Living life on the extreme
About 2 years ago I developed anxiety.. there were no traumatic events that suddenly changed me, just life… so I started seeing a therapist. At that time I was stuck on the idea that Andy and I needed to move from Hawaii and that Florida was where we should be. Affordable living, affordable homes (the housing market in Hawaii is insane), close to Brazil (my home country and where most of my family lives), and the starting point of so many possible road trips, which we looooove to do and obviously Hawaii is a terrible place for it.
Interesting thing was that one of the main reasons why I was so anxious to leave Hawaii was because we have some of the worst public schools in the country. You may ask, “what’s the problem with that”? Well, we don’t have any kids! That’s what anxiety does to a person. I would get into countless endless fights with my husband over hypothetical situations that turned out to be just that, suppositions.
I started developing anxiety in my late 20s because I noticed that my plans just weren’t coming to fruition. I started questioning all my choices up to that point and felt I should have done it differently. That resulted in a huge identity and marital crisis and many therapy sessions.
I blamed my husband for my unhappiness. In my mind, if I was not feeling happy it was definitely his fault, he was doing something wrong or not doing something I needed. If he would do this or that, then I wouldn’t complain, then I would be happy…
Up until a certain point, things were unbearable between us and we almost separated a few times. I actually gave him the ultimatum that I would move with or without him, but somehow good things started to happen here in Hawaii, for both of us. We both got offered good jobs. My sister, who was here for the season, decided to stay here permanently, and my parents decided to move here soon after that. This would be the perfect time for us to have kids! Finally things were looking better for us.
At that point, I chose to follow on the path that the universe was sending me on. We both took the jobs we were offered, we started trying to conceive our first baby and started looking for a house to buy. We also built a food truck for my parents to work on since their English is not very good and finding a job in Hawaii would be difficult for them. Things never looked so promising!
Over a year has passed and we find ourselves stuck, still. We haven’t been able to get pregnant, we both hate our “new” jobs, and still haven’t found a house. To top it off, the truck wasn’t ready on time which put my parents in financial distress, and consequently us too because we had to support them for a few months until we could finally open it. That also put a little bit of a strain in our relationship, but on a more positive note, after what we went through together, we learned to deal with our issues with a lot more elegance that we previously had. (sigh)
How did this happen? How come no matter what approach I take my life doesn’t seem to move forward? What am I doing wrong here?
You see, I’m a big time planner, I make to-do lists for everything and I had my whole life planned out in my head, and if things don’t go according to plan I get upset. Not the freaking out type of upset, but disappointed and not as happy as I would have been had it all worked out according to the plan. With this, I miss several opportunities to appreciate unforeseen things just because they weren’t on my schedule. If I’m on vacation, I have a whole list of things to do and the times we need to do them by. Maybe I make good use of time like this, but I also miss the chance to enjoy little things a long the way… I’m not the type of person that stops and smells the roses. That’s about to change.
I radically went from my “super high strung planner” extreme to” let the universe take me where it may”, and the truth is neither one of them was the right choice. The truth is painful, but the truth also sets you free.
Self analyzer at my best, I recently came to realize that I’m afraid of the unknown… making plans for everything was/is my way of avoiding that fear, of offsetting my anxiety. As I already said on one of my previous posts, I vow to embrace spontaneity from now on. I vow to smell the flowers. I vow to try to be happy even on unfortunate circumstances. Where life goes from here is a mystery. Things might happen as I plan them or not… all I can do is try to find happiness of my everyday and be grateful for being here, alive.