Last night I called my mother in semi-freakout mode. I had just finished working, and was aimlessly searching through apartments for rent while watching a highly emotional episode of Nashville and eating homemade soup. And sniffling. Dramatically. From the show, and from a difficult cold I’d somehow managed to fall victim to at the start of the weekend.
I was in my comfy Italia sweatshirt, baggy shorts, fuzzy socks, glasses, and my hair in two messy braids. I was definitely a sight. (Thank God my roommates were gone and no one had to witness that.) But anyways, I called my mom. I was feeling sort of panicked (and sick, so in all reality I just wanted someone to love me) and of course she answered on the first ring.
We started talking about the weekend, about the cold she was just getting over (weird, how mothers are always in tune with what’s going on in your life) and other random things. Then she asked the harmless question about my future plans.
And of course, being the mess that I was…I proceeded to all-out bawl about the apartments in places I hadn’t yet been, the fact that I didn’t really know where I was going to live, how I was torn between going somewhere completely new vs. a place where I knew someone, that I didn’t want to move and live someone else’s life, and the fact that I was just plain terrified of this next step but ultimately knew, in my heart, that it was what I wanted more than anything.
I was blubbering like a sick, baby whale washed up on shore in fuzzy, striped socks. (And in that oversized sweatshirt, I probably looked the part.) It was as if suddenly the sickness and my fear and insecurity and just plain exhaustion hit all at once, and here I was, twenty-two years old, and crying my eyes out to my mom. Jeez. Get it together.
My mother comforted me the best she could, given the circumstances. She talked rationally about apartments, about friends, and about her own move in her twenties—to a completely different state, with no friends, a job, and a whole lot she didn’t know—it really was helpful. She told me about her first apartment (AKA sh*t) but how she was never stuck there. And I wouldn’t be either.
Everything was a step, and at any point, I could change direction. I just had to go.
As she comforted me with her soothing mom-voice, as only mothers can, I realized that I needed to actually listen to what was being thrown my way—my mother’s advice and that deep and guttural, yet tiny inner-heart voice that was pushing me on.
I had to stop worrying and just be.
I’m a chronic over-thinker. One of those crazy people who thinks about what she’s thinking, then thinks about what others are thinking, and if those others are thinking about what she’s thinking. Did that make any sense? Totally does to me…which is exactly my point.
All too often, I worry about things I don’t have control over, or things that I literally have no clue about, or things that are laid out a thousand miles in the unknown future, and honestly, who even knows if I’ll be alive at that point? (Just kidding…hopefully.) But in all reality, I stress over things that I literally can do nothing about when I really should take a deep breath and trust the process. Trust the next step and look forward to what’s coming.
My mother ended the conversation with a thought that centered me, “This is all exciting stuff,” she said. And it stopped me in my tracks. “Yes, Mom. Yes. It really is.” My future plans, future life, future apartment—these are all things to be happy about, pumped about, nervous-excited about.
I thanked my mom, smooched the phone like a total weirdo (again, thank God I was alone) and hung up. Then took a deep breath. I needed to stop worrying about becoming—who I would be, where I would go, the specifics of an uncharted future—and just be. Be in the moment, in the now, in the next step.
I grabbed some snacks off my pantry shelf and curled back under the covers, this time with a box of tissues on hand. Just be. Be in the moment: the sick, emotional, Nashville-watching, tragic-looking, still-nervous-but-letting-go, looking like a baby in pigtails, snack-eating, unsure-but-working-on-happiness moment. And trust that I would figure it out as I went. One step (and one tissue) at a time.