living without fear

Also known as, living with anxiety, but not allowing it to stall my life. For the past few years, I’ve been trying to, not so much overcome my anxiety, but live with it. I started this with my weight loss journey, choosing to focus on positivity and self-love over insecurity and shame. It’s a battle every day. The most recent and most obvious example was my moving to LA from Boston four months ago.

I miss my people. I woke up the other night thinking what have I done?! What am I doing? Chasing a dream, taking a risk, exploring the world. I don’t know how long I’ll be here, but I’m glad I’m doing it, ups and downs, joy and sadness, triumphs and failures included.

What I’ve learned in general in my quest to “live without fear,” especially recently, is that such a credo doesn’t require saying ‘yes’ to everything. There’s power in saying ‘no.’ While it is important to do things that scare you and make you uncomfortable, and that compromise is a very important part of living with other people (not in a roommate-way, but in an other human beings exist in the world-way), you also don’t have to do things that make you miserable. Sometimes staying in and watching your favorite show on Netflix is self-healing, but other times it’s overkill and you have to get up off your ass, take a shower, and go outside.

Carrie Fisher’s death made me think a lot about mortality. It’s strange to be mourning someone I didn’t really know. I’m also coming up on a year since my cat died and still grieving my beloved aunt. I’m living far away from my loved ones. I eat at least two out of three meals a day alone. I come home alone. I workout alone. I do a lot of exploring alone. Loneliness has always scared me and while it’s hard, it’s not necessarily the worst thing to experience. It’s making me take care of myself, be independent, and learn a lot about the world and my place in it. Life is fragile, fast-moving, and can change or end at any moment. This is startling, but it’s also inspiring.

I’m scared a lot of the time, whether it be concerning my future, career, money, family and friends, and all the little and big things that compose a person’s life, but I’ve stopped letting that fear prevent me from trying, in any capacity that I choose. Spoiler alert: I fail a lot. Sometimes it’s easier to go to bed early and hide under the covers. But when I do face scary people and things, I try to always maintain eye contact. Because people so rarely make eye contact anymore.

The world is big and we, individually, are small. That feels like relief.


If Normal Existed I’d Be In Trouble

As we stumble upon Wednesday, I can’t help but highlight two blaring reasons why I am not a normal human being, if “normal” in fact could be defined. That is a conversation for another time, but right now we are going to focus on two events that happened to me over the two days of the week so far.

Monday: I had to take a walk to get something work-related, so I’m on my way back and thoroughly enjoying the nice weather and am a bit lost in my thoughts thinking about writing ideas and what to put for my next blog post.

And I’m probably also trying to focus on not tripping in my sandals because on Friday there was a minor incident when I tripped up the stairs and spilled coffee all down the left sleeve of my white cardigan. The same coffee I considered finishing in the car before work, but decided to bring with me in order to really savor it. The shoes are too damn cute not to wear, so I just have to walk extra careful-like.

But that’s beside the point. The actual point is that I’m too caught up in my own little princessy world that I don’t notice the white van pull up next to me, or the man leaning out of the window to wolf whistle at me, very loudly I might add. I was so scared that I jumped and fell into the bushes. I suppose it could have been worse if I fell into the street, but I was still mobile as I was falling so I almost did a somersault, which actually would have been awesome.

If normal were to exist, one might complete a casual hair flip and keep walking with a slight bounce in their step, perhaps giving a quick glance to the driver. I fall into bushes.

Tuesday: I pulled dirty underwear out of my pant leg. I can’t even preface that. This is what I get for wearing the same capris two days in a row. I left my dirty, albeit adorable zebra-print panties in my pants and wore them the next day only to find them pooled around my knee. We are very grateful, and by we, I mean me and everyone else in the world, that they didn’t just fall out of my pants and that I could casually, unnoticeably just pull them out under my desk and sneak them into my bag. But the worst part of all of this is I didn’t even notice until more than half my day. More than six hours had passed and they were just chilling (hanging?) there without me realizing.

If normal were to exist, one would not have dirty underwear leftover from the day before in their pants. Or one might consider buying another pair of pants.

My life. You’re welcome. Just call me Clumsy Caitlin.

Case in point:

If I were normal, this post would be no fun to read.

Side note to go with the following picture: People need to stop having graduation parties so I can stop being tempted by cake. This is me dying.