On anxiety, upheaval, and embracing change.

front porch

I’m sitting here on my front porch with a cup of tea and the beginnings of a book.

It is one of those impossible summer days made of July sky and October air. It is a perfect morning. And for the first time in months, I feel like I can breathe.

In two weeks, I will no longer be sitting on my front porch in Nashville. I’ll be in a conference center in London. A week later, I’ll be moving into my apartment in Edinburgh, wandering the streets of Old Town in search of tea and balance.

The last few months have been trying, to say the least. A plunge into the depths of anxiety rendered me unable to focus, to write, to live my life to the standard that I’ve always demanded of myself. I have always had one rule: to never let fear stop me from embracing change. And for the past few months, it has. I’ve wanted to shrink away from life, into safety, into the known. I looked at this move with dread, and if I’m being honest, there is still a measure of it there. But I’m not going to let that dread stop me. And that’s a sign that I’m finding my way back to myself. My stubborn, challenge-loving side is showing up again, and I’ve never been so happy to see it.

There is a line that shows up in most of my books. Said by Mackenzie Bishop’s father, or Aria Blue, or Delilah Bard (you will meet her soon).

It will be an adventure, they say. I say.

People keep asking me, “Are you ready?” and the answer is no. Of course not. I’m not sure how someone truly makes themselves ready for change. Change is something that happens to us, and even when we invite it, we are the reactive force, the recoil, the reverberation.

For the first time in my life, I’m not suffering from wanderlust. I’m not restless, eager to get away. I’d be perfectly happy to sit here on this front porch and write and breathe and be still. But change is coming. And I’m going to meet it with my chin up.

Because it’s going to be an adventure.

And if we didn’t have those, what would we have to write about?

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12 thoughts on “On anxiety, upheaval, and embracing change.

  1. Reblogged this on The Writing Duo and commented:
    Fantastic post!

  2. artemisgrey says:

    LOVE. Love this, and love you. And love the adventures I know you’re going to have!

  3. You’ll come back one day with lots of books in your head and also, new possibilities for teaching. You will make a great teacher.

  4. Anabel says:

    Loved seeing you last night. Ate great big fat strawberries and cream at The Cheesecake Factory for you!

  5. noraadrienne says:

    I never ask “are you ready”, I always ask “will you be okay”. That is the important question. No one is ever ready for changes in our lives… As long as we are okay as things unfold that is the measure of it.

    Have a fun and educational trip. Come home to us when its time.

  6. Isn’t the act of writing such a gift? Let it help lead the way…

  7. Wow. As always, your words are full of life and wonder and heart. Thank you for sharing. *hugs*

  8. Jillian says:

    Beautiful post and a perfect line. Thank you, and all the best on your adventure.

  9. Walking the plank, and using it as a diving board. I like your style.

  10. I’ve had this post bookmarked for months. That way I can bring it up whenever I feel this crippling fear I’m currently feeling.

    2015 is going to bring so much change. So. Much. I’m twenty, a junior in college, and still live at home (for reasons my parents are mostly behind). But finally–FINALLY–I’m going to move out come fall 2015. I’m taking one spring semester of classes still living at home and moving out fresh in the fall.

    And I’m kind of scared witless. Because I’m not just moving out to a nearby city–I intend to move states away. (Yes, it’s not countries, but I digress.) I have a crippling fear of the unknown–not knowing where I’ll be sleeping yet, where I’ll be eating, who I’ll know, how I’ll afford it…The list is endless, I assure you.

    But then I open this post, and I re-read it, and I don’t feel so afraid. “It will be an adventure.” God, I need to get that tattooed on my body so I remember it forever. It’s why I write my fantasy books; my characters embrace fear and change and go on adventures. They get up and go. Sure, there are setbacks (it wouldn’t be a story without them!) but they strive beyond the fear and overcome it.

    So thank you for writing this post. It helps in ways you may not be able to imagine (or you may be able to; I don’t know you in person, so I can’t say for sure!). I’m going to spit fear in the eye and show it who’s boss. It will be an adventure.

  11. I am going through the same situation of change but this has given me that insight to look at it as an adventure.. Thanks for sharing

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