Anxiety Eve and Sinking Belly Ships.

'Along for the Ride' ©Angie Mason 2011 part of the Hand Picked 10 : Project 30 Series
Time is passing and it's all coming to an end. That feeling is looming large these last days of December. I for the longest time have had this mixed hopeful yet heavy feeling surrounding the New Years Holiday. The celebration of the passing of time where it can be a wonderful thing looking back on fond memories or taking note of what you have accomplished are some of the positive sides of this time for myself. But, then there is the other side which is mostly a holiday that causes overwhelming anxiety for several reasons such as the ending of another year, measuring self worth, the simple passing of time and knowing it ends for all of us.

It also is a holiday for me that feels more maudlin as it's central focus is about time and let's face it all our days are numbered some higher than others but still we are all marked with an expiration date. So the pressure is on as a new year is about to start! How are you going to improve your life and make it so perfect you big fuck up? How are you ever going to get it right? Will this be it?

January to me is like the first page in a blank sketch book you feel a sense of pressure to perform and yet you are at a loss for what to do since the pressure is so great why with all those blank pages to fill what on earth will I fill them with. Slowly you ease into it and get your flow sure and it turns into magic and you enjoy living life most of the time. But this moment when you feel like you are supposed to put things under a microscope or put things in perspective well honestly I can't help but vomit in my mouth a little. My heart sinks heavy like a ship in my belly.

Now, I admit to being funny about time, always aware at how quickly it all goes by and constantly nostalgic, creating memory jars filled with stuff as to help with not forgetting all the wonderful moments that happened. It really does help and I totally enjoy cataloging my life as it's helpful to look back over it with ease.

But this grand holiday celebration over the end of a 12 month cycle and a beginning of a new one does bother me as I just find myself often with a feeling of sadness and anxious gut goo swirling about in my belly. The beginning and end are 2 moments for just about everyone that have great emotions attached to them. I think that is why it's a difficult holiday to face. It's a reminder not only to all those beginnings and ends we have faced in our life but also that we are going to die.

 When I was four I thought the celebration of  New Years was the end of the world literally. I sat stiff and scared drawing in a children's book as tears streamed down my face. I drew a mushroom cloud with the planet earth just exploding. I saw everyone laughing and happy and thought to myself what is wrong with them don't they know we are about to die. As the countdown drew closer I got more hysterical with my crying and at that point it was clear to everyone in the room something was wrong with me. My mother at that point calmed me down and explained what the holiday really was about but I still felt suspicious and somber.

So this heavy feeling I have had it for this holiday since I was a tiny child. But  of course now I don't expect the world to explode like I did when I was four but that feeling of doom still hangs heavy around this time of year. I can be torn and happy at times looking over things like fond memories or hopes and dreams of course as I tend to lean on the positive side of thinking as my life choice. But I recognize the existence of darkness within the light.

The truth is yes we all are going to die. But I want to embrace life as much as possible without feeling like I am inadequate or not doing enough as this holiday often focuses on things such as resolutions which I mostly never have taken part in.  We all have a limited time. Let's not kick ourselves for not being good enough at life or doing as much as you or others think you should be doing. Don't belittle your life by only focusing on supposed shortcomings you are doing yourself a great disservice.

Allow yourself to celebrate your life and all the good you have done from simply smiling at a stranger to being considerate to others or to say listening to a friend and helping them with advice. All the small moments add up and for all the big talk about trying to be better and live a perfect life stop trying and start appreciating what you have. If you want to make change allow yourself to be open to it not a prisoner to the idea of it.

Change comes from within not from magazines, news shows or blogs telling us how to live. Keep believing in yourself, your dreams and stop looking at the clock so much. Drink the milk that is your life before the expiration date happens and things get all sour and times up. Be present, be kind and mindful to others then I think things will fall into place and living will feel good just like when you start to fill up a sketch book.


pomly said...

Oh my gosh I just read this! Were you feeling like this the whole time we were hanging out? Strangely, I feel like this almost all the time, but not on New Years Eve! I suppose I look at it as a new beginning. I am not sure. I am reading this book "Staring at the Sun" right now to help me with it all, and it seems to be working. I think your conclusion is pretty much the same as in the book - live your life good, live it to the fullest! I agree!

Angie Mason said...

Of course I did not feel like this when were hanging out! You guys made it so I was having fun and being present and not in my head which is when these anxious feelings I talked about mostly surface. I try my best to sort them out. I am glad to hear I am not alone in feeling this way though really I couldn't imagine I was alone since I think this new year holiday really magnifies these anxious feelings about time for everyone. I have to look into that book not only do I like the name, I like the sound of it like it's going in the direction of thought I think is a healthy one. I am happy to hear it is helping you go in a good direction! Oh time is a crazy thing and I feel like with modern time things are even more sped up and anxiety filled it's a balancing act for sure!
I was so happy to see you guys and your hair looks adorable by the way! I am so very excited for your fashion design adventures! XOXO!