For so long I felt a storm raging inside me. I was mad about something, I was worried about something, my mind was always occupied with turmoil. After high school I had a near constant dread about relationships not going as planned. I realized much later that relationships never go as planned. When I was in the band Ours, I was filled with anxiety about playing, about pleasing the band leader, about being as helpful as possible while slowly detaching. After the band, I was worried about my place in life. I was in my late 20’s and I felt like I should have more to show for it. Friends my age had houses and long-term partners. I didn’t.
But, a few weeks ago I turned 30. It was the most mellow birthday I’ve had in quite some time. For the first time in a long time, I felt peace. I felt like I finally settled into a level of comfort in being myself. I had a life that others don’t necessarily have a chance at. I got to be in a national touring band for five years, toured the country, played shows in historic venues, and met amazing people along the way. Then, I couldn’t take another minute of it, so I left in dramatic fashion.
Returning to college was strange, but the best thing for me. I felt old, but only found out later that I was the only one who thought I was old. I graduated feeling a bit listless because of the unceremonious nature of it all due to the pandemic. But, I found my footing, and began to feel like things would be OK. I found hope in a time of great despair.
Lexapro helped in a big way, I suppose. It leveled me out a bit, which I definitely needed. But what really helped was sorting out my thoughts and getting rid of the things I didn’t need, people included. I refused to let myself fall into the magical thinking trap, assigning meaning where there was none. I kept myself grounded in reality, but not morbidly so.
But I know this is fleeting. This peace, it too will pass. I don’t know when, but it can’t last forever. I’m 30. It would be foolish to think that this peace will last until old age. That would be boring. But for the moment, I feel peace.
It’s a strange feeling, one I’m still getting used to. The idea of a day not being fraught with turmoil, that’s new. But, I’ll embrace it while it’s here and remember it when it’s gone.