The Little Things

So you’ve heard the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”? I’ll go a step further and ask how many of you have a harder time sweating the small stuff than you do the big stuff? Doesn’t it always seem like there are billions and billions of things that would qualify as “small stuff” every day? Like sometimes it’s a constant stream of small stuff.

I used to be one of those people. Nowadays, my anxiety would like for me to still be one of those people, but my willpower sometime can overrule my anxiety. This is one such case that I have like <5% of a problem overpowering it.

On the drive home from work yesterday, I was thinking about my life. Thinking about the things that I’ve been through, the things that I’ve clawed my way through and just how damn proud of myself I am. And proud of myself for where I’m headed, too.

I’ll be 40 next month and while the fact that I’m turning 40 doesn’t bother me, it has me in a very contemplative head space. Because, listen, my life’s like halfway over and while dying doesn’t necessarily scare me, there’s so much more I want to do in my life. And I want to do it before I’m too old to really enjoy it. I’ve finally found a doctor that’s going to help me get on hormones and get my shit together, and it’s given me a renewed sense of hope for my future. It’s such a strange experience to be so hopeless about your future based on nothing other than how the world perceives you. It’s not that I don’t want the world to see me in some certain way, but I don’t want the world to see me as her. Without getting the proper medical treatment done, the world will see me as her for the rest of my life. So being in an area where generally the medical community that your insurance allows aren’t really on board with who you are (not based on your genitalia) is a pretty hopeless place to be in.

But now there’s light down that tunnel. I can see it shining through and I can see that the path to get to it might not be easy or fun, but that light on my skin will make it all so worth it.

I’ve also kind of come to this place of just complacency. Getting back on iron and vitamin D and taking allergy medicine has done wonders for me. I’ve had a week with very little anxiety generally speaking. Work has been good, home has been good (which it is 99% of the time because I’m all about a peaceful home) and just generally speaking it’s been a pretty good week.

Seven years ago, I almost died. I’ll spare the whole story and details because that’s a whole lot more reading than you’re already going to be doing. I had a flesh eating infection and it was pretty bad. At the same time, I found out I’m diabetic and anemic. I was also in the midst of a pretty rocky relationship and wound up ending that high on morphine (yay courage!) and in the hospital bed. It wasn’t a very pretty thing. So between trying to deal with that, finding the drive to live and heal, stressed about no income (because I was off work for three months), living with my parents…it was a lot.

But it also taught me a lot. It’s the foundation of why I am who I am today. I just had a whole lot of emotional damage from relationships and a lot of anxiety that I had to just clear out of my life in order for me to find that foundation. I’ve found that a lot of people who were used to quiet Heather who’d do anything she could to help someone regardless of the cost to herself aren’t really necessarily on board or as warm and fuzzy bout Heath the man who finally found himself.

Does this bother me? I mean – on a general level, no. What’s frustrating is that these are the very people who once upon a time called me a best friend. People who told me that they’d do anything for me. Except unconditionally loving me, apparently. I think that hurt the most out of everything. Realizing that people who you thought loved you in that way (the way that Christ commands us to love, by the way) actually have a condition on their love for you. Which, at that point, I don’t even want it at all. You either love me unconditionally or don’t waste my time. Is that arrogant? Is it selfish? I mean, maybe so? But you know what? That’s my choice. It’s not arrogant to expect that kind of love from people who you keep in your life.

“I love you, but…”

No thanks. Keep it away from me. Work on your own life. Fix your own problems. I’m over here keeping to myself not hurting anyone else, so let me be.

My point is this, put simply. If you find yourself being that person who is overwhelmed by the small stuff, you might consider doing a cleansing. I don’t mean grab the hose and blow the leaves and grass off the porch. I mean – tank full of soap, high pressure nozzle, pressure wash that shit. Down to the last nitty gritty piece you have hanging on for dear life. It’s not easy. I won’t pretend like it is. It’s not a quick process, either, so if you’re going to embark, by all means, pack your patience. But do you know what it is? It’s worth it because in the end you’re protecting your space and your peace and your life. Because in the end, you’re the only one that’s 100% always going to be there for yourself.

It’s time we take better care of ourselves, guys. The small stuff will be forgotten. It’s not worth it to destroy yourself over things that will be gone in the blink of an eye. We’re a tiny blip on this great radar of the universe. Don’t give the small stuff that much power. Be a beast.


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