Standing at the Crossroads
I am the worst when it comes to standing at the crossroads—whether I am forced to make a change because of factors outside of my control, or whether I am deciding on my own to try something new.
My ordinarily contented and calm disposition becomes consumed with anxiety. Rather than thoughtfully discern, I obsessively examine my decision day and night.
Is the grass really greener? Am I making a major mistake? Will I be happier? Is there a better road I haven’t come to yet? Will this road lead me to loneliness, heart-brake, or financial destitution?
(Those tend to be my top three fears).
I lose sleep, I eat too little or too much, I become grumpy, irritable and self-absorbed. It’s not fun for me or anyone else around me. Strangely, once I choose which road to take (it seems no matter the result), I march down that road with confidence and conviction. (Of course, hindsight has shown some of those decisions to have been sub par—a few of the cars I’ve bought come to mind!)
One of the most memorable examples of this pre-crossroads anxiety/post-crossroads confidence phenomenon was getting married (11 years ago this month). While my future husband was securely going about life, only thinking of our wedding and future life together as a happy given, I was obsessing over every other possible road I could take. I’m glad he’s not a mind reader because he may never have married me if he’d been able to hear all my doubts!
I was so filled with anxiety that it manifested physically as shingles. Yes, I was a healthy 26-year old who came down with shingles. Then came our wedding day. I managed to walk my shaky legs and achy back (from the shingles) down the aisle of our beautiful outdoor wedding. Skyler took my sweaty hands in his. My voice shook as I said my vows. Then, our officiant (my Grandfather) pronounced us married. It was in this moment that the transition happened. I took a deep breath and suddenly felt great. The nerves were gone, the anxiety lifted, and my back relaxed. A genuine smile took hold of my face. I took his hand and walked down this new road with certainty and faith.