Lately I’ve been feeling extremely anxious.
So much so that the usual pain I feel in the muscles around my neck has gotten so bad that I had to take some muscle relaxants.
All because I suddenly found myself without time.
It’s funny how that sneaks up on you, when time didn’t disappear or fast forward, it’s been moving at the same pace all along. I just hadn’t prepared myself mentally for the string of changes that’s going to happen in the following months.
When you’ve got your next few months completely planned out, it can feel like your life has become a line of dominoes just waiting to receive that push that will make them all fall one after the other.
Revision for tests. Tests. Reports. Going to my summer job in the UK. Going to Sweden for a week. Coming back to Portugal for the summer. Finish emptying my childhood room. Selling my car. Moving to the UK. Teaching course. Coming back home for Christmas. Finding a job in London.
That’s my life until January next year.
I’m excited about it, of course, but at the moment I feel unprepared. Like I’ve wasted all these months I’ve been in Portugal when I should have been getting ready.
I thought I was looking forward to all of it. And I am. I just didn’t realise it was going to make me feel this anxious. Anxious to the point of twisting my back muscles into knots, to the point of having acid reflux, to the point of having light panic attacks.
I’ve been trying to make myself relax. I’ve written lists of the things I need to do and pack, which made me feel more organised. I don’t have to follow them religiously – if I don’t tell myself this, I know I’ll get even more nervous – but at least I’ve thought about it, and that makes me feel more prepared.
I’ve arranged a day when I’m going to get rid of all the books people didn’t want from my collection, as well as CDs and DVDs. I’m putting everything I don’t want in bags, rather than piles. I’ve booked all my flights. I’ve started to divide my things between “Stuff I’m taking to the UK” and “Stuff I’m leaving behind so I won’t have to pack a suitcase when I visit my parents”.
Yes, I’m still feeling anxious, and I don’t think that’ll go away until I start my summer job when I’ll be too busy for thinking. But at least I’m not panicking anymore. I feel ready and mentally stable for the changes about to come.
I look forward to what the future brings, and am in no rush. Each thing will happen when it’s supposed to happen and I’ll make sure to enjoy each second of it instead of worrying about what’s next.
Here’s a sketch. No. A finished drawing.