This I Believe

Kristy - Clinton, New York
Entered on December 2, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Driving back to my apartment through a dense fog in an intermittent hail/rain/snow fall that only lovely Upstate New York can offer, I came to a realization. I believe in living my life with the same attitude that I had behind the wheel that night.

Traveling through the thick haze while pellets hit my windshield, I concentrated on the road ahead of me. I put on my high beams, spotlighting a white impassable mess. Winding down through the roads I realized that the best way to reach my apartment in one piece was to lay off the bright lights, slow down, and look at what was right in front of me. And that was it! I understood finally that this is how I should be living my life. Not looking so far into the future, that I’m left with constant unhappiness, anxiety, and obscurity but staying in the close distance so that I can clearly see where I’m headed with a sense of clarity. I have such a terrible tendency to boggle myself down with the “what if’s” and the “but’s” that I skip over what is happening to me right now.

I lived in New York City for seven years and after a fall out from a rent stabilized apartment, I decided as a single 28 year old, now was the time to take a chance. So I moved to Los Angeles with the dream of screenwriting. Three months in, my original excitement and pumping adrenaline quickly spiraled into a chest full of chronic pain and extreme loneliness. I paralyzed myself with fear by mind racing imagined circumstances and any drive that was within me when I boarded the plane, seized to exist. I literally felt like I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown and didn’t know what to do. After a whirlwind of feeling unsettled, unsure, and needing some urgent grounding, I went to where I remember safety, solidity, and comfort: Back East, to my hometown.

Yes, it was embarrassing, yes I felt like a failure, and yes I mentally beat myself up with every negative insult possible. Finally, I heard another voice, deep inside, kindly requesting that I stop being so unbelievably hard on myself and chill out with the “white knuckled” sabotaging frame of mind.

I had made the choice to come back to where I grew up for a distinct reason: I desperately needed to be surrounded by unconditional love. I wanted to be in an environment where I was already acclimated, so I could concentrate on some much needed mental recuperation. Plain and simple.

Will I be here for one year? For the rest of my life? Who knows? What I do know is that calming down and focusing on what is going on right now is where I need to start. I believe in having faith in what’s in front of me will lead me confidently into the unknown. This I absolutely believe.