Turtle Anxiety

Posted: April 24, 2013 in Uncategorized
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By Mick McMahon, English Faculty.

How do you feel right now? Comfortable, I hope. How did you get this way? Did you have a long productive day at work and now have the chance to unwind? Did you spend a number of hours researching and drafting a paper for school and just handed in the work confident you will earn an A? Did you just run a marathon and now icing down while reading this Turtle post? Whatever the task completed, large or small, congratulations! You just completed something important and, even though you may feel exhausted, you most likely feel quite good about yourself.

Now, I’d like you to think about how you felt before undertaking that task. Did you stress? Were you a bit fearful of the unknown? Or did you charge in, head first, with reckless abandon, knowing that whatever the outcome, you did your best? Maybe this sounds familiar.

Often times, I stress about things that I have little control over: getting caught in the rain, having a heart-attack out of the blue while exercising, the apocalypse (thanks a lot Hollywood). I generate unwarranted anxiety that leads to inaction and excuses, and end up stalling and stressing instead of acting. And folks, I’m not the only one. We’ve all made up a few excuses at one time or another. Sometimes, we end up focusing a tremendous amount of energy on stressing about the task, instead of channeling that energy into the actual task itself.



So what creates anxiety? It can be several things, but the one characteristic that stands out to me is the unknown. Think about your first day of high school or college. Maybe you felt a bit nervous, because you didn’t know what to expect. Compare that feeling to how you felt during your senior year of high school or college. Even though you were exhausted, you probably felt a lot more comfortable because you went through experiences. It’s how we traverse the unknown that helps us learn about ourselves, and what we find out, whether good or bad, makes us unique and wonderful individuals.

What you now read before you was weeks, nay, several months in the making. Ask my colleagues sometime about the excuses that I came up with as to why I haven’t written Turtle posts. Most likely they all lead up to me having to walk my dog. The plain truth is that I was anxious about sending out the perfect bit of writing into the universe. So, I lay my discomfort before you now. Will you say, what on earth is he talking about? Is he crazy? Perhaps, but I will learn about myself and my writing by sending this post out to the world.

So, while comfortable is good, uncomfortable can be even better, for it helps us learn the truth about ourselves, and makes the beer taste so much better.



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