The Dirty Thirty: I'm Freaking Out!

I had a strange week. Let me put it more honestly; I had a bad week.

Disclaimer: I really don’t think I’m a dramatic person. That being said, I had my first panic attack this week. I say “my first”, because I always kind of assumed it was bound to happen. It’s not like I ever thought being a person who gets nervous easily, who gets scared easily, who stresses over tiny decisions, its not like I thought me being that person could escape it all finally catching up with me. But it did. And it was NOT fun. So, I’ve been analyzing over the last few days, what it could be that I’m panicked about. Because it’s never the obvious stuff. It’s that deep dark shit that we don’t talk about.

And truthfully, I don’t usually have too much deep dark unspoken, off-limits stuff, because I talk about everything. I won’t shut up about my feelings. Everyone knows how I feel about everything. Sorry about that, everyone. So, what was hiding that needed to come out so badly that I thought I was going to die? Like, literally die. This is why I needed to explain to you how I’m not a dramatic person. Because I thought this anxiety was going to kill me. Dead. I thought about what I was wearing when it happened and was like, “Ugh, I’m gonna be found in my wide leg, draw string, capri pajama pants? They are my LEAST flattering of the pajama pants. Worst death outfit ever.” And I didn’t even know what I was upset about. My heart was racing so fast it was just one long heart beat, and I’m sweating, and I’m pacing, and I’m trying to crawl out of my skin, but I don’t know how. And all the while I’m thinking to myself, I can’t think of one single thing that I’m actually upset about. There isn’t one new factor in my life that is bumming me out. No rejection from a guy, no argument with a friend, no blood test I’m waiting to hear back about…

But I think I’ve figured it out now.

There is a period of time when we are allowed a free pass. We fail a math test because we’re in eighth grade and who cares. We sleep in until noon because we’re sixteen and just leave us alone. We get lazy at work because we’re twenty-three and it’s a job we aren’t passionate about. But at a certain point, we’ve run out of free passes and we have to be accountable for every single decision we make. There is no room for error. No one is asking you what you want to be, they are asking you what you are doing. Right now. What are you doing? Are you great at it? Are you making a difference? A lot of people are doing something important. Are you? Are you productive every day? Are you always working towards something bigger?

When I was twenty-one and I voiced an opinion or perspective on something, people would say things like, “You’re so far ahead of other people your age. You’re going to be great.” But now I’m at the age where I’m supposed to be doing that great thing. Am I living up to what people expected from me? Because now is the time. And I’m always trying, I’m always pushing myself, but sometimes I just want to get back in bed and tell you to leave me alone.

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