Have you ever been alone in a crowded room? -Andrew McMahon
There’s something about those lyrics (and Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate, in general) that have always resonated with me.
I remember listening to Everything in Transit on Myspace, downloading all of it on my iPod Nano that I got for my 14th birthday and listening to and dissecting every track while somberly looking out my bus window thinking, “I am the deepest mother-effer to ever live.”
The amount of stuff I thought I knew at 14, 18, 21 and even three hours ago is hilarious because in reality, we are all beautiful, blissful toddlers blundering through life.
Fear of the unknown and life’s challenges has caused me to suffocate the people I love the most. The fear also paralyzed me in many ways.
But you can’t live like that.
Today, I moved into an apartment by myself and, you guessed it, it terrifies me. The crazy, illogical things my brain has done to come up with reasons about why I will be miserable, constantly in fear of potential serial-killer neighbors and the idea that everyone will forget that I exist is somewhat impressive.
I tend to fill in the gaps of the unknown with insane, worst-case scenarios that are probably a product of my obsession with sinister topics.
Side-note, guys, this is so ingrained in me that I remember telling my mom at 5 years old that the only thing I want in life is to know who killed JonBenet Ramsey. So, I basically never stood a chance.
Somehow, I just knew that I needed to embrace my fears and let myself be pulled by the tiny war march in my heart. I still don’t know where we’re going, but I’m not as afraid because…..what’s the point?
Most of us are alone at some point in the day. But how many of us take the time to be alone without any distraction and just sit with our thoughts and conditions and just deal with what’s right in front of us?
Yeah, IT SUCKS. But it’s so necessary.
You need to succeed in a super-competitive, high-stakes job? You need to know how to take care of yourself. You need to be a more whole person for your relationship? You need to love and understand your strengths and weaknesses. You need to set up a doctor’s appointment without crawling into a hole because the thought of talking to another human on the phone makes you want to die? You have to know what you’re made of.
There was one way to do this for me: alone, in an apartment where my brain wasn’t clouded and I could dive headfirst into the things that have stunted, terrified and changed me over the past couple years.
There’s so much to be afraid of, but the little drumbeat in my heart tells me that there’s so much ahead.
Run headfirst into what scares you because anything less will leave you stagnant. You are so worth that dive off the cliff.
And when you’re standing in a group of laughing, happy people, thinking you’re alone, remember that at the end of the day, all anyone has is themselves, and that’s a hell of a lot once you find out what you’re made of.
Leaving you with one of my ALL-TIME favorite quotes.
“If your nerve deny you, go above your nerve.” -Emily Dickinson