By this time tomorrow I will be in Austin waiting to see Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra. Not gonna lie, I’m totally freaking out. My ‘want to have fun and experience life’ is in fierce competition with my anxiety.
From Amanda’s tumblr this morning: “first thought upon waking today: the people i find myself actually wanting to get to know are those who are trying to get to know themselves.
a true friend is a compassionate collaborator in the endless search for meaning.”
It’s taken a lot of thinking and some pretty major trauma for me to admit that I don’t have a fucking thing figured out. What’s more, I’m completely okay with that. I honestly prefer having no idea who I am or where I’m going. Yeah, it’s more than a little nervous-making, but now I’m getting to know me, not the me I thought I was supposed to be or the me everyone wants me to be.
I made myself a promise about a year ago: I will stop merely existing and start living. Sounds so simple, but for someone with major depression and anxiety issues it’s a nightmare. Opening yourself up to new experiences just makes it easier to make a fool of yourself, to look like an idiot in front of strangers. I was terrified but I did it anyway. I made myself go to the video game store and talk to the staff. I went to the comic store and picked up books at random, ignoring the fanboys who judged me for my choices (I buy both Marvel and DC. Deal with it). I joined a tabletop gaming group having never played a tabletop RPG before. (I didn’t even know how to ‘read’ a d4, I was such a n00b.) I listened, really listened, to music for the first time in years and discovered artists like Rilo Kiley, Amanda Palmer, and Delta Spirit. And in all this I’ve discovered things about myself that I never knew, or knew and buried.
The biggest surprise came this morning, an epiphany in the midst of anxiety-ridden chaos: I’m a happy person.
I’m a happy person who just happens to be in a shitty situation.
I’m a happy person who just happens to have depression and social anxiety.
I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow night, but I know it will be amazing. I want that experience more than my anxiety wants me to stay home.
I want to be the person who doesn’t know herself, but is having a hell of a lot of fun figuring it out.