learned anxiety

As I’ve gotten older, the more I realize I get a lot of anxiety via my parents. I mean, yes, probably everyone’s parents give them anxiety, but I mean anxiety as in learned behavior. And it’s been happening my whole life. The way they both handle situations sometimes. My dad procrastinated doing his taxes until today and he is a wreck. Inconsolable. On a runaway train of despair and anxiety so constricting and tight it could strangle him. He needs answers and he needs them now. He will be unreasonable and not care about the consequences. He is hot-headed and terrified. Laser-focused taking short sips of air – But I am also all those things when I get into similar states. And I don’t like to get into those states. But sometimes I do. Sometimes the emotions run away with me and I can’t hit the brakes, can’t find the brakes, convinced there are no brakes. And before I know it, I’m hyperventilating and livid because I got something from my health insurance that doesn’t make sense at 5 PM on a Friday and now I can’t call customer service until Monday because they’re closed. I will sit and stew and it will ruin my night. It will ruin my weekend. And everything will be cursed to hell. Until I allow myself to be talked down.

I’m not sure if my parents have gotten worse as they’ve gotten older, or perhaps they’ve always been this way and I am only now aware enough to see it, to notice it because I identify it with my own emotions. I’m not sure if it’s a nature or nurture thing, but it sucks. I often wonder about the kids (who are now young adults like me) who had emotionally-sound parents that didn’t suffer from anxiety (and at times depression) who will never know what this feels like. I envy them.

My mom has actually been really good today. She’s calm. She’ll roll her eyes to me, but mostly keep her frustrations to herself because she knows my Dad is going through his own hell. I constantly remind her that picking fights is never worth it and careless comments meant to harm or injure should be avoided at all costs. It’s a waste of energy. My dad also has been nursing an injured knee (having decided to take up running again at 65), so I feel like a lot of his frustrations and anxieties are being misdirected because of that. I try to be calm and patient – and also stay the hell out of his way if I can help it.

But I feel like the whole house is walking a tightrope and we could fall and plummet at any second. It’s a balancing act and we’re all holding up a full set dining room table with only our heads, walking one foot in front of the other, across 50 feet in the air and we will only get to the other side once we lay our heads down to go to sleep to start over again tomorrow.

I hope he finishes everything soon. I hope both my mom and my brother keep cool. My brother especially likes to pick fights with my dad. Or maybe not “pick fights”, but challenge him on almost everything. Another thing I must remind him is in fact a waste of energy. But I know my brother suffers from this stuff too. Anxiety and hot-headedness. And he, at any moment, could get caught up in the negativity my dad is exuding. And he is still young, and…perhaps less of a seasoned Vulcan than I am. 🙂

My mom’s making meatballs. And they smell amazing. I just came back from a yoga class a little while ago (which benefited Relay For Life) and am going to take a shower and then laser-focus on my organizing my EP. It’s been causing me a lot of personal anxiety. And I noticed this after breathwork yesterday, when I went for a walk and how it kept coming up in my mind as this looming, unresolved thing. Which tells me that I should try to resolve the dis-ease I feel with it. I’m terrified that it’ll never happen, that I wasted time and money, that it’ll suck, that I suck, that I’m an idiot. I’m not sure why I feel so much doubt with this right now. But hopefully I can get back on the wagon once I evaluate everything.

scattered day recollection & muscle memory

It’s 10:45 and I am wide-awake. Which is SO strange because I only had one cup of coffee today and went to breathwork, which initially took a lot out of me, but then I had a second wind; I was inspired to go on a 50-minute walk, which rightfully tired me out – But then I had a third wind and watched Vice with my mom and brother, which was a wild ride. And then I got a fourth wind and now all my SPIN magazines are listed on eBay. And here I am, sitting in my room having completed that monotonous task. I hope people bid. I think these magazines deserve good homes. To real fans. I know I’m going to sleep well tonight because of breathwork, but right now, wow – I am awake.

I’m realizing I’m getting worse at responding to text messages. But maybe in a weird way that’s a good thing? Like, that I’m not so eagerly diverting my attention away from whatever I’m doing to answer? But maybe also bad because I’m forgetting to answer them when I do have time? I owe a friend a text back. Maybe I’ll do that after I’m done typing this.

I dusted my fan today and it was filthy. Here’s hoping my allergy-induced runny nose disappears overnight!

There’s a part of me wondering if I should discuss the breathwork experience I had today, but the words aren’t coming very easily so I think I’ll let it lie for now. I’m glad I went. It was good and cathartic and so so necessary. But even though I am awake, perhaps I do not have the energy to revisit my afternoon experience…

I think I may try and revisit that “Angeles” tutorial so I can perfect that.

Today I wanted to go through the rough mixes of songs for my EP so far and perhaps make a list of what needs to be done / changed, set goals, and deadlines. But I’m definitely too tired for that. I think I’ll try to accomplish that tomorrow.

I’m so excited because it was so wonderfully warm and springy today and I’m even doubly excited because I have some cold brew in the fridge. Can’t wait to drink that on ice tomorrow morning.

I think I might have to change the strings on my Les Paul and I’m having anxiety about it…It’s so beautiful, I don’t wanna fuck it up.

I know this post is a little choppy and all over the place, but my mind is a little scattered right now. I do try to have some sort of cohesion when I sit down to type, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen and I rather get the words out then hold them in, even if they’re not ideally organized.

I need to join a band. Every time I close my eyes I see myself performing.

My sweaty hands are the worst. But they’re me. And they’re a really difficult part of me to love. I struggle with it every day of my life.

I want to read and create more.

Today I had a thought that music is like math to me sometimes. I’m not sure if I can fully articulate why, but it’s something like, I can’t understand until I see the answer (the song) and see how it’s done (written/produced). I need to work off that framework and study it from multiple angles. I can’t just be given a problem if I don’t know the concept well enough. It needs to be auto-pilot, muscle-memorized, second-nature. And if it’s not, I’m fucked. Muscle memory is a majority of my existence and how I get by. For better or worse.

yoga cure & insurmountable productivity+satisfaction mountain

Yesterday evening I found myself in an emotionally strange mood. My energy was…weird. I felt mushad, self-pity, discontent, anxiety. I was upset with my choices that had made up my day – I snacked way too much, even though I tracked everything I got upset that I wasn’t satisfied; I wasn’t hungry, but continued to eat (to feel good, I guess). I wish I had been more productive on a whole; I have a whole desk with stuff on it that I need to go through because I’d like to eventually get rid of the desk. And I suppose I have been working on it…sort of. One of the piles on that desk is 3-4 years worth of music magazines I had subscribed to during that time, in pretty good shape too because they’ve mostly sat there untouched for 6-9 years. I’ve decided to post them all individually on eBay to see if anyone wants them, but that stuff takes so much time. And it really took a lot of me yesterday. It was very monotonous work. I think I posted around 20 yesterday, and there’s still more to do. (I might try to post a few before I head out to work today.)

I’m not sure if I’m PMS-ing…It does seem a little early, but I’ve been wondering what caused the weirdish mood I found myself in yesterday aside from my own seemingly unattainable goals. Because to be honest, I was productive yesterday. I got a load of laundry done, practiced “Angeles”, caught up on some TV, did dishes, emptied the dishwasher, went for a walk, shipped something I sold on eBay. I had made a small to-do list and actually checked off most of the things on it. I think I’ve been anxious about the songs I’ve been recording in the studio. Like, are they still good? Should I be doing anything differently? I think the idea that “this could all be for nothing” is a big fear in my mind, not just for this but for anything. That’s definitely present in my brain. I think I should reach out to Matt again sometime soon and see if I can book a day before May to get a song done (it’s called “All Your Books”) that doesn’t require drums. I think it’s just going to be me and the guitar.

But anyway, yeah so when my family sat down for dinner last night, I decided to skip (since I had eaten all day) and opted to go to yoga instead. And at first I was indecisive what I wanted more; To wallow in tasty steak my mom made and definitely going over my daily calorie limit? Or focusing on my breath, mind, body in yoga? But I knew I would feel better if I just bit the bullet and went to yoga. It took some self-determination, but you know what guys? I was so.right. I had such a great great great class and was so glad I went. My weird mood lifted and I walked out of that class feeling like a new person, feeling like everything was possible. I was energized and hopeful and positive. The transformation was unbelievable. I slept incredibly well last night and am not even sore today. A part of me wishes I got up early enough to go to another class this morning, but the other part is glad I slept in, getting the 8 hours I definitely needed after waking up at around 4:30-5 AM for most of the week because of work.

It sometimes really difficult for me to change my mood on a whim. Sometimes weird states of mind / depression / anxiety really pull me down and it’s like quicksand; It’s really difficult to climb out on self-volition alone. It’s easy to stay trapped. It’s something I struggle with on a regular basis. I feel so thankful, blessed, and grateful that yoga is something I have that pulls me out of that.

So this morning (well, now it seems it’s afternoon) I had some breakfast (Apples, sunbutter, and Special K that I might have overindulged on, but oh well) and caught up on the latest Star Trek: Discovery episode from last night, which was excellent. I am SO grateful to live in a present where Star Trek is on TV again. It gives me so much light and happiness…it’s difficult to articulate.

So anyway, now I”m listening to a monthly playlist my friend Stan made while I type this. I’m thinking my next move will be meditating in my room before I get dressed. It’s unexpectedly cold today, so who knows what I’ll wear to work today. Because of these various weather shifts, I haven’t been able to commit to switching out my closet / wardrobe yet (I have a small closet so around this time of year, I’ll bring the winter wear / sweaters to a downstairs closet and the summer / spring stuff upstairs to my closet). I think I heard it’s supposed to be 60 degrees all next week, so that’s definitely something to look forward to. Nice weather should help lift my sometimes-melancholy moods significantly.


Last night I (quite literally) dusted off my Elliott Smith songbook and opened to the first page and proceeded to learn “Angeles”. I would love to have a been a fly on the wall when Elliott wrote this song because it is pure magic and power in the quiet and the flawless accuracy of his fingerpicking. I can get through the song, pretty well actually. But I’m still practicing to get that Elliott perfection.

Elliott Smith is one of my favorite songwriters of all time because of where he goes, musically, in his songs. He covers so much ground; the chords are constantly moving and changing, which in turn makes the melody more compelling. I’ve been a fan for awhile now. I remember having some of his music on my iPod between high school and college, but his catalog never fully hit me until I wanna say, 2011. That seems right.

Dedicating time to learn covers (or even new chords for that matter) is something I’m incredibly bad at; I’m impatient and impulsive and sometimes I wish I weren’t. But I think there’s immense educational value in sitting down to learn songs and different chords and strumming patterns because that is what in fact informs future songwriting. That concept is literally the way I started learning guitar and soon after, writing my own songs. But again, sometimes I find it difficult to commit. Though I was glad to find time to take a look at “Angeles” last night. I was so excited I even played it for my parents once I had it down.

I’ve recorded a bunch of videos on my phone between yesterday and today, wanting to ultimately upload a flawless clip to Instagram, but it is still a work in progress and something I don’t think I’ll cave into until I get it right. I just found what seems like a good tutorial on YouTube and I think I’ll watch that next time I sit down with my guitar to play it.


I’m procrastinating getting ready for work.

It’s after 12. I still have time, but I need to call an Uber today because my mom isn’t home to drive me to the train; So I need to allot enough time for that.

I’ve also been procrastinating watching the latest Star Trek: Discovery episode? I’m not sure why. Yesterday I spent nearly the entire day home watching TV and instead of watching it, I caught up on like, 2 or 3 shows and then started watching 3 new shows. Whoops. I’ve been pretty successful at avoiding spoilers so far. (Twitter was/possibly still is a minefield.) Maybe I’ll watch it tomorrow because this morning I started watching One Mississippi with Tig Notaro.

While I’m typing, I’m also listening / “screening” my playlist for next month. It’s something I do, to make sure all the songs flow right. I know it’s not April yet, but my playlists are something I care about and mildly obsess over – for if anyone should listen or stumble upon it, I want it to be as perfect as possible. Transitions are everything.

I’ve also started going through a lot of magazines in my room that I’ve been holding on to and I’m not sure why I have been? Rolling Stones and APs and SPINs and a few Vibes and Guitar Worlds. Not that I’ll ever read them again (or I”m not even sure if I read them the first time). I was actually able to unload a lot of Transworld Skateboarding magazines a couple years ago on eBay. I’m going to try to do the same thing with these, though there are a few I will hold on to for sentimental reasons. But yeah, they just been in my room forever gathering dust (but they’re in EXCELLENT, UNTOUCHED condition). During my teenage years, I guess I thought it was very important to have a ongoing magazine subscription. SO many magazines that, again, I don’t even remember reading that much! It’s another step in the process of clearing out my room. I have a lot of old furniture in there that I’m trying to get rid of, namely desks. But I can’t get rid of the desks without clearing them off first, you know? Anyway – I also gotta gather together my snax and make my PBJ for dinner tonight. Haven’t done that yet…

It’s another beautiful day, but cold. Think I got a notification on my phone that says the weather’s going to be warming up soon (and stay consistent), which is also bittersweet because I sweat so much…Ha!

Alright, well I’m going to try to get dressed and whatnot; get ready. Maybe get in a little Nietzsche reading in before I hit the road. Realized I understand that guy best when I read it aloud, which I really should only do in the quiet, solitary privacy of my own home. He gets very complicated and complex very quickly. Not even sure why I started reading him in the first place. But this girl finishes what she starts.

And this post has now been finished.

Peace, y’all.