You Don’t Own Me, Anxiety

I am an anxious person, no doubt.

I worry about the little things I can’t control. I worry about the uncertainty of my future and struggle with forgetting the past. My past mistakes are like a blemish on a nonexistent permanent record, which is an absolutely rubbish thought when I think logically. When I think with my nervous tendencies, however, I am like the kid who has been kicked out of every school because of his shabby permanent record, shuffled around from institution to institution until he can’t be shuffled around anymore. It’s all so silly, but I tend to think that every little thing I do wrong has accumulated into a big, jumbled mess somehow.

I also worry about the weather and freak accidents, because I know they are beyond my control. I worry about wars and the end of the world and overpopulation and global warming and cults and bad people and old bus drivers and too many other silly little things.

This weekend, for example, my team and I were on a long bus trip to play two other teams in a town about eight hours away. Friday night we played and won, which was great for us due to the fact we were in a bit of a slump. I went to bed content and happy that night, raring to play the next day. In the middle of the night, I woke up for no reason. I did what I always do: scroll absent-mindedly through my Twitter feed.

What I saw and read just broke my heart.

The NCTC Softball team (a junior college out of Gainesville, Texas) was involved in a tragic accident: a tractor-trailer crossed the median and rammed into their little bus, killing four and injuring the rest. My thoughts and prayers immediately went out to all those involved and their families; those girls were just some college athletes coming back from playing the game they love, totally unsuspecting and innocent.

That’s when those silly little worries started clawing at the tender depths of my brain. I knew we would have to come back home from our eight-hour trip. And it would have to be on a bus.

We played the next day and lost in a five-set match–we fought hard, but we can’t always win them all. We boarded the bus and made it safely all the way home. Most of the trip I watched the road intently out my window and said little prayers here and there– I was nervous because I knew I couldn’t control every little part of that bus ride. I also texted my mom, who gave me some of the best advice and life philosophy you can get:

“You can’t be afraid to live your life. Some things you can’t control, but you can control the way you approach situations.”

That’s when I decided to start transforming my “worries” into things of my past.

I’ve worried. I refuse to worry anymore. Because of my mom, I’ve decided to take one day at a time, one moment at a time, one smile at a time.

Anxiety is a thing of the past for me. How does my girl Elsa put it?

“I’m never going back, the past is in the past…Let it go! Let it go!”

Ok, you get the gist. Letting go of silly things I can’t control is going to be a challenge, but a challenge that is totally doable. I am the only one who can control my emotions. It’s time to stop worrying about the uncertainty of my future and embrace the mystery of what it holds.  Life is awesome, and I’m going continue to find out how awesome it is one day at a time, one smile at a time.

Let’s go.


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