Anxiety

I’m feeling really anxious now… about the past, the present, and the future. It is quite difficult to explain this feeling through words, but I’ll try my best. It feels like I am right on the edge of something terrible happening, but that terrible thing never actually happens. It’s like that feeling you get before going on a roller coaster ride. You’re panicking as the fear beings setting in. But you never actually get on that roller coaster and the fear never fully sinks in.

Imagine being tied to a chair and watching a spider inch closer and closer to you. I helplessly sit in my chair, absolutely terrified of the spider that is coming my way. But the spider never actually lands on me. I’m on a time loop: just when the spider gets close enough to touch me, the scene repeats itself and the spider continues walking towards me all over again.

They say that anxiety happens when we don’t let ourselves fully feel our fear. Waiting in line to go on a roller coaster ride is scarier than actually being on one, just like watching a spider walk towards you is scarier than finding one that’s already crawling on your body. What we imagine in our minds is a million times scarier than what is actually happening in real life.

Lately, all I can do is imagine. I have big, overwhelming dreams I am trying to chase yet I’m standing a thousand miles away from where I want to be. I look at other people’s lives, people who are around the same age as me, and it makes me even more anxious. I can’t help but think, “What are they doing? Why are they wasting their lives?” and then I look at myself and I feel like I’m also wasting my life. There’s too many obstacles in the way.

It certainly feels like my life is on pause right now. I’m trying my best to make myself feel like things are going forward, but everything seems to be going backwards. I don’t need a vacation, I don’t need a break, I don’t need more patience… I need a “play” button.

Anxiety is a part of life. And just like stress, we need a healthy amount to keep us alive. It is not necessarily a bad thing to feel anxious. Because everything seems to be going backwards, my anxiety is hurting me. But once things finally feel like they are moving forward again, I can transform my anxiety into excitement.

 

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Nobody wants to be attacked by others for their lifestyle choices

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I’m a “vegetarian.” I don’t like labels but that is the simplest way to explain that I don’t eat meat. The reason I don’t like labels is because they come with a lot of baggage and people make so many assumptions about who you are when you attach yourself to a specific label.

We all have certain lifestyle choices that are different from the norm. One great example of a lifestyle choice of mine that is “out of the norm” is vegetarianism. People ask me why I’m a vegetarian and what exactly sparked me to be this way. The truth is that I can’t give you one single answer to that; there are many reasons why, and the most straight-forward answer I can give is that I am what I am.

It’s true that there are vegans and vegetarians out there who preach, preach, preach and act like they are better than everyone else. But it’s wrong to assume that I am that way. There are also omnivores who preach, preach, and preach about their meat-eating habits and assume that their diet makes them better than everyone else.

I understand why some meat-eaters spew hatred against vegans/vegetarians. This is the same general concept as spewing hatred against anyone else who lives a different lifestyle than you do. The reason that they attack is because of one thing: fear. They do not understand the other person’s point of view. They are scared of being judged. But most of all, it makes them question their own lifestyle choices, which is terrifying.

But guess what? You can actually support another person’s lifestyle choices without agreeing with them yourself. My boyfriend absolutely loves meat; his favorite meal is a juicy steak. And… here’s the shocker… he still supports my dietary choices! He tells me how he likes the fact that I’m a vegetarian and tells me I’m going to probably live longer than most. In which I reply, “eh… maybe, who knows.”

Did you know that I strongly dislike PETA? Did you know that I avoid telling others about my vegetarianism because I think it’s irrelevant? Did you know that when I watch vegan propaganda and enjoy it, I’m still aware that this is propaganda? Did you know that being a vegetarian for almost ten years makes me happy, but I am aware that it might not make others happy?

This is how I see it: I don’t like it when people judge me for being vegetarian, therefore, I don’t judge others for being omnivores.

So next time you feel the need to attack others for their lifestyle choices because you believe they are wrong, put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if that person started attacking you for who you are? Instead, acknowledge the fact that humans are unique and we all make different choices. Feel confident enough about your own choices to realize that not everyone has to think the same way as you. Imagine how boring the world would be if it were that way!

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