Monday, January 2, 2012

(2 Karats and a Kid) Sometimes you come across forks, spoons, and knives in the road...

Mommy-ism #19: Sometimes the only way out of a storm is to go through the storm.

My first anxiety attack happened three years ago when I was fresh out of graduate school working at a public sector consulting firm.  I felt out of place there and despite the director's persistent efforts to bring out the best in me, I always felt like the "project of the month" when I was continuously asked to do improptu policy speeches and presentations to fine tune my public speaking skills.  Every Wednesday I walked into the team meeting about to piss my pants because I didn't know who and what I would be asked to talk about in relation to the arbitrary and oftentimes complicated nature of Chicago politics.

One day, on a particulary uneventful afternoon, I found myself in a washroom stall incapable of breathing.  My brain knew to stay calm but my chest continuosly retracted inward until I thought I was going to pass out.  I wanted to yell for help but the closest office to me was the Mayor's office and I refused to be forever known as the little Black girl who was taken out of the Mayor's Office in a gurney.  Eventually, I walked into my manager's office and discretely told her to call an ambulance who gave my "episode" an offical name -- anxiety attack.

Since then, I have made pretty huge strides at keeping my anxiety abay.  Breathing, for one, has helped tremendously.  "Being present" or at least trying to be has done wonders as well.  Yet suddenly, about four months ago I, again, felt the weight of all my fears weighing down on me like a ten ton elephant.

I hated my job.  I hated my career.  I didn't know how to use my degree to get into a different job but I knew that I couldn't continue to do what I was doing.  I felt like I was dying every single day that I went into work - completed my projects within 45 mins - and sat looking at the computer screen for the remaining seven hours of the day. 

But how could I leave or change the trajectory of my poorly planned career now that I have a son?  Would my husband resent me or even worse...loose respect for me?  I felt physically and mentally stuck.

For months these questions seemed to swirl above my head to no avail.

I always said that I wanted to write but I could write nothing.  No blogs. No pitches. Nothing. 

My fear had me stuck. No -- it had me frozen in place.

It would be much easier to have this post-quarter life crisis if I weren't married, with a child, with a condo, and a car note.  But no such luck. 

I wish I could say that as I write this - six months later - that I have figured out the answer but I have not.  The only thing that I know for sure is that fear is an illusion which is the only reason why I am about writing at this very moment.  My favorite author Paulo Coelho aptly states, "the fear of suffering is far greater than the suffering itself," and I believe that to be true. 

Though I am no longer at the job that I so deeply hated, I don't know what the next step is yet -- which is a scary thing.  Yet, even in the midst of the uncertainty of my future, at this beginning of this new year, something makes me think that I am moving in the right direction.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Design by A Mommy's Blog Design (© Copyright 2012)