I've had two different posts simultaneously in process, and neither of them has felt quite finished. So. Here I am, combining them into one post that won't really have much of a flow, but sometimes that's okay.
Memories have been flooding my brain space lately. I have a complicated relationship with memories, which mainly stems from my inclination to be both overly sensitive and overly sentimental. I love when a memory seeps into my mind randomly, but it can also mean that I'm overcome with emotion thinking about the time and the place and the feelings associated with it. And because events can't actually be relived, I can sometimes get caught up in that idea rather than the absolute magic of what a memory can do: transport you to a time and place that is in the past (which is kind of like reliving it). My mom and I used to walk to a tiny little store called the Coffee Mill at the end of the school day. I'll never forget when she turned me onto apricots. A small collection of juicy, tart, delicious dried apricots would be neatly organized in a cellophane bag and we would collect a package from the shelf for the both of us to split. That's mostly what I think of when I eat apricots these days.
It occurred to me the other day that it's nice to sometimes remind myself that anxiety is a burden I carry that others do not. Day to day, my anxiety doesn't even register to me as an additional piece of baggage that I lug with me everywhere. In fact, for most of my life, I just assumed that every other person's mind must be filling up with worries to the point of exhaustion and breakdowns and an overwhelming lack of bandwidth to deal with it all. Turns out, they're not! So sometimes it's nice to give myself credit where credit is due: that in addition to what it means to be a human who is alive and feels things, I'm also a human that deals with anxiety on a daily basis. If you also suffer from anxiety, I hope you'll give yourself a pat on the back today because it is hard.
The other day, I was trying to describe why traveling gives me anxiety and I just couldn't do it. Because there's not always a way to pinpoint how anxiety manifests itself. Sometimes it's obvious, but sometimes it's more like background noise: it's just there and you can't locate the source. I can't specifically identify a piece of travel that makes me feel anxious, it's just the entirety of it. And I'm always grateful for travel once I've immersed myself in it, but there's often an undercurrent of anxiety that surges its way through every piece of it.
All this to say that if you're a sentimental person or a sensitive person or an anxious person (or, if you're all three of these things), hang in there. Maybe there's something to be said about the heightened experience these afflictions grant you. Because while feeling everything incredibly deeply can be exhausting, maybe it can also be a way to hold onto moments longer and with more clarity.