I'll be venturing out of my little comfort zone this week to head into the city for business. I'm not all that happy about it and I'm definitely nervous about it. Why? It's no big deal. People do it every day. (Though how they manage I haven't a clue!) It's just not for me.
Once I knew I was going, I started thinking about why I was so uncomfortable about it. I realized that had little to do with the actual city. Though I don't go in often (financial reasons), I DO love to wander around the city and I especially love going to see a show. (Again, something that I haven't done in 10 years or so because it's expensive and darn it I really want those good seats.) What is it that unnerves me?
The first thing that I came up with is the unknown factor. I like to plan; I like to know exactly what I am doing. I don't take the bus regularly, so that's a bit of an unknown. I have taken the subway even less frequently. I've never been to the building where I am attending this meeting. For me unknown = uncomfortable. What I can do is plan and educate myself a bit before I go in. I've purchased my bus tickets. I've printed out a bus schedule. I've looked at subways and figured out the best one to take and which stop to get off. I've planned as much as I can. But there is still unknown. What direction to go in once I get off the bus, finding the subway station, which way to go once I get off. I know that none of these things is insurmountable. There are plenty of signs and in this electronic age it's easy to get information. Nonetheless, there still is some unknown; hence there is still some unease on my part.
But that's not the biggest factor behind my anxiety. Truth be told (and this will come to no surprise to people who know me well), I am a control freak. I am relying of public transportation. I have no control over that. I have no control over my day or schedule (since I am not planning the meeting). If I need to get home for an emergency (this is NOT going to happen, but this is what my brain comes up with), I can't just walk out and get home. This lack of control is what makes me crazy.
Michael Nesmith's 1989 song "Total Control" immediately comes to mind, specifically this passage:
I'm sure that's what happiness means
So I want total control of emotions
And total control of the wind
And total control of beginnings
Total control of the end
Yes, I want total control of beginnings
Total control of the end"
Of course, if I am being realistic (do I really want to be?), I DON'T really have control of many things in my life. I do, however, have the perception that I do. It may be a false perception, but it does give me a sense of calm.
If I'm wise, I'll take a deep breath and give up my control tomorrow. (And just for tomorrow!) I'll accept what is and just go with the flow. It will be good for me AND my mental health. It may not be easy. Giving up control; whether it be real or perceived, never is. But it IS important to try (and hopefully succeed). While we all may want control; crave control; sometimes it’s necessary to let go and accept what is.
I plan to try just that...