When I was 17 I realized that I had to leave home. That being at home was detrimental for me. So I applied to numerous colleges, most at random, and entered Bryn Mawr College. It was cheap due to their fantastic financial aid policies, but better yet, it was 3,000 miles away.
I didn't visit. I packed my bags utterly without thought and flew to Philadelphia without a worry. It was the college I could most afford and the best college I got into.
2 years later I switched majors and decided to study in Japan for a year. I arrived with $1,000 in Yen, and no plan of any kind. I was utterly unconcerned. (Other than the fact that it was a billion degrees and as humid as a sauna.) I didn't start worrying until everything started to fly apart at a rapid rate. But that is a story for a different time.
Nearly two years later I blew off the east coast and returned to Seattle with $300 dollars in my pocket and no place to go.
Tomorrow I'm moving 11 miles, back to within mere yards of my old high school, and I am seized with anxiety. This is a move arranged a year ago, to a location that I've been aware of for almost two months and have been preparing for for weeks. A move I can afford. A move that will be closer to my office and my family.
And yet I feel like moving out of the city is the release of a hundred potential Quianas, fantasy Quianas that I have held onto. Quiana who works downtown and makes money. Enviro-chic Quiana who shops at the farmers market, attends lectures, and reads books while sipping free trade coffee at the lake. Grad student Quiana who went back to college to become something snooty.
It also signals the moving on from previous Quianas that are passed but clung to. Cool Quiana who knew all the new bars and clubs. Sporty Quiana who ran daily. Man-Eater Quiana who was inexplicably attractive to strangers in any locale. Stupidly Young Quiana.
And letting go of these things is hard for me. I am at a point in my life where I need to make a map and push ahead into the future. I need new Dream Quianas.
I know this is true, but change is scary. Change is risk.
Of course it doesn't help that I have an anxiety disorder. As a young person I survived by just covering my eyes and jumping, I always felt that the bottom was so close that what harm could come if I missed my mark.
But since then I have built things I could lose. Strong relationships with friends and family, a job that I feel good about, and financial stability. I feel comfortable and that is dangerous. When you move up in life it is best not to look down. But I need to look down to assure myself of how high I've come. To remind myself that the bottom is down there. I'm always looking down.
That is how it is to have an anxiety disorder.
Anyway, I guess what I am getting at is that tomorrow I am moving and things will be fine. I know they will be fine. But that does not stop me from feeling like my life could come crashing down at any moment.
If it does come crashing down, at least my downfall will include beer and pizza.