To the Outsiders.

I’ll be honest. I deal with a whole lot of anxiety. And it seems silly really, when I’m looking at it from the other side. But in the midst of it, it seems like this monster I can’t get away from, this thing that crowds my space and gets larger and larger as it makes me smaller and smaller, until I have no place to go but inside of myself, isolated. I felt that today. Sometimes it’s a visceral feeling, like the wild thing inside of me is beating and beating against the cage that panic builds inside of my chest.

A voice that says, No one believes in you. No one gets you. You are an outsider.

I think in those moments, when fear and lies try to trick me into believing that I’ll never make it, that the life I envision for myself is a pipe dream, that no one will ever believe that my dreams can come true, I think the automatic response is to fill my moments with the doing. To do whatever it takes to get out of that place. To hustle toward that dream to prove the lies wrong, so they’ll disappear and I'll be free of them forever.

I then I ask myself, What am I running from? Why the urgency to do and hustle? I think I’m trying to escape my reality and the circumstances I can’t seem to change, but it’s really these thoughts I’m trying to escape. The world I live in is constructed of words and ideas and fears I’ve trained myself to believe are true. Stuck. Trapped. Broke. Unskilled. Weak. Unreliable. Sensitive.

And the thing is? They’re all lies. They’re not real. Not even a little bit.

I kept making excuses, thinking other things are the problem. The lies are making me believe that I’m being held back by so many things. Money. Debt. Location. Responsibilities. Jobs. People I know and don’t know. Abilities I have and don’t have. Time I have and don’t have.

But the biggest problem is when I stop trying because I believe I’m limited by those things.

The thing sitting on my chest? That anxiety? It hasn’t gone away. It’s still there. I just believe that I am not defined by it. I don't have to give in. I’m throwing out the lies that keep whispering to me to pull me under and throw me off.

I’m just not buying it.

If you’ve ever felt like an outsider, if you’ve ever been laughed at for the life you imagine, if you feel a little lonely in the journey of living the life you were made to live, I just want you to find your voice and call that crap out.

And you know what? I mega-freaking-wholeheartedly believe in you. I believe in your pipe dreams and I believe that you can. 

And I hope that you’ve heard that before and even if you haven’t, I hope you hear that today.

I believe in you. I believe in you. I believe in you.

You’re gonna make it.

It’s a messy dance. Fear will keep coming. There’s no escaping that. I’m gonna fall a thousand more times. And so are you.

But today we dance.