Monday, October 9, 2017

Lessons In Beautiful Moments: Anxiety, NYC, and Hamilton.

For my entire life, I've heard that I should learn from my mistakes in order to have a more positive life.  And while I don't deny the validity in that statement, I think there are other ways to learn and grow as a human.  There are lessons in bright, beautiful moments, too.

I often describe myself as a nervous human.  Anxiety has been the headline in my life for as long as I can remember, even though I didn't realize that's what that was until I was in my 30's.  

I am an intensely positive and genuine cheerleader for everyone in my inner circle.  To my core, I believe in my people.  My people are the very best people!  But I second guess my own grocery store purchases or one line texts or birthday presents.  I dissect ever word I say, facial expression I make, and breath I take in the presence of others and cringe for years sometimes at my potential awkwardness.  As a result, I hold back a lot in my own life, an extremely sad amount, because I am so scared I will fail or upset someone.  

It takes a lot to get me out of my own suffocating personal box.  It takes even more for me to begin letting people in.

No one is more surprised and delighted than me that a single {terrible} event lead to a renewed friendship with Hamilton.  Because for some unknown reason, it just felt like the right door to open.  And even though I worried that I was being too awkward or too forward or too everything, I still felt like this was a direction I needed to head.  I just knew that I needed to say hello and then say more.  

It's funny because for as much as I doubt everything I do, I also have moments of complete clarity and confidence when it comes to particular friendships.  I can describe the moment I knew people were bound to become my tribe in so many instances.  When you know, you know.  Even when you're nervous and wrapped in an itchy blanket of anxiety.  

Now, just because I knew it was right for me to open that door, I never imagined where it would lead.  I had no idea that first hello would lead to daily conversations and hugs and weekends and endless giggles.  No one could have predicted the giggles!

I needed this friendship in my life.  I didn't know it at the time, but it's incredibly clear to me now how very much I needed a daily dose of Hamilton.  She's a rockstar friend and all around amazing human!

I've been thinking a lot this week about how grateful I am that I have this little squirrel in my life again.  Hamilton and her wife, Eliza, are the best of the best!  

More than that though, I've been thinking about how overwhelmingly positive it has been to fight through my all day, every day anxieties to open up more.  

The thought of letting people in, even a little, makes all of my body parts sweat.  The fear of judgment and rejection envelopes me.  The pain of being found out to be someone less than desirable is crushing.

So I avoid it.  I avoid the pain and fear.  By isolating myself.  By being sweet and quiet and sitting still.  By saying nothing and and participating rarely.

And then I'm fucking miserable.

But that's been my coping mechanism for as long as I can remember and it's my subconscious go-to when I feel that fear in my chest.  

I'm still me.  This isn't a grand story about how I am magically better.  I still worry about things that never cross the mind of most friends.  I am still slow to peel away my layers and let people in, both physically and emotionally.  I am guarded.  

But I am fighting those fears.  I am fighting my instincts to not participate in life because every single time I do join in on living, I find joy.  I never regret saying yes, even though I spend shocking amounts of time thinking of ways to say no.

Which brings me to these bouncy boobs.  At the Museum of Sex.  It's an exhibit called Jump For Joy and it's basically the best way to spend two minutes of your life.  A bouncy castle but with giant tatas.  Everything about it is giggle inducing.  Nothing bonds a friendship like bouncing on boobs!  Even now, I am laughing just thinking about it.

Look at these lovies!  I would never know the joy of their friendship if I hadn't opened up.  I would never learn to make Eliza eggs or perfect my bob and weave.  I'd never share inside jokes or in depth discussions on favorite musicians.  I'd never know how powerful it is to feel understood in a way that others are unable to understand me.  

I am so unbelievably lucky.  And damn, it is so clear to me that fighting through those worries pays off in big ways!  It's worth sitting in those feelings to get to the brighter, lighter side.  Friendship and laughter and love and great conversations are worth the journey through the anxiety.  They are worth getting up and dealing with some pain, instead of hiding from it.  Joy is worth the jump!

So last weekend, I went down to smother Hamilton and Eliza with my presence.  I taught them everything they never wanted to know about cheese and they taught me everything I did want to know about the city.  

We walked just a few steps shy of 11 miles on Saturday between a giant walk through Central Park, all over the Upper East Side, the Flat Iron District for gelato, to Brooklyn {a first for me, I think} for amazing tapas, and then to see James Blunt and Ed Sheeran play the most incredible show.

I was giddy all day because I was just so comfortable and happy.  And because I fight hard to get to a place of feeling comfortable.  I want to be open and vulnerable, but it's an internal battle.  So when I have days that easily allow for that magical combination of vulnerability and silly, I make sure I appreciate every moment.  

I also want to make sure I learn from happiness that taking chances, being vulnerable, and trying new things is worth fighting for.

The entire weekend was perfect.  Two of my favorite people were kind enough to share their little world with me and I felt so blissfully loved.

Every inch of last weekend was joy rising!

Thank you for sharing your bubble with me, Hamilton and Eliza.  The most glorious days in the best city with the greatest people made for a weekend beyond compare!  

As the song goes...thank you for being a friend!


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