Monday, October 22, 2012

An ode to anxiety

We all get it, though it's rarely discussed. Worrying about an outcome that doesn't yet exist, creating unnecessary thoughts that poison the brain. This quote reminded me that sometimes we need to take a breath, and remember how small we are in the scope of things. Funks happen. And they'll happen again. But we're all in this together, right?

“The anxieties come in the night, of course, when we are most able to visualize specific outcomes and conjure up their accompanying pains. When they do, I remind myself that there are almost 7 billion people alive right now. Given the true scope of things, I am nobody. This may seem depressing or counterintuitive to some of you, but for me anonymity can be liberating. And if reminding myself how few people, relatively, could possibly be mocking me fails to break tension, I do a little exercise. I close my eyes and fly around the country, lifting the roofs off various houses and peeking in. In this house someone just announced their engagement; in this one a man packs his army gear for Afghanistan; in the next house a woman goes into labor; next door a man tells his wife he lost his job. Long days, perfect days, days packed with commotion or errands or hours of solitude. Seven billion people. A nurse hands malaria nets; a boy makes a fire on the kitchen floor; a mom combs her daughter’s hair. Seven billion people. The more I fly, the smaller I get, until I’m just about the right size, the size of one person among billions, working my way through my tiny life the best I can.”

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