I recently found the article (at the bottom of the page) which I wrote in October 2011, before we were due to move back to London from Tokyo. I’m not sure why I never posted it, but whilst flipping through my writing folder, the title of this piece caught my eye as it still applies, despite the very positive thought I had at the end of it.
I am stressed due to uncertainty and it is causing me to be less productive than I really should be. I have a big personal project hanging on the horizon waiting to make or break, my dissertation research is taking a long-winded but necessary course, I’m still recovering from a flu, my parents are visiting very soon and I am trying to find a part-time job. The more I go through this list of things, the more vulnerable I feel and surprisingly (or maybe not), the less productive I become.
Every time I try and action any of the above that really needs to be done soon, my mind wanders to my other projects that are not priority at the moment. There they are, floating in my thoughts, teasing me, asking me to give them attention.
So, I say, screw it. I will plough on with my project as I have done, I will continue researching for my dissertation and hopefully a lightbulb will present itself during the process, this silly illness will surely be done with soon, my parents will have a lovely holiday here and I can start thinking about a part-time job at the end of the month. There, brain re-organised, I can get back to what I was doing…
Perhaps the positive thing to take from this experience, of looking back even just about two years is to know that I am actually less strung than I was then. Control freak I probably still am, but maybe I am less of a crazy bitch. :)
Whatever happens, the show goes on… so why worry and stress, right?
I just watched Brene Brown on TED Talks and she blew my personal issues out of the waters. Fear of uncertainty, the need to control everything and the numbing of emotions that are unpleasant. I guess the irony is that I could accept it coming from her, because she is a researcher and had approached the issue from science… rather than from goo and touchy-feely.
I fear the unknown and worry about the uncontrollable. When a situation is in control of someone else, I freak out and stress until it happens. From when I started living independently of my family, I needed to be a step ahead of everyone. For every action that I take, I need to be prepared for every eventuality or outcome. Even answers to questions. If I spoke with my parents, I could guess every question they had and I would have an (acceptable) answer. When they showed any kind of dissatisfaction with my answer, then I start feeling vulnerable.
A prime example is our current preparation to move back to London. Nothing has been arranged yet as we are waiting for the green light from my husband’s company. In theory we have about a month. I know that we will have professional movers doing all the work anyway and that they will probably be the same people who dealt with our stuff when we moved here. So, why do I get all worked up? It’s because I don’t have the answers.
Every time someone asks me, so have you packed? My stomach lurches. I don’t have the answer… as I have not. Every time someone asks, so when is the move? My stomach lurches again. I don’t have the answer. I spend my nights lying in bed thinking about all the questions that need answering even though I know I don’t have the answers and that we won’t have the answers until the next step happens. So, why do I torture myself?
Part of me wants to say that this is all pre-programmed in me. I cannot live in uncertainty. Part of me wants to say that the first step to change is awareness.
So, knowing the above and having gone through this argument with myself too many times, I am going to try and change. I am going to look at the positives and accept the uncertainty. I know that we will have the help of professional movers. I know that we will be going home to London. So what if we can’t fix a move date right now? It will only take one day for the movers to pack and then we’ll be on our way.