Recently, I went on a trip to Dallas, Texas, as part of my master's degree program. I arrived the day before the event started. I was worried about the travel and being away from my family for that long. But it wasn't until I arrived and was standing in my hotel room, realizing that I now had 30 hours of time completely on my own, with nothing to do, in a large and unfamiliar city, that reality really sunk in.
For about a decade, I have longed for a lot of time alone. There have been days when I would have given anything for 30 hours in a hotel, alone, to do whatever I want. For an introverted and highly sensitive mom and wife who works all the time and always has a long to-do list, It sounded like the ultimate in luxury. A genie's wish. I never feel like I have enough time to do all the things I want to do. So you would think that this gift of time would feel like, well, a gift. I did not expect to be hit with a wall of panic.
There's something about looking at a large block of unstructured time that can make me feel unsteady and anxious. It feels like standing at the top of a black hole and staring down into it. Fear has me afraid that if I move wrong, I will fall into it and never be seen again. So I freeze, standing rigid at the threshold, with no idea of what to do next. Knowing that this much free time never happens for me, I was aware of this immense pressure to do the right thing. I didn't want to waste this time, so I had to pick the perfect thing to do. If I picked wrong, I would be throwing away my free time, and I would never get it back.
Of course, it didn't really matter what I chose to do, as long as it was something I wanted to do. As long as it made me happy, it was the perfect choice. I could have spent the day eating Doritos on the bed, watching television, if that's what felt like fun (I swear, I only did that for like two hours).
Eventually I was able to remember the things I wanted to do, and flow from one thing to another. I shared how I was feeling on my Instagram account and heard from other people that they've had the same experience. I felt myself steady, and my anxiety faded.
It can be so unsettling when you are standing at a crossroads of sorts, and you don't know which way to go. The fear that you might make the wrong choice is paralyzing. It's especially scary when there is no clear right path. Because if the correct path is obvious, then there's no indecision. Very limited opportunity to make the wrong choice. But if there's many choices, there is the perception of many possible wrong choices. Moments like that time in Dallas are teaching me that it's not about making the "right" choice. It's about doing the thing that feels right for me. It's about closing my eyes and listening to my intuition. Ignoring the voices of judgment and self-criticism. My heart knows what is best for me at any given moment.
What is your heart telling you? What does your intuition know is best for you? What is preventing you from listening to it?
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. This is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty, authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.