I panic, is the thing. There is an almost permanent sheen of low-key anxiety thrumming across the top layer of my skin; the muted buzz of electricity. Sometimes it dials itself up, and there are rocks in my throat and my stomach carves itself into hollowness, and all of a sudden I am convinced that I will fail.
I am so damned afraid of failing. Of not living up to standards that are not even my own, and that perhaps no-one that matters will judge me for not upholding.
The thing I do, when I start feeling overwhelmed, is I take a minute to imagine what my plan Z looks like; the one that comes after plan B, C and D have been exhausted. The worst case scenario, ever.
I work out what it might look like and most of the time, the absolute worst outcome is alright. It is not ideal, perhaps, but it is far more manageable than what the hummingbird heartbeat and the too-loud brain tell me.
What is the worst that can happen? I loose a year; get some time to slow down, get a chance to pass my driver’s license, do another internship or work a temporary job, write a book, start again. There. That’s not so bad. I can manage that.
The plan Z’s I have made in my life so far have remained that, just plans; it turns out that most of our worst case scenarios never happen. I need to get better at remembering that from one time to the next. But, knowing that I am somewhat prepared to handle the absolute worst? It makes me feel like maybe I can deal with whatever actually comes at me. And if the worst does happen, well, I can deal with it too. I think.