*This isn’t a funny post, nor is there really a food aspect to it. I know this is a food blog and you expect food, but sometimes it’s okay to break the rules.*
It’s over. I’m in London for the night and head back to the States tomorrow.
At the beginning of this trip I was still overcome with the crippling anxiety and worry that I couldn’t seem to shake. The unease and numbness from being bored, boring, wanting. Of feeling that I was stuck, of needing my comfort zone and relying on it while attempting to thrive in the small box I’d placed myself into.
Whenever someone asks me to try and explain what anxiety is like, I tell them it’s like dealing with a child, someone completely separate from yourself. Like children, anxiety is temperamental and can lash out at any time with seemingly no rhyme or reason. And the more you reason with it and contain its petulant behavior, the more it wants to be heard. There were times when I was so overwhelmed with such heavy anxiety I would be curled on the floor, nauseated to the point of wanting to die. I would speak to my anxiety and bargain with it, pleading for it to work with me. We will get through this together, I’d say, feeling nuttier by the minute. How could I throw caution to the wind and strip away the tethers that comforted me when going to the next town over sent me into a cold and sweaty panic? A person can only handle so much of that before it beats them down, leaving a shadow cast over who they used to be and who they want to be.
Anxiety isn’t as strong as it thinks it is.
In the last 3 months I’ve gone to so many beautiful places, ate many delicious and disgusting things, put myself into situations well outside of my comfort zone and thrived without the burden of anxiety. I quit my JOB, the most stable part of my life! To come to Europe! To cook and eat!
I don’t know what’s going to come of my adventure. Maybe something incredible, maybe nothing but these amazing memories I’ve built. But if nothing else, I pursued something I felt was beyond my grasp and defeated the worst part of my anxiety: the part that was always so convincing when telling me I couldn’t have what I really wanted for myself.
I wouldn’t say I’m lucky, because that discredits the work I put into it. But I feel so lucky.
I wouldn’t say I’m blessed, because that places too much holy into my very secular journey. But I feel so blessed.
Above these, I feel something I forgot I could feel until I got out of my own way and let it peek through layers of senseless worry I’ve accumulated year after year:
So. Fucking. Happy.