A is for...
My unofficial New Year’s Resolution/mantra was “Be open to possibilities.” I was tired of living life so scared. I did plenty of things alone and with others – visiting coffee shops, going to movies, trying new restaurants – but I was getting a little too accustomed to automatically thinking 'no' when it came to making plans. And going to the same places over and over, despite my love for certain kinds of routine, gets old. Generally, the urge to say no stemmed from a lack of money. I found that saying yes, however, to extremely simple things really paid off. (No pun intended.) Case in point: I was due to meet a friend for coffee at Starbucks, something that was going to cost at least $5. (It sounds cheap, but when you’re broke, $5 might as well be $1M.) When the friend suggested we meet for breakfast at an inexpensive local place instead, I said yes. I may have thought ‘no’ out of habit, but quickly reasoned that breakfast was only going to cost another $5 or so. In addition, I would get better coffee and extended friend time out of the deal. (Also, toast. Mmm, toast.) I haven’t kept track of the things I’ve said yes to since the beginning of the year, but I can tell you that I’ve been to several parties and met a lot of new people, I’ve tried new coffeehouses and restaurants, and I’ve seen movies I might never have discovered on my own on Netflix. Sure, some of those things made me anxious as HELL – where was I going to park, was I going to fit in the chairs, how much was it REALLY going to cost, etc. – but I’ve been glad for every time I ovaried up and did something new. It’s been pretty great discovering new people and places in this city where I’ve lived for almost 31 years. Above all, it’s nice not to walk around all bound up in fear. Sure, I still struggle with money and I will as long as I’m only working part-time (something I’m actively looking to change), but it’s nice to spend the few dollars I have on something besides the same vanilla latte I’ve been drinking for years.
I also exhibited courage and shared my Twitter handle with a bunch of folks who also read The Bloggess, who is simply wonderful if you aren’t familiar with her writing. Her openness about living with anxiety and depression have helped me become a lot more open about my struggles with the same. It still scares the shit out of me to admit that I have struggled with depression since I was a child, but it’s crucial to talk about because secrecy and shame do nothing for one’s well-being (or complexion). I know all too well what it feels like when you think you’re alone, that you’re the only person living with XYZ problem, and how beautifully, mind-expandingly glorious it is to find out that you aren’t. I gained hundreds (literally) of followers on Twitter this week and followed hundreds in return. My feed is now full of people talking about anxiety, meds, therapy, and how happy they are to find out they’re #notalone. For the first time since I joined Twitter years ago, I feel like I’ve found my people. I’m far more comfortable tweeting now because I feel like I made about 100 new friends, all of whom understand when I’m having a rough morning and need to take a stuffed animal to work so I can remain calm. Plus, we’re all tweeting from the safety of our homes, offices, or cars, so there’s an added introvert bonus of avoiding in-person conversations. (Talk to new people? IN PERSON? Ha!) If you are a member of #TheBloggessTribe, welcome! Non-members also welcome, of course, but you should join us, especially if you feel awkward, different, alone, sad, weird, depressed, etc. You’ll quickly find out that a lot – A LOT – of people are in your corner and ready to help you fight whatever is trying to get you down. Come for the camaraderie, stay for the animated gifs.