things I wrote to psych myself up before a final evaluation at training yesterday

(I passed the evaluation, and I’ll move on to the next phase of work starting Monday evening. I’m not going to claim that these things that I wrote will work 100% of the time, but — they worked for me yesterday. They really did.)

1 – Anxiety and Fear

Anxiety and fear are resources. They are fuel for the fire. If you find it impossible to get rid of them — if for you they are weights on your shoulders or hanging from your neck, then maybe it might make sense for you to make use of them.

Use anxiety. Use fear. Add these terrifying terrible emotions to your arsenal.

If you do get paralyzed by anxiety, or by fear, let them chew on you for a little and then start working on using them. Be sneaky with them — make them work for you, instead of them making mincemeat of you.

Use anxiety and fear; don’t let them use you.

(And I am writing this to let you know that it was the anxiety that made my pen go; and that it was the fear that wrecked my handwriting but I kept writing anyway.)

Feel the anxiety or the fear and then forge on forward anyway, using these emotions to stoke the fire and keep it burning white-hot.

Important thing to remember:

Feeling anxiety, and feeling fear, absolutely does not mean that you are inferior, lacking, worthless, or less of a human being. We all feel fear. We are all afraid of things in this world. We feel the sweat on our palms and the shivers in our limbs; we feel the crawl of sweat down the backs of our necks. We feel fear, and we are made anxious, and we are humans. We are all the same. We all feel these things.

So what to do with the fear, when it’s there? What to do with the anxiety?

Use them.

Turn them into a means of going forward.

2 – Inspiration

It’s actually a good thing when people say, “Take inspiration from the world” — but the thing is, that means having the willingness, in the first place, to look out at the world and to see what it has to offer. That means having the willingness to open the eyes and the heart.

Even when it comes up over pollution and the streams of gridlocked traffic — the sunrise is still a beautiful thing to see, and it seems to go better when you’re pretty high up in a high-rise building.

And then there’s the thing about a favorite song: it doesn’t matter how often you hear it. It doesn’t matter if it’s been a long time since you last heard it, or if you’re been listening to it on a loop. It’s the music, or the words, or the performer, or a combination of these factors, that gives hope and inspiration.

Food can be a source of inspiration, too. Some people feel more creative after a mug of soup. Some people fall into coffee as their fuel. Some snack on sweets, while others have a salty or sour tooth — and then run off to create something.

Warmth, whether from a jacket or a blanket, can be just the thing the Muse needed to start throwing out ideas — and the same holds true for wearing a certain item of clothing.

There is inspiration all over the place, but you — we — need to be open to it. There are so many sources for this inspiration, and there are so many ways of throwing fresh fuel onto the fire.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, however: it’s true that the world is nasty, brutish, and full of stupidity.

But the beauty is there. It really is there.

And maybe I want to tell myself that thing — that the world is just as full of inspiration as it is of pain and sorrow — because I have depression, and I know friends who have their own struggles with their mental health to deal with, and god it can be hard to get up on certain days. It can be hard to find a reason to keep going.

But there’s beauty in the world and I know that it’s there. I found it. I wasn’t looking for it. I found it and I’m grateful.

I hope you get the chance to find the beauty in this world, too.