say hello to my little friend

"we have to get to the parade!" my head kept yelling at me that morning. the parade started at 9am. it was 7am in the dark hotel room. the list was running through my head of all the things we had to get done. girls' hair. clothes. sunscreen. extra jackets in case it turned cold. but most importantly we had to get a good spot! we had driven 5 hours the night before just to get to this stupid parade and we had to get a good seat.  we had to get a good seat. we had to get a good seat.

then the driving begins. oh! how ty drives when we are in a hurry somewhere. there is nothing quite like it. sooooo, sloooowwwwww. and i yell at him for everything, because he's always doing it all wrong. he doesn't undestand that we have to drive exactly the right way to park. we have to park in exactly the right place. we have to walk at exactly the right pace to pass all the other mormons trying to enjoy their holiday. we deserve it more! and if we don't get a nice seat at the parade it will ruin the rest of the vacation! and possibly it might end the entire world! this is serious people.

we get to the parade, we squeeze into a little front row spot for the girls. our neighbors graciously let us crash inbetween them. we see the parade, it's hot. i didn't bring any hats or water. the parade ends.

phew. relax. we did it. it worked.  now sit back and prepare to hear my brain yell at me for what we are going to do the rest of the day:
"rodney has to get a nap"
"we have to go through the grocery store quickly"
"we have to see xyz"
"we have to see our friends jkhb"
"we have to eat somewhere fun"
"we have to have a great 4th of july"

oh, it was exhausting and i ruined the day for everyone. that night in the hotel room, i went to bed at 8:30pm with phoebe and rodney while the older girls, ty and uncle taylor went to watch the fireworks. and lying in bed i started to think about how i always ruin vacations. "what is wrong with me?" i thought. i don't have to freak out about every tiny detail of a vacation. it's the crowds i tell you, they drive me insane. and not just figuratively, i finally realized it. something happens when i go places with lots of other people, like say, a movie. if the movie is crowded i panic. where are we going to sit? will we get a good spot or a bad one? will they be little loud kids in front of us, or worse, a pack of texting teenagers? what will i snack on? will the movie be good?  

and then the light bulb went off.  when we get in the car to go somewhere crowded, i bring the husband, the kids, the clothes, the bottles, the wipes, the camera, the keys, and my trusty little sidekick...


"what?", "Me?" i don't have anxiety. other people have anxiety. i like people. i like talking and meeting new people. i like going places.  but after some careful rewinding in my brain i found out that, yes, indeed, i have anxiety around crowds. as soon as i lose control over how things are going to go,  i get anxiety: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. and that was the best epiphany i've ever had because the next two days we were still on vacation. and the next 2 days anxiety was sitting on my shoulder.  but when he started harping in my ear, i listened and said, "oh! that's my anxiety talking" and then let it go.

i don't think he'll every go away, when i look back i can remember him even from when i was a little girl. but now that i know it's him telling me those things, and that they aren't actually a reality. well, let's just say those next 2 days were a breeze.  i also went for a run those mornings and i think that makes a huge deciding factor in how my day will go. 

so, hooray for me! i get anxiety*!  i feel like i should throw an "aha moment" party or something. and my sisters are probably laughing at this because i bet they've known i've had anxiety for years. years! (i'm a little slow)

*i don' t like labels.  it's just another one of my quirks to throw into my hefty mental baggage that i carry around. 
**more pictures from our trip coming soon. here's a preview,  our all inclusive vacation included a trip to urgent care!

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