Last weekend I watched Mean Girls again for the first time in years and not only did it remind me how close it is to my heart (seriously, that film can still have me hysterically laughing even after seeing it countless times) but it also got me thinking about my teenage self and how much I have grown since I was in that awkward phase of my life.
Recently I have started a new job which is extremely exciting, busy and new, but for someone with anxiety it can also pose some uncertainties which is pretty much the main thing those with anxiety fear most.
So when I sat down to watch Mean Girls last weekend I could feel I was beginning to have a bit of a mental dip and worry about things perhaps more than I had in a little while and the familiar tightness in my chest was coming and going in waves. Watching this film though sent me back to my old teenage mind set, and reminded me how far I have come as a person.
When I was a teenager the anxieties I had included my friendship groups falling apart at any moment, if my hair wasn’t perfectly straight would everyone laugh at me and just generally what other people thought of me.
As I have grown older I have realised that although these worries don’t matter as much, you replace those teenage anxieties with more adult ones – how am I going to afford that phone bill, will I get that job I applied for or my personal favourite…if the cat escaped out the flat would she find her way home? (Genuinely this terrifies me.)
So perhaps you do replace old anxieties with just new and improved ones, but the difference is as you grow older you work out how to deal with them as they come and you develop coping strategies. You’ve gained that experience to know the world won’t stop turning if you don’t get that job, you just have to try again.
As my mind has developed so much, particularly over the last year, although there are uncertainties with my new job I feel like I can cope with it, and process it as it comes. I’ve been diving in head first and taking on as much responsibility as I can and just getting involved where I can too because it is a job I wanted for so long I have to go in hard!
I did find myself feeling quite guilty about feeling anxious about it all too because I thought this is exactly what you’ve wanted, you shouldn’t be feeling like this, that’s ungrateful, which of course feeds into the bad mind set even further which isn’t good!
I think it’s important to just ride the wave sometimes and also remind yourself anxiety around certain things in life like work, relationships and cats escaping is totally normal and it’s okay to feel like that. Just remember to go with it, and not say “I’m okay” if you’re not that day.
I’m constantly working on opening up more to people around me, I haven’t told anyone at all really about this little dip and how I’m feeling at the moment and that’s linked into that feeling of guilt and why should I be feeling this way when I’ve just got the job I’ve been gunning for for so long. What I need to do is work on some kindness towards myself, but like everything you have to keep checking in and working on it.
So keep riding the wave and just remember…