There will always come times when something in life becomes uncertain; the results of a test, the outcome of a meeting, the refinancing of a home, or that blood work you had done…it always amounts to a certain, most likely a significant, quantity of anxiety. Trust me when I say that, for the last few weeks, I’ve had my share of kind of situational anxiety and the test had not even happened yet. I hear you loud and clear. When uncertainty comes knocking like Beethoven’s fate (Symphony #5, dun dun dun dun!) at your door, I have some advice for you.
My mother once told me the story of what went through her mind when her father died. It seemed like time should have stopped moving or the world should have stopped turning…all life as it ever was while he was alive could never be that way again. Yet every time she left her front door, my mother found the world the same as it had always been…rolling on as if nothing could keep it from going. While it’s true that life is different for we who are affected by some loss or anxiety, the world won’t stop turning, time won’t stop ticking, and there is nothing to stop everyone and everything around you from going on as it always has. It seems so depressing, that you could endure all of this pain and nervousness and yet the forces of nature won’t acknowledge any of it. Here’s the thing, it can be your automatic support system if you let it. That’s right, the features of life you once felt were so callous can actually sort of be…well, a comfort.
During my times of stress recently I savored those things I could truly depend on: the sun will rise in the East and wake me up in the morning, the sun will set in the West and force me to sit with my back toward the bookshelves in my favourite coffee shop, my dogs will always bark the loudest when I get home in the afternoon and they know I’m going to walk them, my mother will always ask me what I did today, my father will always say “Yo!” when he picks up the phone, both of those crazy parents will always love me, I’ll water my basil when I feel the soil is dry, my cat will sleep on my head tonight, my grandparents will always tell me how wonderful I am, Florence will always be my home away from homes, I will always crave a Spritz after a stressful day, I will always…always…always write.
You see, during our times of anxiety…that period before your test, the hour before an interview, the seconds before opening a letter from some university or school, we forget that there are things that, regardless of our anxiety ridden outcomes, will always be true. I feel that it’s one of life’s greatest gifts, that it will go on for us. The whole world will push along our lives even when we feel we just can’t take it anymore. Nature gives us the little victories necessary to make it over our hill of woes or at least make it easier to carry out our changed life’s path.
So when the nerves start overreacting and you almost feel like you could watch the entire first season of I Love Lucy and not a moment of it could make you crack a smile, just remember…the sun will be setting in the West as it always has and always will. And tomorrow, way off in the East, the sun will rise again and a brand new day will come with it.