I have been freaking out lately.

There’s a lot going on, and though I generally appear to be taking care of business, I’ve been going fairly crazy on the inside. It’s starting to catch up with me — I’m perpetually cranky; I’m snappy and short with the people I least want to be snappy or short with. And most recently, I’ve just felt plain sad — that old-fashioned melancholy that is only egged on by sunset at 4:45pm and the songs my iPod chooses on shuffle.

The are plenty of immediate and small-scale things on my mind. But, more detrimentally, I’ve been allowing myself to freak out about the big picture. In the past week, I have convinced myself that one way or another, I’m messing up everything I’m involved in — every relationship, every community, every goal I’m pursing. Tonight I had to force myself to stop, to breathe, to grasp any shred of perspective I could find and recognize, internalize, and accept reality.

And reality is that things are good. I have so much to be thankful for. I have a job I feel pretty confident about, despite impending economic doom. My church is growing up and doing awesome and interesting things, and I get to be a part of it. I’m in a relationship I feel good about, with a man who’s caring and funny and talented, who challenges me to grow and learn. I’m far away from my family, but they love me anyway. My friends are bold and amazing, and they allow me to participate in or at least live vicariously through their adventures. I’m thinking about and pursuing what’s next, and even though I hate not knowing 100% what it’s going to be right now, right now, right now, it’s okay, and I’ll get to where I’m supposed to be.

A year ago, I had no clue where I was going, what I was doing, what was going to happen. I was hunkering down with my cat until the emotional storm blew over and I figured out what to do next. I’ve been playing this game lately where I think about exactly what I was doing at this time last year, what I was thinking, feeling, worrying about. Things haven’t necessarily gone as I would have expected them to go in the last year, but they have gone well. I’m in a better place now than I was then — I’m more confident about what I want and don’t want, I’m more stable and healthy, I’m more self-aware, I’m more comfortable inside my own head.

I’d like to think I’m in a better place today than I was even yesterday, and that I’ll be in better one still tomorrow. And if I can ever get used to the fact that that’s the timeframe life operates on, one day at a time, I’ll be all set.

“a brain that never stops ticking / sometimes an on-off switch would sure come in handy / a mind that’s constantly cutting up and dissecting / looking for answers / committing murders along the way / is it the red wire or the blue wire? / just pick one and cut / it just doesn’t matter anymore / or did it ever? / cause I could never control when the bomb would explode / oh god I love you / I mean forever / I left my body behind to break the news / looks like it’s over / please remember all of the things I never got a chance to say” -rocky votolato

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