Here’s Another Unsolicited Blog Post About Being Single. You’re Welcome.

You’ve been waiting for this. You clicked on this link because you, your single and desperate self, need more advice on how to make Singleness worthwhile. “What’s wrong with me?” you ask, possibly scarfing chocolate and watching The Notebook. “Why am I still single? I must be doing Singleness wrong. Please, O Internet, tell me how to Single.”

We all know there’s an exact science to Single. You do all the right things and eventually you magically bump into The One. Not intimidating at all, right? You have to get the formula exactly right, or else you’ll end up alone forever. You have to do exactly what those lists on Cosmopolitan and Pinterest blogs tell you to do. You have to read all those Open Letters on the Internet so you know exactly what is wrong with boys who won’t ask you out, girls who always say no, and how to be wonderfully Single in the most perfect way possible.

You could be 15 or 55. Singleness can hurt sometimes. Because (surprise) it’s kinda lonely. If you’re in your twenties like me, everyone and their mother is getting married (well, hopefully their mother is already married). Or they’re in steady relationships – those week-long high-school flings are (most likely) a thing of the past. And you, the Single person, feel like you’ve been left in the dust.

In fact, I was talking about marriage to some friends awhile back, poking fun at the fact that I have “plenty of time” to plan my wedding, and my friend told me, “yeah, marriage usually requires a boyfriend first.”

I’m not going to pretend that didn’t hurt. This friend is in a steady relationship. Several of my friends are. (Don’t worry. This blog post isn’t going to be me complaining about Singleness. My complaining begins and ends here.) That comment wasn’t said to hurt me, but it kinda got me. It caught me by surprise and made me aware of something I didn’t like thinking about – I’m alone. (“You’re not alone!” says people. “You have all these friends!” Not the same thing. Sorry, it’s not. Okay. Complaining over.)

So here you are, Single as you are. I’m not writing an “Open Letter to Single People” or a “Embrace Your Singleness” because most people who write that junk aren’t single anymore. And they forget that it can hurt a lot. Sometimes it was eviscerating. (Am I complaining again? I’m complaining again. Sorry.)

So Singleness, am I right? There’s definitely a Single trope that we’re all aware of. There’s actually a couple. In the movies, we’re the ugly friend. Or we’re the frenemy or nasty person, who’s usually blond. We’re the nerdy, awkward ones. We’re not the Disney princess. We are the cute, fuzzy animal that accompanies her in her musical numbers. Or the second-string princess, like that girl in The Princess and the Frog. You know, not Tiana, but the other one. The one whose name we don’t remember because she wasn’t Tiana.

Am I complaining again? I’m complaining again. Sorry.

You’re just waiting for that magical movie moment where you run into a handsome/beautiful stranger and your life changes forever. Where the camera zooms in on their dilated eyes and then pans to your hands accidentally touching as you both reach to pick up whatever you dropped (because you inevitably dropped something). Because that’s what life has built up to, right? That magical turning point where you finally get your happy ending?!

But that’s not how it works. When you meet someone cute, there’s no magnetizing force that draws you together. At least there hasn’t been yet (because according to all your friends, “you just haven’t found the right person yet,” they say in a sympathetic voice. Am I complaining again?) You just kinda stand there awkwardly and stare at them and imagine what it might be like to say hi to them. But it never happens. And you may or may not beat yourself up for it.

Singleness is a strange monster. One day you can be so freaking psyched that you’re single, the next you can be downright sad. Maybe it’s because (taken) people tell you “Being Single is fun!!!” and you believe them, but you also know that there are parts of it that are very not fun. Your Taken friend is not wrong. Being single is fun sometimes. Friday night “watch (and eat)-whatever-the-heck-I-want” time is a real thing for me and I love it.

Being single is also not fun sometimes.

Because sometimes you come across a moment where you stand there and think, “Gosh. I wish someone was here to experience this with me.” And not just anyone. But Someone. You know what I mean?

So, I’m not going to tell you anything new about being single. I’m not going to pretend I’m some sage who knows everything about Singlehood (why the heck is that a word?!) because I spent six months in the Himalayas with a monk walking barefoot on hot coals or whatever (Do people blog about that? They probably do). I’m not going to drop a vague truth bomb on you (“You have to go find yourself first, before you find someone else.”) I’m just going to say something that you can take or leave.

You just have to be okay with it.

You don’t have to be “Yay! I’m single and ready to mingle! ;D” or “I’m gonna die alone! DX” Despite what people/media/culture might tell you. You don’t have to think that just because you’re single, you need to be wild and crazy and party all of the time. You don’t have to think that you’re the odd one out, the weird nerd who can barely talk to a guy/chick. But you do have to be okay with it. Because if you’re not, it’s that much more miserable.

“It’s not your fault you’re single!” some well-meaning people say.

“Just find someone already! You’re not trying!” others say, especially when you hit your 30s.

Who are you supposed to listen to then? Is it your fault, or isn’t it? I’m not trying to complain or down-put people who say these things, but these things hit single people in very specific places in their heart. Very raw places that a lot of people have poked at. Something they might occasionally poke at too. But it’s a place that’s very vulnerable and very real. A feeling that they’re not enough. That dreaded feeling that “something’s wrong” with them.

I’m gonna say it again: You just have to be okay with it. I’m not going to try to begin to understand or explain away the pain that some single people endure almost every day. I know it can hurt a lot and be alienating and isolating. I’m not going to stand up on a soapbox and tell you “If you’re single, this is how you should live. Don’t waste these years.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

The only way you could waste your Singleness (I am so fed up with these words and their stupid prefixes) is by not living at all. Like becoming a hermit or something, unless that’s what you really want to do. I wouldn’t blame you. I’m surprised I didn’t move to Iceland after graduating high school. Sometimes the drama just reaches a peak and you need to get away.

So just live. And be okay with where you’re at. You don’t have to be overly happy about it, but neither do you have to be overly sad. You can be right smack-dab in the middle, and that’s okay. You just have to keep waking up every morning and finding new things that excite you, that ignite your passions. I’m not saying that that’s the formula for “finding someone.” But that is the formula for living, whether you’re with someone or not.

I know it hurts. I know there’s fun parts and there’s stupid parts. I know people say stuff about fish in the sea and “your time will come.” I know there’s that spot in your heart that you can’t quite explain, but that’s definitely there and feels raw.

But your life doesn’t revolve around that magical moment where you bump into Mr/Mrs. Right in an extremely unconventional way. You’re not a second-string princess. You’re not a weirdo. Nothing’s wrong with you.

Just keep living that awesome life of yours. And live happily ever after, wherever you end up.

Why Wanting to be a Kid Again is Overrated

Hi, it’s me again. I’ve been dropping super-serious truth bombs on you lately, so let’s lighten the mood a little. I’m not feeling extemporaneous or prosaic today, so we’re gonna do a Buzzfeed-style list for this blog post, only with fewer Zodiac signs. If you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of your time daydreaming about those beautiful, sun-soaked days when you were young. Not Adele-song young, but little-kid young. When you were still innocent and thought babies came from mommies and daddies going to the baby store. When the worst thing a boy could do to you was steal your cerulean crayon (none of us knew how to pronounce it, but we all loved it.) When snacktime meant Dunkaroos (if you’re from my generation) and not a small handful of almonds (all celebrities swear by it). You get the picture. You think about that time in your life a lot, don’t you? I mean hey, there’s a reason we reminisce. It’s because all that stuff is familiar to us.

But GUESS WHAT. You don’t want to be a kid again. Here’s some things you forgot about being a kid.

1.  Remember how short and small you were? You literally couldn’t reach anything. If you wanted something from the freezer, you’d have to ask Dad, and he might not even oblige. This was your life until you were “like 12″ and your growth spurt set in (that’s how it was for me; I was 4’9” until I was in 5th grade). Isn’t it fun to be able to reach everything (most things, I mean. Unless you’re really tall)? Now you can get that ice cream out of the fridge like a champ without having to hear your dad say, “You’ve already had some.”

2. Remember the pRISON OF JUDGMENT known as middle school? I do. I remember my first pimple. I remember those cOLD STARES from thirteen-year-olds who wore mascara and drank frapuccinos and had a cell phone (with a CAMERA), while I thought makeup was satanic and my beverage choices peaked at a can of Coke. If you peaked in middle school, I’m sorry. I’m also not sorry, because that means middle school was easy for you. For the rest of us, it was like having cavities. Which we probably also had a lot of in middle school. Because it’s hard to brush your teeth around braces. BRACES. Mini prisons for your teeth. Let’s face it – middle school was like having a headache for three years.

3. One of the most devastating things in the world is not having anyone to play with during recess. Maybe you didn’t have this problem, but sometimes all your friends are sick or gone to Florida (remember how everyone just “went to Florida” randomly?!), or your fair-weather friend doesn’t want to hang out with you, so guess what? You’re left alone on the swings. You’re the loner. You’re already self-conscious without being seen as the loner. If you’re really brave, you could sheepishly walk up to a group of people you sort of know and ask to play with them, but what kid is that brave? And if you ever asked that to a group of boys and you’re a girl, they’ll immediately shun you (Trust me, I learned this the hard way. Boy’s Club isn’t just for CEOs. It starts at a tender young age.)

4. Remember how, for most of your childhood, you were cONFINED TO FOUR WALLS AND A WHITEBOARD for 80% of your day? Yeah, me too. Ok sure, kindergarten through second grade were kinda fun. But there was still math. EVERY DAY. And spelling. SPELLING. And (gasp) cursive. Do you remember those cursive books with their deceptive, colorful covers? Do remember thinking “I’m never going to write a 5 that way”? I do. Now you do too. You might still be confined to four walls in higher education and/or a job, but at least you’re not doing cursive every day.

5. When I think about my blissful childhood years, one reminder always yanks me back to reality: I COULDN’T DRIVE. Remember when your Mom and/or Dad had to truck you around (literally in a truck or a van) everywhere you wanted to go? Want to go to Jimmy’s house? Your desires hinge on the whim of Mom’s fancy. She could easily say “no.” Well go ask dad, you may say, because dad always says yes. Dad’s busy. DAD’S. BUSY. You’re stuck at home. Congratulations. No Jimmy today. Fast forward to sixteen, driver’s license, beat-up car. Want to go to Jimmy’s house? gET IN YOUR CAR AND GO BECAUSE YOU’RE AN ADULT AND YOU CAN. Jimmy has missed you.

6. Remember when you had that thing called an “allowance”? It was that little piggy bank of money that your parents allotted you each week for chores and existing and whatever. Usually that piggy bank peaked at five dollars. Oh, so you want to buy that Barbie cruise ship that’s fifty dollars? You’re gonna have to wait tEN YEARS before you accrue enough allowance to buy it. Or pool your money with your siblings. But that means you have to sHARE THE CRUISE SHIP. Guess what? You’re an adult with an income now. You can buy stuff. You want that cruise ship? You go buy that friggin’ cruise ship. Heck, go on an actual CRUISE because you have mONEY that’s not in a pIGGY BANK. Boom. Adulthood. (I’m not saying that’s a financially wise investment, but it’s a thing you can do. If you want. Because hopefully you have more than five dollars in your bank account.)

7. Remember watching movies as a kid? Neither do I. Because I don’t remember movies from my childhood because I didn’t understand them. You know how terrible it feels when someone is laughing at something you don’t understand?! Like all those double entendres in Disney movies? Aren’t Disney movies more fun to watch when you’re an adult and actually uNDERSTAND WHAT THEY’RE SAYING instead of thinking “oh her dress is pretty and I’m going to marry a prince someday too”? LAME. Disney movies were made for adults. So were all movies.

So here we are. Adults. Doing adult-y stuff. But wishing we weren’t adults. Wishing we were still dunkin’ those roos in whatever frosting stuff that was. Wishing we were still in Playskool and not actual school. Wishing we were still pretending to make dinner with food made out of plastic instead of faced with the daunting task of having to make actual dinner without setting things on fire.

BUT. Keep things in perspective! Remember, childhood wasn’t always perfect. We like to think it is because we like to romanticize the past. We remember the snow days but forget the skinned knees. We relish in memories of going to the zoo but suppress anything having to do with the dentist.

Everything’s got a little good and a little bad. The past, the present, and the future. Today’s been a little good, a little bad. It’s okay to remember the fun parts of being little and cute and stuff (like no pimples, am I right?!) but don’t let that take away from your present. Because there’s plenty of good stuff here too.

Keep going. Keep living that awesome life of yours.

Growing in Struggle.

“I’m not where I thought I would be a year ago.”

We’ve all been there. Ending up somewhere we never thought we’d be. Maybe it’s somewhere we don’t want to be. Maybe we never dreamed we’d be here because we didn’t think it was possible – because it’s too amazing to be true.

But here we are. Somewhere between who we used to be and who we’re becoming. Whether we like it or not.

Two years ago at this time, I was graduating high school. I was flying high – I had taken my crush to prom, gotten a steady summer job, and was being showered with graduation gifts as well as birthday presents (it’s pretty awesome when your birthday lands near another significant event, like graduating). I felt on top of the world, like I had it all figured out. I collected accolades from my tenure in high school – awards for drama, music, and other things I was involved in – and had been accepted to a very prestigious college with a little bit of scholarship. Everything was perfect.

Fast forward to today. I just finished my sophomore year of college. I just turned twenty years old. Twenty-year-old self looks back at eighteen-year-old self and says, “Brace yourself. Life isn’t as easy as you think.”

I’m not at that prestigious school. Because I found out it’s hard to move away from home and it’s hard to enter into a new reality. I’m not flying high. Because I let my past fears and failures haunt me too often. I’m constantly questioning where I’m at and where I’m going. Sound familiar?

Yeah, that’s because it’s called Life.

I didn’t realize then that I was at a turning point in my life. I thought I was just going to cruise into the next phase of my life, stress-free. I was going to adjust perfectly to college, make a ton of friends, be super popular and successful, maybe bag myself a boyfriend who would definitely eventually become my husband, because everything was going to be perfect.

But none of that happened. I ended up at a university I never thought I’d be at. I was completely redirected. I didn’t automatically assimilate. Because somewhere in there, I forgot that I don’t adjust to change very easily.

My first semester of freshman year was a nightmare. I don’t make friends easily (I guess I forgot that too). I kind of latched on to whomever was around so I didn’t feel lonely. I felt uncomfortable in the major I was in so I switched. I put so much pressure on myself. I worried about my future every single day.

Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s because it’s called Life.

But guess what? When your path gets redirected in a way you didn’t think it would, it can still turn out okay. And thankfully, it did for me. It took some time, but it did. I changed my major and started on my new course. I felt myself grow and change in ways I never thought I would. It was painful growth, but it was good growth, like a crab climbing out of a shell that it’s grown out of. It stands vulnerable for awhile, raw and unguarded, until it builds its new, stronger, better exterior. At that point in my life, I had popped out of my shell, totally exposed to a world that could be harsh and unforgiving, all of my flaws laid bare.

My mistake had been that I thought life was going to be easy – I admit, I tend to romanticize things (if you haven’t noticed that already). But I came to realize, as most people do at my age, that life isn’t easy. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. There’s these things called taxes, for example. There are bills to pay. There are relationships that you have to work on, not just assume will work out the way you want. There are accomplishments that you have to work hard for in order to achieve. There’s death, death that affects the young and “immortal.” The world is jarring, and that becomes apparent once you’ve lost your shell.

How has your world changed as you’ve grown? Has your course been unexpectedly redirected? How have you reacted to it?

There are two ways of dealing with the Struggle of life: (I’m going to blow your mind here) Positively and Negatively. Do I really need to explain? Glass half-empty and glass half-full, y’know? It’s as simple as that, and I think you know that.

But what about you? Do you know which camp you’re in? Do you really know?

I’m going to tell you this right now (and blow your mind again): Life is what you make it. Two years ago right now, I expected to be finishing my second year at a super-smart, super-preppy college. I’m not. I’m at a university that’s probably not on par with the rigor of that college, but guess what? Education is what you make of it. You can be the good student or the slacker student, whether you go to Princeton or community college. You’ll reap what you sow (I just keep blowing your mind with these new ideas today).

I didn’t make friends easily. It took me almost an entire year to find the friends I have now. It took time to develop those friendships. The friendships I didn’t work on or develop faded away into acquaintances. Relationships are what you make of them. If you don’t let anyone in, your relationships will be shallow. If you do, they’ll be rich. That whole reaping-sowing things again.

I didn’t adjust to change easily. I cried a lot my freshman year. Out of frustration, hurt, confusion, stress. I felt so lost and disorganized. I still didn’t feel secure when I planned classes for spring semester. I didn’t feel sure of myself when I started spring semester. I didn’t feel certain when I moved in as a sophomore. But I kept going, and kept making daily steps, daily choices. Not all of them were good choices, but they led me to where I am now. Change is what you make of it. You can either sit down and let it drag you painfully down the road it’s taking you, or you can take its hand and walk alongside it.

You’ve probably heard the saying that we’re turning into human “doings,” instead of human “beings.” But are we supposed to simply “be?” Just sit back and let things happen, just float along its current without letting it shape us, mold us, beat us up a little bit. I think we’re human “becomings.” We’re a piece of art, being worked on, sculpted. We’re becoming something different. We’re not simply a blank wall, simply being. We’re becoming something.

I hope I’m not preaching, but these things have become apparent to me as I’ve grown and learned. And I’ve still got a lot of learning to do. Five years from now, I probably won’t be where I imagined I would be. But I’ll be a different person. And Five-Years-From-Now Me will look back at Current Me and remember who I was and what I was becoming, and what it took to get from Point A to Point B – what struggles, what successes, what growth.

Every struggle is hard the first time you go through it. But then when it comes your way again, you’ve got that muscle memory of what it felt like the first time. You can face it.

And you can grow in the struggle.

TL;DR version: You reap what you sow (I promise I won’t go all Aesop on you again.)

Keep living your life. Keep being awesome.

 

Hidden Desires.

I remember the day pretty clearly. I was somewhere between six and seven. It was a bright, perfect summer day, and my brother and I had spent the whole day with our babysitter. Circumstances had it that our babysitter’s mom had to pick all of us up and take us to her friend’s house for a pool party. My brother, who was about nine at the time, was able to go along with them – he was old enough. I was not. I had to stand there and watch him, my babysitter, and all her siblings jump into a pool – and it was a flippin’ awesome pool, with a slide and a little waterfall and everything. Every six-year-old’s dream pool.

I had to get back in the van with my babysitter’s mom and go back home. It was my deepest desire at that moment to go home and ask my mom’s permission to go back. My mom, being the wise woman that she is, said no, I was too young, and it wasn’t their responsibility to look after me. You can imagine that my tiny six-year-old heart was shattered. My deepest desire had not been met.

You remember being a kid, right? Your desires were pretty transient. Your desires were usually a toy at the store or the chance to jump into a pool. Fleeting (but still super fun) things. We didn’t really hide our desires either. We would cry, throw tantrums, cry some more, and then be sent to our rooms. That happened to me plenty of times. And through that, we learn that it’s really not appropriate to throw a fit every time we don’t get what we want.

But we still have desires. I think an adverse effect of that is that we learn to hide our desires as well, so that we don’t lash out when we don’t get them. As we grow, our desires grow as well. They become more transcendent than an ice cream cone on a hot day or a dip in a pool. They reach down and take root in our hearts – which makes it hurt even more when they’re uprooted. You know these desires. You’ve felt them.

To be loved. To be accepted. To be cherished and respected. To be successful. Whatever it is you think about when you think about desire.

I desire to belong. To find my place in this giant puzzle of the world. I think most people have a similar desire. They just want to know that they’re supposed to do. That desire can become a longing, a deep groaning in our souls. Something we live every day for the fulfillment of. Something that gives us hope.

But what happens when, time and again, that desire is unmet? All the internships and interviews fall through. A string of messy break-ups. Another minimum-wage job. A fight with a best friend. That hope is gone, not forever, but long enough to cause a deep hole, a deep pain. You’ve felt that pain before. Sometimes you relish that pain. Because that pain has taken the place of your desire, and you don’t want to let that desire go. So you don’t let the pain go. You hold on to it, you house it in your heart until its thorns gnarl at the branches of your desires and it dies.

Hidden desires are painful. Unmet desires are painful. What do we do when hope is gone? When the tears don’t stop, when the failures line up at our door? What are we supposed to do?

Let the tears water the garden of your desire. Here’s the trick: hope is never gone. A tree can die, but its seed causes a new shoot to grow. Desires grow from other desires. Life grows from life, hope from hope. You might have to weather a storm, but imagine how green and growing you’ll be afterward.

Own your desires. Don’t hide them; let them blossom. Don’t be ashamed – be as excited as you were when you got to jump in a pool as a kid. And if your tree gets knocked down, it’s okay to be broken, to be in pain, to be in tears. But let that pain strengthen the roots of your desires. Let the light shine through those broken pieces. And keep growing.

10 Thoughts Everyone With Anxiety Has

Anxiety has become a hot-button issue in the news, social media, and Tumblr (I feel like Tumblr is a place where anxious people hang out and laugh about stuff). Some people blame anxiety on technology, lack of parental involvement, or vaccination (oh wait, wrong disorder). Wherever it comes from, anxiety, as a teenage girl might say, “is a thing.” It exists. And a lot of people struggle with it in varying amounts. Some people have crippling anxiety. Some get the occasional pangs of unease. However much anxiety you deal with, it’s not fun and it’s not comfortable. And you’ve probably thought these things before:

1. *at 3am* “What if all of these bad things happened?”

Your brain just loves going into overdrive in the middle of the night. “What if” statements flood your mind and you can’t sleep. For me, my brain likes to think about tragic things happening to my family.

2. *when someone doesn’t text you back* “I did something wrong and they hate me and don’t want to be my friend anymore.”

This might be typical for a lot of people. In the realm of texting, asynchronous communication causes varying levels of anxiety. You shoot someone a text, and you usually expect them to reply within a few minutes (or maybe an hour, depending on the person). But if two hours goes by, or three, or four, or a whole day, you start to panic a little. If you’re especially anxious, you try to think back and determine if you did something wrong. Then you start to worry if that person is dead. Very logical progression.

3. Brain: “Here’s something very small and nominal to worry about.”

Imagine the smallest thing ever in your life. Just the tiniest thing. (Like you just said “ok” to your mom. Literally something that small.) Now imagine all the ways that scenario could go wrong. Don’t stop. Welcome to the brain of an anxious person.

4. “Remember that stupid thing you did however many years ago?”

Ahh, yes. The old “remembering-past-stupid-things” trick your brain likes to pull on you. Even people who aren’t very anxious experience this. They remember something they did a long time ago (for me it’s usually middle school) and assume that other people still remember it too. And judge them for it. What’s even worse is when someone reminds you. “Hey, remember when you did that thing?” No. No, I don’t, Judy. Shut up. (Sorry if your name is Judy, I just used a name off the top of my head).

5. “That thing you just said to that person? That was really stupid.”

As an anxious person, you put a lot of responsibility on yourself. You blame yourself when things go wrong. And just when you think things are going okay, you feel like you mess something up again. Something “stupid” you say to someone can replay in your head for days afterward, and you think everything you are to that person hinges on that one thing you said.

6. “You screwed up. Bigtime.”

I usually think this when I notice someone isn’t talking to me, or treating me a different way. Usually, it has nothing to do with me. But I make it about me. I start to stress out and think through any possible thing I could have done wrong. Usually, I can’t think of anything – because I haven’t done anything. 99% of anxiety is all in your head. That sounds reassuring, but to an anxious person, it’s exhausting. Because anxious people live in their heads.

7. “No one wants to hear what you have to say.”

This might be what you feel like when it seems like everyone is interrupting you or talking over you. Or you say something that you thought might get a laugh, but it doesn’t. Or maybe what you said just didn’t come out the way you intended. You immediately start criticizing your words and start believing the lie that everyone else is criticizing them too. You start to see people as your enemies, your critics. Just remember – you are your own worst critic. Because everyone else is too busy criticizing themselves.

8. “That person looked at you funny. They think you’re weird.”

This is a daily thought for anxious people. One simple, deadpan look from someone can send your thoughts racing. Someone’s quick glance at you as they walk by you makes you think they despise you or think you’re weird. It’s irrational, but it’s just where our brains go. We are so self-critical that we see ourselves through other people’s eyes as being disliked or strange.

9. “You stomach hurts a little. You’re probably dying.”

In high school, one of my biggest fears was throwing up in the middle of class or an assembly. Yup. I was so afraid of it that it made my stomach hurt. And guess what you think when your stomach hurts? “I’m gonna throw up.” Anxiety is a vicious cycle. Every time I wake up in the middle of the night and something hurts, I immediately think, “That’s it. Something’s wrong. I’m about to be sick or I’m about to die. Either one.” Some people might say, “That’s crazy! Calm down! Gosh, you’re not going to die!” That’s about as helpful as telling a fish it can swim.

10. “Don’t tell people about your anxiety. They’ll think you’re a freak.” 

I struggle with this a lot. I am afraid of my anxiety and how people might react to it. I’m afraid they’ll think I’m a headcase or belong in an institution or something. What I’m most terrified of is if they’ll start treating me differently, like I’m super fragile. I think that’s what I’m most afraid of. But you know what? You can’t let anxiety do that to you. The people who think it’s weird don’t understand. And the people who do understand are the ones you want in your life. It’s that simple. People are going to think what they want about you…which is a very hard thing for anxious people to come to terms with.