Replacing Anxiety With Trust
I recently saw the movie “Crazy Rich Asians.” I may not have mentioned this, but I’ve been walking around in an orthotic boot because I’ve had such bad plantar fasciitis that my doctor said I had to give the boot a try. Because I’m wearing the boot, people have been quite friendly and helpful. In fact, when I showed my ticket to get in to “Crazy Rich Asians” the person collecting tickets asked whether I needed an elevator. I saw the escalator up and said, “No problem – I can take the escalator!” And up I went, happily.
Except, half way up, I suddenly realized there was no down escalator. The staircase, in fact, was narrow and long and I knew I’d need the elevator to get down after the movie. The problem was, I had no idea where the elevator was. And, of course, there were no employees around for me to ask.
I took my seat, the movie started, and a little ways in, I started getting stressed out. I thought, “Where’s the elevator to leave the theater? How will I get downstairs if I can’t find the elevator? What if there aren’t any employees to ask after the movie, what will I do?” I began strategizing, in my mind, how I’d handle this problem, and then I realized I had totally tuned out the movie. I asked myself whether it was more important, in that moment, to worry about leaving the theater, or whether I wanted to be present and enjoy the movie.
And that’s when I realized that this experience was completely like life. All the time I’ve wasted wondering, “What if? What will happen to me if I break out of tradition and go do what I want? How will I make money? Where will I live? How will I get health insurance? Where will I store my shit while I’m doing it?…” and the plethora of other fears and anxieties that I’ve stressed over have simply kept me from being present. I don’t know the answers to all the questions, exactly. But, I do have a plan. And, I know I’m resourceful and I’ll figure something out.
And yet, I let those questions that have no firm answers in the moment, get in the way of living so many of my moments. Because instead of enjoying many things, I was caught up in my head wondering and worrying. None of that wondering and anxiousness got me any answers, mind you, they simply robbed me of being present. And thank the universe, I’m finally learning to value being present over being anxious.
I chose to let go of worrying, and watch the movie. (It was awesome, by the way, and you should see it if you haven’t already!) I let most people leave the theater before I did, and then set about exiting and figuring out where the elevator was. When I got to the theater exit doors, it turned out the elevator was immediately to my left. I didn’t even have to look for it because someone else, with her arm in a sling, had already pressed the call button and was waiting for it to arrive. We had a lovely chat during the elevator ride. So, in the end, everything worked out, I got to enjoy myself, and I was able to help myself and find what I needed. Kind of like life, if you trust in yourself and enjoy your own moments.
What’s Important Now
I think that’s the whole point – I didn’t know where the elevator door was, but it didn’t matter while watching the movie. The moment I did need the elevator, it appeared. (It turns out I had walked right past it and not even noticed!) But, when I needed it, it was there. So, I’m trying to apply that theory to my life – there’s a lot about tomorrow, or next year, and beyond, that I don’t know. But, there’s a lot I don’t need to know today. So, like that elevator door, I’m trusting that as soon as I need a solution, I’ll find it.