A few months ago I shared that I have anxiety. Here's another post continuing that conversation.
Living with anxiety is living with fear.
When my anxiety is at an all time high, my chest feels tight and my breath gets short. I feel like I can’t breathe because of this intense feeling that everything is going to fall apart —my career, my relationships, me.
Anxiety is fear.
My boyfriend’s sister called me brave while I was in Paris, and I thought that was really funny because I’ve never really identified with being “brave.” Yes I’ve willingly put myself in potentially scary (stupid) situations, traveling alone to Bali, quitting my steady full time job of 3 years, moving to LA from SF after college, break up with my ex of 4 years, but I would never jump out of a plane or see a horror movie. I actually rather think of myself as a fearful person. (IE. I will never cross paths with a pigeon.)
Besides the fact that my fears may be entirely irrational, I think the difference between me and an actual "fearful" person is that I just bite the bullet and do it anyway.
I don’t live according my fears, I choose to live beyond it.
I take risks because I would never want to look back at my life and wish I had done this or that, or go “Oh well, I guess I’ll never know.” I would rather fail and die a million times than stay exactly where I am. Having anxiety forces me to decide to stay rooted in my fear or do something, anything, to feel something else. And if you're someone who suffers from anxiety, you'd know that anything is better than living in deep dread every day. For someone with anxiety, action is essential.
"I don’t live according my fears, I chose to live beyond it."
There’s a moment in every situation, where you can decide to follow your anxiety or follow what gives you purpose. I never thought I would be able to be a successful photographer. When I was in college I was completely crippled by anxiety and so introverted that I was practically a hermit. But the key is to take it slow. Step by step, I've learned to live beyond fear. But I didn't do it in a day. Hell, I didn't even do it in a year. It took me 5 years to get here, and it will take me even longer to become the photographer that I ultimately want to be. But if I've learned anything, it's that everything is a process and the name of the game is time.
For those of you guys who also suffer from anxiety, remember this: you are more.
You are more than anxiety, you are more than fear.