For most of my adult life I have said, “I’ll need to work when I get married and have kids, otherwise I’d make everyone crazy.” I’ve always been busy and have cited an intense brain as the reason for this.
I am intense, and have a very driven personality. I was raised in a hard working, middle class family and had to earn money if I wanted any. But all this aside, the drive behind this effort, and my desire to always work, has been the fact that I’m just busy in the brain.
Last week, while going through my mental checklist around 3 am, I was struck by a truth. You know how sometimes voices come out of the blue and clarity emerges? I heard in my mind, “It’s anxiety. That’s the reason you have to keep busy. Mom of one or two. Busy career professional or not. You can’t not be busy because your mind will eat you alive.” Translation, anxiety will eat me alive.
Shit. I know I struggle with anxiety. It’s part of the fabric of who I am and I don’t deny it. But it never occurred to me that this was the driver behind how I live. This means that if I can tackle the anxiety in a more effective way, I could change the landscape of the rest of my life. Imagine the choices I could make without that monkey on my shoulder. Actually, its a bit more like an elephant with teeth.
My best friend of 30 years will read this and smile and say, “Duh T, did you really not realize this?” And the answer would be no, I didn’t. At least not with this clarity.
So now I wonder, can I do anything with this realization? For now my answer is not really. Writing maybe.