Just to set the scene: it was around 6:00 pm, I had been alone all day (no, I’m not a pathetic lazy hermit, I’m just waiting to hear about a job offer, ok?!), and I was eagerly awaiting my plans for the night. Being 2,000 miles from home has been rough as hell, but thankfully, my boyfriend helped introduce me to a girl from his work that he thought I’d hit it off with, and she invited me to go to a concert with her. I was so pumped. Not only to get out of the apartment, but to potentially make a new girlfriend, meet a lot of cool people, and experience a really cool event. I had been looking forward to it for weeks. And it was finally here. As I put the finishing touches of my outfit together, I looked at the time- it was now around 6:20 and I needed to leave in 10 minutes.
I was panic stricken.
Would she like me? What if I didn’t fit in with her group of friends? What if I got lost from her and ended up alone all night? What if I didn’t say the right things, laugh at the right moments, or know the songs well enough? Was this outfit boring? 80 million fears were swirling around in my mind. I felt lightheaded, the room began closing, and breathing was suddenly a difficult task.
Austin stood before me, watching my happiness and excitement transform into pure fear and insecurity. He did everything he could to reassure me, to tell me it was going to be ok.. but I was still petrified. I was going to an event I was unfamiliar with without knowing anyone. I didn’t even want to go anymore, I wanted to crawl into the safety of our bed and just relax for the night.
But I pushed myself, I got into my car and forced myself to be uncomfortable. I forced myself to muscle through the panic attack, and I’m so glad I did. I got to have a fun night out, met some really cool people, and experienced a new part of California that I truly loved.
What if I had let my anxiety keep me at home? I would’ve missed out on all those things. No matter how hard it gets, I’m going to keep forcing myself to be uncomfortable. Because 9/10 times, everything ends up being just fine.