living without fear

Also known as, living with anxiety, but not allowing it to stall my life. For the past few years, I’ve been trying to, not so much overcome my anxiety, but live with it. I started this with my weight loss journey, choosing to focus on positivity and self-love over insecurity and shame. It’s a battle every day. The most recent and most obvious example was my moving to LA from Boston four months ago.

I miss my people. I woke up the other night thinking what have I done?! What am I doing? Chasing a dream, taking a risk, exploring the world. I don’t know how long I’ll be here, but I’m glad I’m doing it, ups and downs, joy and sadness, triumphs and failures included.

What I’ve learned in general in my quest to “live without fear,” especially recently, is that such a credo doesn’t require saying ‘yes’ to everything. There’s power in saying ‘no.’ While it is important to do things that scare you and make you uncomfortable, and that compromise is a very important part of living with other people (not in a roommate-way, but in an other human beings exist in the world-way), you also don’t have to do things that make you miserable. Sometimes staying in and watching your favorite show on Netflix is self-healing, but other times it’s overkill and you have to get up off your ass, take a shower, and go outside.

Carrie Fisher’s death made me think a lot about mortality. It’s strange to be mourning someone I didn’t really know. I’m also coming up on a year since my cat died and still grieving my beloved aunt. I’m living far away from my loved ones. I eat at least two out of three meals a day alone. I come home alone. I workout alone. I do a lot of exploring alone. Loneliness has always scared me and while it’s hard, it’s not necessarily the worst thing to experience. It’s making me take care of myself, be independent, and learn a lot about the world and my place in it. Life is fragile, fast-moving, and can change or end at any moment. This is startling, but it’s also inspiring.

I’m scared a lot of the time, whether it be concerning my future, career, money, family and friends, and all the little and big things that compose a person’s life, but I’ve stopped letting that fear prevent me from trying, in any capacity that I choose. Spoiler alert: I fail a lot. Sometimes it’s easier to go to bed early and hide under the covers. But when I do face scary people and things, I try to always maintain eye contact. Because people so rarely make eye contact anymore.

The world is big and we, individually, are small. That feels like relief.

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