Crawling in my Skin

It’s day 3,734,230. Right? I’ve officially lost track of time.

Honestly I’ve had a good run. I lasted a lot longer than most due my practice run at this last year. Who would have guessed that there would be perks to my self imposed social distancing caused by how sick I was? I’ve trained for this! Not seeing friends? Been there. Work from home? Done that. Living life consumed with anxiety about the future? Hell yes. At the beginning of this whole thing I was actually loving it. I got to stay home and enjoy time with my family. I didn’t have to waste my time commuting, and pay money for someone else to watch my kid. It was a dream come true. So why do I finally feel like I’m cracking? I have these feelings that I can’t recognize. The self aware, emotionally mindful, incredibly in tune with myself person is collapsing in on itself.

As much as I hate to admit it, Linkin Park said it best. I know it’s cheesy pop rock, but hear me out. I think back to the days where I would drive around, blasting my stereotypical “angry teen” music in my 1994 Honda Accord. Singing at the top of my lungs lyrics that I didn’t even fully understand.

Crawling in my skin
These wounds, they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real

Discomfort, endlessly has pulled itself upon me
Distracting, reacting
Against my will I stand beside my own reflection
It’s haunting how I can’t seem
to find myself again

I’m crawling in my skin for sure. My anxiety is rearing its ugly head, and it’s due to a lot of things. I barely recognize myself some days, and there’s emotions surfacing that I don’t know what to do with. Trying to make sure this thing doesn’t turn into a trauma for my child has been consuming. My constant fear of loss has been heightened. I spent this last week pissed at myself for feeling like this. I’ve put too much damn effort into my self work to have no answers! But then I realized where a huge part of this stress is coming from. It’s the recognition that I don’t want to keep spending all my time in a rat race. When my company announced we’d be heading back into the office in a little over a month, it made me anxious. I’m tired of wasting hours sitting under a fluorescent light with the weight of the other things that I need to do when I get home on my shoulders. Rushing, rushing, rushing, just to be able to get an hour with my family and 30 minutes of Netflix to myself on the tablet.

Going back to our normal isn’t something that I want. I’ve proven to myself that I can do my job alongside all the other things I love. They don’t need to be sectioned off into parts of my day. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my career. But I also enjoy doing a lot of other things and they were not being allowed room in my life. Now that things are starting to open back up, there’s areas that I’m scared to have go back to normal. How discomforting to know that the life I worked years to achieve turned out to be different than what is best for me? I am finding most pieces of this new normal to allow for a beautiful balance. Life wasn’t meant to be lived through lists, calendars and the constant desire to be best at everything. I can’t keep barreling forward and over functioning for the rest of my life. I want to be able to take time between my emails to water my plants, or put dinner on the stove. I want to be able to sit out in the backyard and get some sunshine while diving into some spreadsheets. All the pieces of our lives aren’t meant to be siloed, they should be synchronous and enjoyed in unison.

So where does this realization leave me? Great question. I’m still trying to figure it out myself. But I can say with all certainty that this pandemic has taught me two things. To not wait for what I want and that slowing down doesn’t mean I’m failing. The fact that I’m afraid to go back to my old life says there’s a lot that needs changing.

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