Well, It’s been over a week, and I am just getting back to blogging. There’s no real excuse to offer, except Friday when I was travelling, so we will just have to leave it in the past. How does that sound?
Now, there was very little that actually happened over the ~8 days I missed. I did go to a Panic! At the Disco concert on Tuesday, and that was amazing! I went with two of the girls I live with, and we all had a blast. The first two acts were Saint Motel and Misterwives, respectively, and then Panic! came on. Every single group did a wonderful job, and a special shout out to the lighting design for Misterwives, which was very well done.
Aside from that the week was particularly normal, until Friday. On Friday it became spring break. Finally a week off of classes, a chance to escape college for a bit! I decided to use my spring break to visit my brother at his college, rather than go home. He goes to school at a little liberal arts college in southern Michigan, so I took a bus up to Toledo, Ohio, and he picked me up from there.
Now, I LOVE travelling, but I HATE travelling alone. I am used to travelling with my parents, or my youth group, or my friends. In all of these cases I am not the one responsible for the trip going well. I don’t have to worry about connections, or luggage, or anything but enjoying the trip. In fact, I have avoided exploring Pittsburgh, among other things, for just this reason. When I travel alone I am responsible for everything, and there is nothing anxiety likes better than the possibility of failure.
I was a nervous wreck the entire day on Friday. At first, I had to wake up early to finish packing, and once I was done I spent the rest of the time I had sitting on my bed running through everything I had packed in my mind to reassure myself I had not forgotten anything. Then it was off to the City bus that would take me to the Greyhound station. I spent that whole trip obsessively checking my phone to remember the stop I had to get off at. Then I obsessively checked google maps every two seconds as I walked from the stop to the station, then I obsessively checked my ticket to make sure I had the right bus, then I had to *gasp* talk to someone to get my bag checked, then I… are you sensing the theme here?
I didn’t calm down until I got on the actual Greyhound, because after that there was nothing left to do until I got off the bus in Toledo. Even then, I was a little anxious about the fact that someone sat next to me on the bus- what if I annoy them, what if they annoy me, what if they want to talk to me? It seems silly, even to me as I write about it, but it was quite the struggle the whole trip.
The most interesting part was when another passenger boarded the bus, sat next to me (the other person had already gotten off), and proceeded to ask me about what to do, and how the Greyhound system worked. I’m not so unused to this- I guess I have a trustworthy face?, and I have spent long enough being anxious that I know how to mask it well. Still, it was striking to be on the receiving end of someone else’s anxiety. It made me feel a little less alone, knowing someone else had no idea what they were doing, and it made me feel like maybe my anxiety wasn’t causing me so many problems after all.
I mean, yes I felt nauseous and terrified the entire way to the bus station, and a fair amount of the bus ride, but I still did it, didn’t I? I made it to the station, I made it onto the bus, and I made it to Toledo.
Anxiety can make a trip on the city bus feel like a life-or-death situation, but in the end it’s just bus ride, and I can do it. No matter how I feel about it, I won’t die, and anxiety can’t convince me otherwise. I am strong, and capable, and I know that even if I mess up, there is nothing wrong with that. Anxiety can lie to me, try an convince me to run away, but I can’t, and won’t, let it. Anyway- I’ve got places to go.