Anxiety and Excitement

A usual morning. Slept in a little later than usual. Drank my coffee and updated my Twitter and scrolled through my newsfeeds. In the background, like an app I forgot to close, runs a vague note of anxiety. It changes how life looks and feels, like a pair of sunglasses over my heart and mind.

As if often the case, I don’t have anything in particular I can point to as “the cause.” My life is a swirl of coming changes and loose ends and new possibilities and unfinished works and interrupted routines and broken relationships and old regrets. Any of those could be the “reason” for my distraction. It could be related to insufficient sleep, or something I ate, or an imbalance of intestinal flora, or some personal eccentricity of “bad chemicals” or “faulty wiring.” All I know is that it’s there, and that it colors my day, obfuscating the sunshine like a thick morning fog.

I don’t know whether it would help me, were I able to discern “the cause.” It might. The anxiety feels akin to those 4 A.M. insomniac worries, the ones that make me thrash and churn through the wee hours, but which disappear in a puff of silliness in the light of day. So were I able to shine the light of “reason” and “cause” on my anxiety, it might evaporate. But I’ve spent so much time trying and failing to put my finger on the cause that I feel exhausted at the thought of doing it again. And experience has told me that even were I to know the cause, it might not disappear.

I also don’t know whether my anxiety is a good thing or a bad. It feels intimately connected to my heightened awareness, and it may be that my highly alert neurology, though it comes at a cost, confers upon me a certain survival value, and serves as the source of my superpowers. And there’s a distinct overlap between what I term “anxiety” and what others might call “excitement.” While my swirl of a life can frighten me, it also calls to me, enthralls me, and goads me.

Perhaps anxiety is simply the beckoning of the Cosmos, which pulls me ever forward down the path. I wonder, what would life look like, and who would I be, were I at peace?

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