“I woke up this morning and I was breathing. The rest is just a blessing.”

So this morning I got to work with the full realization that I’ll be here all day until about ten tonight. My first thought was: coffee. I need all of it. My second thought was: this is awesome. I go to school full time AND I’m getting to work in an amazing work environment that cultivates my strengths and interests so that I can learn from professionals in the theatre community. WHAT! So today I was greeting someone that walked in with programs for an evening performance and asked him how his day was, and he said, “Oh, it’s great. I woke up this morning and I was breathing. So the rest is just blessing after blessing.” He then asked me how my day was going, and my initial thought was, “How do I top that?” I mean seriously; this guy didn’t even hesitate or sigh, thinking about how to respond in an optimistic manner even if his day might not have been going well, because that wasn’t the point. No matter what he encountered today, he already knew that being alive was enough, and the rest is just going to happen as it will.

As someone who does not work well with vague terminology, uncertain circumstances, and pretty much the unknown in general, this guy really opened up my eyes for a second. If it has not been apparent in my interactions day to day, or my overall being as you see me, let me put this out there: I have major a n x i e t y. On a good day, it’s just a fuzzy background noise in my life. On a bad day, I question a lot. I question my worth, my purpose, my overall sense of self…you name it, I probably worry about it. Fortunately, my anxiety has become a close friend of sorts, accompanying me in every situation, reminding me when I shouldn’t do something stupid, laughing at me when I say something awkward, but nonetheless, it’s there.

So here I am, sitting in a puddle of anxiety about how I didn’t drink enough coffee this morning, I have lots of homework that probably won’t get done until the wee hours of tomorrow {lolz as I’m blogging and not doing said homework}, and I can’t change someone’s mind even if I care enough. You know, the typical stuff. And then, out of random fate, this guy walks in and pops out some wisdom for me to consider. He’s breathing. He woke up this morning. He is living life. He is g o o d. Looking at it that way, maybe life isn’t so terrifying sometimes. Maybe uncertainty isn’t so bad [cringing]. As I step back to think about this idea, there are a few things that stick out to me. One, I want to be like that/think like that. Easier said than done. Two, I’m already getting anxious about the fact that I don’t think like that, because now I’m theoretically wasting time not just living instead of thinking. And finally, how do I start minimizing the amount of brain space I use up being anxious {other than the fact that some of it is just a chemical imbalance…thanks, science} and start thinking more pro-actively about what is right in front of me?

My current answer: a solid reality check. So here, in no certain order, is my form of a reality check.

  1. I am breathing. BOOM, CHECK, DONE.
  2. I am alive. {yes}
  3. Me worrying about something will not in fact change the outcome. It might cause me to spend more time than necessary worrying about said outcome, but even me voicing it isn’t necessarily going to change it (no matter how much I wish it would).
  4. Sometimes people miss opportunities because they aren’t ready. {sometimes they also miss them because they’re acting stupid.}
  5. “Just give it time”. My Muzzy used to say this and it’s so true. No matter what happens, how bad something feels, or how miserable things may seem, we just have to give it time. That doesn’t mean we have to wait on people, but it does mean that eventually, we will be okay regardless of whatever happens. It just takes time. Sometimes a lot of time, sometimes not so much.
  6. Coffee is pretty accessible on campus, even if I don’t want to spend money.
  7. A lot of the most profound learning occurs during a time of uncertainty, failed expectations, and loss. I was reading something the other day about how we often feel disappointment or a sense of failure when things don’t go well, but the reason they we are disappointed is because our reality didn’t live up to the expectations that we had set for ourselves or a given situation.
  8. There have been many times when I thought I was sure of something that ended up being a complete failure, and I’m still alright. In fact, some people might say that I’m better off how things are now.
  9. I am alive.
  10. I am breathing.

So there it is, a reality check that will {hopefully} help give me some perspective, at least for today. Another thing I’m realizing, is the difference between faith and trust. I used to use them interchangeably, but now I realize that faith is often times diving into the wave and believing that everything is happening as it should. Trust is something you build between yourself and someone/a situation, and just because you have faith in something, doesn’t mean you trust it as well. Trust takes time and a mutual connection. Faith is something we can work on during our own personal journey to get somewhere.

Maybe none of this makes sense and I shouldn’t overthink what that guy said so much. On the flip side, maybe he walked in when he did because the universe knew I needed a boost. Either way, it gave me an excuse to not focus on my homework.


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