"Hey! I am TERRIFIED of growing up/ moving out. Is this normal???WHAT CAN I DOOOOOO????"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
oooh. The thing is, being terrified of the future and not knowing exactly how to navigate all that is ahead is a thing that does not disappear one day. There are always new things we have to experience and know nothing about.
You’ll get past moving out, you’ll do it and feel awesome and feel capable and feel so much better being on your own and making decisions for you. You’ll get past figuring out how to apply for an apartment and paying taxes and calling your building manager when your toilet overflows. You’ll figure out how to compare grocery store prices, and get past a broken heart. You’ll understand that google maps doesn’t know ANYTHING about short cuts, and someone will yell at you for parking in their spot, this will make you cry. Your bank will NOT warn you about over-drafting, and you WILL pay your electric bill late twice in a row. You will call your parents sobbing, you will ask to borrow money when you feel FAR TOO OLD to be borrowing money. Then you will lose your job, a job you LOVED, you’ll turn down hanging out with friends because you can’t afford it, you’ll take a job you hate, and you’ll get past it. You will get a flat tire in the middle of the night, you will get on the wrong train, you will be convinced you fell in love with someone on that train, you’ll know for certain you were on that wrong train for a reason, you’ll write a missed connection, you won’t get a response, you’ll feel defeated for weeks over this person you never even ACTUALLY interacted with, you’ll get past that, too.
Life is just trial and error. You fuck up, you learn from it, you move on, you do the best you can. Growing up is fucking hard and no one EVER says that… Although, I guess they also don’t tell us it’s hard, but we can do it.
And yes, Anonymous, it is completely and totally and one million percent normal to be afraid of things that we don’t yet understand. It is one of the defining pieces of being a human being, in fact.
We all stumble through this life, sometimes feeling courage and other times feeling fear, and all the while learning how our own personal brain and heart manage those feelings, and how we can help them along as we face new things for the first time.
In six days, we have a book coming out. I have never written a book… nor have I been a part of a book release, or anything like it. My brain and heart are both excited for this big change, sure… but I am also terrified, and in a kind of daze where I may as well be walking into walls. I’ve had a couple anxiety attacks, even. Change is scary and hard, even when that change is the most incredible thing that has ever happened in your entire life.
So, yes, your feelings make sense.
As for what you might do with those feelings, I can only tell you what I have learned along the way… and that is to have a conversation with myself. I ask myself what is making me so scared. I look at that fear and really think about where it is coming from. That helps me accept it for what it is, even if the rumblings of being afraid are still present, and sometimes it actually helps make the fear go away. The other part is the leap. In six days, Dannielle and I will leap. When you move out, that will be one of your leaps. I have found that the fear is something that exists most strongly before the leap — once you put things in motion, you then start to know what the reality feels like, and so the fear goes away. In its place comes a new and fucking fantastic part of your life.
Don’t forget! Through Sept. 8th, every single pre-order for This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids will be matched by our publisher, Chronicle Books, with a donated book to a local PFLAG Chapter!!!!
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