Today I am Anxious. Here’s the interesting part of that word (am I becoming a logophile??)…it has two meanings that are in some ways contrary to one another. They are:
Full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried
Earnestly desirous; eager
OK, that’s odd isn’t it? You can be both fearful and eager in one word. Yet, that is precisely what I am feeling at the moment.
I have a trip coming up. Going to New Orleans for the first time. Purely a social trip with a very good friend who loves nudging (pushing) me out of my comfort zone. It’s one of the many reasons I adore her. She doesn’t let me get in my own way. The trip is Anxiety producing for two reasons.
First, I can literally count on my fingers the number of times I’ve taken an airplane ride. In my life I’ve traveled via plane to Boise, Idaho; Phoenix, Arizona; San Francisco, California; Boston, Massachusetts; and Atlanta, Georgia. Heck, I can count them on one hand. This trip will now force me to add my other hand to count. Each trip has been completely easy (knock on wood) and never gave me a rationale for being nervous, it’s merely my lack of experience.
My second reason is simply because traveling is not something I do often. I tend to stay in DC/Maryland…a little in Virginia and a little in Delaware. That’s it. If I can’t drive there in four hours or less, I am not likely to go there. I have friends who think my lack of desire to travel is sinful, but for me it’s just who I am. Home is a fantastic place to be—I’ve worked hard to make it that way—so I do not frequently feel the need to stray far from it. At the same time, I am very excited about this trip. Hello?? New Orleans…how could this not be fun?
So there are the causes of my Anxious feeling. Which leads to the question of what do I do with this emotion? I could let the fear paralyze me. It could cloud the trip…make me nauseous, aggravate my fledgling ulcers and pretty much ruin the trip. Sure. THAT sounds like a good idea…
I can open door #2. Focus on my excitement. Acknowledge my discomfort, but put it in its place. Embrace the new experience and put my fears in check. Direct my energy to the reasons I’m going and smile. Hmmm…I could actually have fun. Perhaps that is a better idea.
I have taken steps to make sure my fears are addressed and can now focus on the positives. I think that while some of my fears may be irrational, they are mine and judging myself for having them is ridiculous. They are what they are. The important part is that I don’t let them stop me from living life. We only get one chance at this crazy experience, so I want to make it a good one. Plus my travel instigator is notorious for making sure I enjoy these trips. We went to New York City a few years back and saw/did more of New York in 36 hours than most people do in a week! I can’t wait to see what New Orleans brings.