upset or basically any other negative emotion. I get so unbelievably swept away in every detail of anything that gets my heart down or my back up I can hardly see straight, and I can hold onto those feelings for days, sometimes longer.
The funny thing is, this snowball effect is less predominate when I am feeling happy or grateful or #blessed. Probably because I am keeping a weather eye out for what terrible, horrible, hideous, scary thing is going to pop up next and burst my bubble… maybe…
I’m a detail oriented person. I am also a worrier and a planner, and I worry about people in my life who are not worriers or planners because someone has to do that, right??
Sometimes, even when I am happy I will fixate on something bad or hurtful or uncomfortable that has happened to me and dissect it in my mind hoping to find some sort of “off” button for bad feelings. This immediately takes me from blissfully happy to mad-scientist in about 4 seconds and effectively ruins any positive energy I may or may not have worked up. It is truly a Sunday stroll to be in my brain… let me tell you.
And this is not “deep thought sessions” where I am uncovering some inner truths about myself. This is me, sitting on the tollway, crying while trying to sing my karaoke CD of Patsy Cline’s greatest hits and vaguely see the cars in front of me through the ugly tears. Yes, I still listen to CDs.
So why do I do this to myself, for basically no good reason? The only thing I can think of is that I have created some sort of pattern of worry, un-happiness, skepticism and fear that is for lack of a better phrase, my safe place. Safe may not be the right word, perhaps familiar place is better… kind of like that one restaurant that’s in your (insert college, home, etc) ___________ town that is really not that great and kind of makes your stomach hurt but every time you visit you feel a strong compulsion to go.
You know you’re going to feel sick, but you would rather go there than maybe try a new place next door that you’ve heard is pretty good because you haven’t been there before. I mean, who knows, the new place could be way worse than the old one. Maybe you don’t do that.. Maybe It’s just me? *hopes not*
It’s scary for me to deviate from the familiar. There was a period in time when I didn’t deviate, and I also didn’t return to my familiar place, we’ll just refer to that as the age of compartmentalization.
Everything was great. Nothing was upsetting to me and nothing was exciting to me. It was a little bit like being in a really fast car or on a roller coaster. I wasn’t driving, and it was nice to be along for the ride, until I realized I also had no ability to stop, slow down or turn a corner.
So I took back my metaphorical steering wheel, and I created the aforementioned pattern:
- feel happy
- feel worried about feeling happy / impending sense of doom
- create all the worst case scenarios that could result from current happiness
- dissect every detail in the most mentally tedious way possible
- have a lot of anxiety
- try to ignore and think of happy thing again
- have an emotional breakdown on the DNT
- try to get it together
- arrive at home or work
Kind of like a baby trying to self soothe… except I’m almost 30 so instead of this being a milestone, it looks more like a mental breakdown, nbd.
Needless to say, this is not a sustainable pattern. If for no other reason it has to be changed for the safety of others on the road with me. Patterns can and have become uncomfortably comfortable. Maybe it’s time to give polka dots and plaid a break and try a few florals instead, mix it up a bit aka accept the happy, fun good moments without waiting for the bottom to drop out.