Confidently Anxious!

So I know it’s been a while and I’m truly sorry to all (two of ) you reading this ( hey mum!)

A lot has been going on and I really did intend to write about all of it but never quite got round to it. Okay that’s a lie – I did get round to it but old habits die hard and I began to second guess myself, my thoughts and my capabilities.
So currently there are about five (fine,maybe six) posts sitting in draft, unpublished patiently waiting for me to grow some proverbial balls.  And that’s how we arrive at the point of this post – I should probably just entitle this: ‘A convoluted explanation as to the the point where hesitation meets procrastination’.

Recently I was on the way to an interview stood on an escalator,  straightening out my brand new dress, tapping my foot along to an Afrobeats song. My thoughts trailed off and I began to realize not only was I stupendously anxious but I was also so anxious I had refused to tell anyone I was remotely close to about it. It’s a bad habit of mine: don’t speak on it until it comes to fruition or don’t let anyone in on it lest it be jinxed. Jinxed you know – what am I ? Twelve!?   But it’s funny because to look at me or talk to me you’d reckon I was the most confident person you’d laid eyes on, always ready with a smart remark or witty comeback (my sister verified this so that makes it fact- k babe ?) but when it comes to anything I’m genuinely passionate about the anxiety sets in silently but with the brute force.

Anxiety is something many deal with, a few flippantly blow off and others colloquially make light of. But for some it is indeed a real struggle and can affect people in so many different ways. To ask someone why or how something gives them anxiety is like asking them to give a tutorial on catching water – physically impossible. (with your hands – I’m aware you could use a bucket wise-ass but we’re being poetic here) and what I’ve learnt is that it isn’t for us to explain or justify; it is just something that we must ride the wave of – (read: manage)

For a long time I considered it extremely taboo to even mention my anixety, cultural and spiritual influences definitely played a role in this, but towards the end of this decade anxiety has begun to be discussed more openly, honestly especially in the black community – and it became apparent to me that I wasn’t the only one often crippled by fear of failure or not living up to (mysterious and irrelevant) expectation.

Now this post isn’t being written because I have discovered a cure and all is well and right with the world ( I mean even if I had, let’s not forget the results of the 2019 General election , that’s enough to put a downer on any discovery.) This is being written as an declaration of acknowledgment, because I owe myself that – you owe yourself that.

There is empowerment in finally being able to say:
“I am a confident person who doesn’t have the confidence to actualise the dreams that scare me.”
I mean you can like as many soundbite quotes on instagram as you want, it does nothing for the aching sensation you get in your head or the bottomless lurch you experience in your stomach the minute something throws you for a loop or doesn’t go according to plan.

I don’t have the cure for these symptoms or any of the other countless markers that plague sufferers , I can only offer small hope in sharing  – in encouraging solidarity and initiating more discussions. Though what works for one may not work for all, you never truly know unless we discuss and are open, brave and honest (cliche but hey time and place , no!?)

My new stencil has become to experience, not just to exist but to find joy in simple pleasures, to rediscover old loves that may pave the way for new ones.

I’m taking small but mighty rhythmic steps, hoping and praying they count.


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