I feel as if I am moving at a snail’s pace now. I struggle to find purpose in my everyday life. I don’t know where to go or what to do. I sign up to attend things. I tap “interested” on public events listed on Facebook. I make plans to go out. But lately, I seem to always change my mind. The reasons for this can vary. I feel myself subconsciously resisting on some level when it’s time to go out. Am I truly anxious about meeting new people, or am I stuck in the habit of always finding another “what if this happens” fear to be anxious about? I make up reasons in favor of not going. It’s too chilly outside. There will be too many people there. No one is going to want to talk to me. I’m going to be late anyway, so what’s the point of going? Next time then, I say to myself. I’ve promised not to beat myself up about unfulfilled plans because getting into that kind of mindset doesn’t help me. Yet, I really feel the weight and consequences of my choices at unexpected moments, and it’s in these moments I feel ashamed to recognize I haven’t truly tried and pushed myself to work towards what I want.
A friend suggested to me weeks ago that I apply to Trader’s Joe since he is also applying to several of their stores. The idea appealed to me since I genuinely like shopping at Trader’s Joe and both the people and products there are great. I immediately got to work printing out five blank applications and filled them out. I looked up their store locations near me and decided to go to each one to drop off the applications on the same day I would be in Manhattan for a meditation meetup. I even browsed Glassdoor.com to read about the interview experience at Trader Joe’s, and learned there are two specific questions I might be asked on the spot after turning in the application. They aren’t hard questions, but it’s having to look a person in the eye and answer with a confident tone that’s the problem for me. However, I made a lot of excuses for myself to not make the trip, unfortunately. Mostly I got cold feet. I remember several mornings I got up, ate breakfast and prepped for going out. The main thing I remember is a feeling of a quiet anxiety churning through me as I thought about going to the meditation class, and then having to drop off my applications at the stores. It is different from when I feel full blown, heart pounding panic-stricken anxiety. The quiet anxiety was like a sense of dread building within me as I sat in the kitchen and the minutes ticked by. I didn’t have a very good strategy for calming myself down or easing the worry. I do like what many people do and try to distract myself from my emotions by playing around on my phone. Pretty soon ten minutes turned into fifteen minutes turned into a half hour. It would be time for me to leave for my train ride and I would hesitate. Self-doubt rang through my mind. Do I really want to go out? Can I do this? What will the people there think of me? Am I really doing this? I have played this horrible game with myself many times before. Before I knew it, several minutes went by and I missed my estimated time for leaving the house. Then I canceled my RVSP for the meditation class. Why? Because I always need to be early to an event. If I don’t get there early, I’m convinced I’ll look like an idiot walking in late.
Yesterday evening I lived to regret my decision when my mom casually mentioned to my brother (in front of me) that he got $3,000 in tax returns. When he asked her if I was listed as a dependent on the tax form, she said yes and added that I had to be since she (as in my mom) is no longer working so he’d have to claim responsibility for me. I don’t think she said any of this to embarrass me and was just stating the truth, but I felt particularly impacted by her words because I remembered the Trader Joe’s applications which I told myself I would hand in and never did. I felt quite disappointed in myself in this instance because I see I am still holding back too much and letting my social anxiety stop me from pursuing something I want to try. I have to keep in mind what it is I am working towards; independence and perhaps at least some financial freedom.