This is a very personal post, and it’s oddly difficult to write, but I also think that it is an important topic, so I’m going to try.
It’s about anxiety. Nervousness. Uneasiness. Being a little high-strung.
Whatever you want to call it, I can throw down with the best of them.
I’ve been “randomly” pulled to the side of the airport security lane more times than I can count. Usually I was with my family. Before we got to the agent, Josh would try to be proactive. Calm down, he would tell me. You’re so tense that you’re vibrating. Relax.
But the truth was that I couldn’t.
There were too many transitions, both in the moment (taking off my shoes, pulling out my computer, making sure my kids were still with me), in the immediate future (getting to the gate on time, finding overhead space for my bag), and in the soon-to-happen future (renting a car, navigating to the hotel).
It just all seemed overwhelming. If I thought about it, it was almost too much. Too many little things. And I know that sounds crazy, because it was. It was crazy. I know.
I am a little high-strung.
When you are wired this way, it’s not easy to just calm down.
But you know what? I did.
Because something happened. Slowly, imperceptibly, with each trip I took, I became less and less anxious. Things that used to cause me to tense my shoulders and ball my hands into sweaty fists no longer phased me at all. I felt relaxed as I walked through the airport. Calm.
I’ve thought about this a lot, and I realize that all of the travel I’ve done in the past two years has been like exposure therapy. I did the same things so many times that they got easier and easier with each trip.
And the best thing is that this smooth feeling has flowed over all the other rough spots of my life as well. I’m less anxious in general. I can handle transitions better.
Traveling has made me into a calmer, happier person.
It’s been cheaper than therapy, and much more fun.
Anyone with me here? How has traveling helped you?