I’ve had a few panicky days lately. The specter of future failure and unfulfilled dreams combined with unstructured time has a crushing impact. Some days it wins, telling me I was crazy to quit my job, telling me I have no friends that live close to me, telling me that giving up would be a smart choice.
Giving up is foolish though, especially before I’ve fully tried to succeed.
A manageable thing to do is try, gently, patiently, with realistic expectations. I can’t become fluent in Spanish today, but I can do a Rosetta Stone lesson and research conversation groups in the area. In only one week, I can’t gain twenty best friends in my city, or even one, but I can invite my neighbors to dinner, send a few emails to reach out, and attend church and small group. I can’t write a great novel or gain a journalism job today, but I can get paid to write a few articles on a freelancing website, think of some blog ideas, write in my journal. I can’t change the world this week, but I can attend a justice initiative group and treat people who are different from me with respect, seeing their dignity.
I can also walk outside breathing in the fall air, smelling the the nostalgic smell of bonfire smoke, leaves crunching under my feet, orange and yellow and red canopy of trees above. I can kiss the one I love, enjoying the simple pleasure of being with someone who knows me so well. I can text my long-distance friends and family members, letting those fleeting moments of comradery let me know I’m not alone, reminding me of wonderful friendships that have stood the test of time and moving away. I can pray to the God who gave me life and continues to save me from my dark, twisty self.
Taking it a step at a time, goal by goal, appreciating the small moments. I guess some clichés are a little bit true.