I’ve said it before on here, but I’ll say it again – writing is my outlet. When I’m stressed or upset I force myself to sit down and begin typing. I’m a naturally quiet person which means I’m awful at verbalizing what’s going through my head most of the time. I feel guilty for making another person listen to my ridiculous problems because on the ultimate scale of life, my issues rank at a solid 4 out of 100. Most days I like to think that I’m a relaxed individual and it normally takes an abundance of minor problems to put me at a point where I begin to worry about the world and all it contains. Normally those hair tearing moments last anywhere from 15 minutes to a day, but lately the feeling seems to be lingering for what has been almost 2 months.
It’s always the simple stuff that I realize will work itself out eventually and that I’m being extremely impatient and restless to notice how incredibly ignorant I’m being about the situation. It’s stuff like earning enough money to move, trying not to curse out whoever invented the GRE, and landing a simple job in a town with less than 400 people to earn that money to move. It’s stuff that’s irritating, but stuff that can be and will be (fingers crossed) solved and I’ll look back wondering why I ever spent those mornings mumbling curses over my coffee mug in the first place.
For me, the worst culprit for these moments is Facebook. I log on and I see people my age making great accomplishments without great difficulty. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who’s still struggling to get my life started even if I haven’t had an abundance of time to do so. Why am I so far behind the others and how do I jump ahead if life seems to be moving a bit more slowly than I’d like? I know that the common response is, “you’re the one in charge of your own destiny!” Wonderful, I understand, but can I at least get a little help in packing up for the road? Maybe a map even to help with this quest for purpose?
This is what keeps me up until the bird begin chattering and the navy blue sky fades into a honey mustard tint. I start regressing into the old me that worried about every detail like it was her mission in life and now I’m doing it again. Why? I’m afraid, what else? That’s where writing comes to the rescue. Even when I’m getting nowhere in a story or I feel like my skill is declining, I make myself write at least a decent sized paragraph. Watching a movie never helps because I end up over-thinking for a good hour and a half with blurred images in front of me. If I’m writing, my mind has no choice but to stay focused on what I’m putting into a document. Either I’ll be able to clear my head for a minute or I’ll accidentally have a character vent for me.
I know that sounds weird, but it’s actually freeing. All of my unorganized thoughts begin to untangle themselves and seeing those emotions put into words makes the situation more clear. Most of the time I end up figuring out a solution right then or at least I can see a better way to handle my minor life issues. Maybe it’s because I’m looking at the problem from a character’s perspective instead of my own. It’s similar to those situations where you can easily figure out how to help a friend when they vent to you, but you would be just as clueless if the roles were reversed.
When I’m stressed my mind becomes cluttered and that cluttering is what throws me off. How is anyone supposed to think clearly if they feel suffocated by the weight of the world? Again, sometimes those issues can be easily solved, but if you’re like me and you feel as if you’re in suspended animation, then those things can peck at you until you’re ready to ready to blast some Joan Jett and face plant into a pillow.
I’m glad I figured out my outlet early on. Even though this ridiculous stress has been tapping me on the shoulder every other day it seems like, I can open up Word and type until I know how to breath again. Sometimes all I need is to untangle all the little concerns that eat away at me. Even if they don’t always disappear, at least there’s room to figure out with dirt path to wander towards and which exit to take. While it would be nice to have a helping hand in starting that journey, it really is all up to me. And I’ll always have that outlet to listen and take on the worst of my stress as I embark on whatever may lie in front of me.