Fear of the Unknown

Anxiety of The Unknown
Do you remember that annoying kid in school that was always raising their hand and knew all the answers? That was me.

I never wanted to be caught off guard, surprised, not know the answers, or not know what was going to happen next. I always did my research. I always discovered the answers. I always had a plan.

Otherwise I was a mess. The more that remained unknown the more I worried. I’d become overridden with anxiety and not enjoy life. 

I’m still this way. Even though the word “adventure” is in my blog title, a word that to many evokes spontaneous and hazardous activity, the unknown paralyzes me with anxiety. I like my adventures to be very well thought out.

Before I go on trip I do hardcore research on restaurants, sites, and hotels. When I go to the doctor I need them to calmly tell me each and every step of the procedure they are about to do. Dates are planned with a specific agenda. Lists, spreadsheets, calendars, and maps are all friends of mine. 

I’m not stupid. I know that life laughs in your face when you try to make plans. I’ve faced enough obstacles in my 31 years to know that life cannot be planned and the only thing you can expect is the unexpected.

Yet, I still find myself yearning to plan for the future. I want to do my best to ensure I’m as prepared as I can be. I want to know all the answers to all the things.

The small things: What will we have for dinner? What will I wear tomorrow? Where should we go on a weekend trip?

And the big things: Where will we be living in 5 years? Where will Ryan be working? When will we have a family? When will we have a house? How long will I be at this job? 

In just one year Ryan graduates from law school. It will be a great celebration after four years of hard work. He is currently on summer break. For months I’ve been looking forward to this summer so that we’d have more time together and the stress of school wouldn’t be weighing heavy on him (and me). We’d be a normal couple, waking up and going to work and coming home to have dinner together (even if it is at 8 p.m.) and full weekends free! 

Yet, here we are, getting paralyzed by the unknown.

This whole week my heart has been beating too fast for me to catch my breath. I have no idea where we will be in one year. Most likely we will be moving. I have moved 8 times since I graduated from college. The idea of moving out of our current house makes me want to vomit.

This past week I’ve been creating multiple budgets and looking up homes. I have no idea what state we will even be living in. We could be moving in six months. All dependent on where Ryan can secure a good job. I know that we are in this together and that is part of the fun, the adventure. But it doesn’t change the fact that this part of our future is out of our control.

Will he find a job? Will he find a job he’ll be happy in? Will I have to leave my job? Will I find another job? Will we find housing as nice as our current home? Will I have to say goodbye to my family? Will I have to leave this town, this countryside that I’ve grown to love? No matter how many houses or jobs or neighborhoods I look at, there is no way of knowing what will be.

 There is no way to plan for this. For once in my life, I do not know all the answers and it terrifies me. 

xoxo Katie

  • Girl- I won’t try to offer advice because I know that no amount of advice can help when you’re feeling scared of the future!! I’ve been there many many times!! So instead- just sending a big hug your way!

    • kwalshmac

      Thank you! This too shall pass. I just want to knooooww what’s going to happen!! 🙂

  • Girrrrrl I could have written this. It’s so hard to be the one that has to follow someone else. I am definitely a planner too, but because there have been literally months and months that I’ve not been able to consider future plans … I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m TIRED of stressing about it, I’m TIRED of crying, I’m TIRED of talking, I’m TIRED of wasting the time I have left here — however indefinitely — because of not being able to see anything other than what comes next. I’m trying, hard as I can, to stop being anxious about it, because it is out of my control, and because it’s giving me gray hairs. And also, one of us has to be the sane one at any given point in time, and right now my husband is going crazy with worry, so I have to be the one with the faith that everything will be okay. Until our roles reverse.

    It’s okay to be scared. We can be scared together.

    • kwalshmac

      Thank you so much Allie, I thought of you while I was writing this because I knew you’d understand. And you’re right I need to realize how TIRING this is and just live and not worry. But we are so trained as humans to think of the future and to plan and worry. I’m usually the strong one while Ryan worries more, but sometimes I need to have a break and be the one that is anxious and crying.

  • I am the exact same way which is why I stayed with my ex husband as long as I did. Sometimes you just have to jump and face that fear. In my case it was the best decision I ever made.

    • kwalshmac

      “Jump and face the fear” that is good. Just have to stop worrying and what will be will be. At least my husband and I have each other and we’re not going this alone.

  • Tahleen

    Hi Katie, I’m a new follower and I’m really enjoying your posts. I feel like I’m in sort of a similar situation, though my husband has a job; he is just not sure he wants to stay there. I’m a librarian and I love my position right now, and would stay here forever if I could; starting all over scares me. But I know that whatever happens will happen for a reason, and that we’ll get through it. Best of luck to you! I’ll be reading. 🙂

    • kwalshmac

      Hello! thanks for stopping by. Starting over is SO scary. Maybe we need to switch our perspective and see it as the next step, not erasing what is behind us. This is why marriage is such a scary risk, you’re putting your trust and life in another person’s hands and not living your own independent life. I can’t imagine it any other way 🙂 So glad to have him by my side and help him through his journey too. Good luck to you and your husband as well. You can do this!

  • The unknown is super scary, and I’m the same way – I need lots of preparation to do almost anything. Let alone a big thing like not knowing where you’ll be soon! But at least no matter what, you’ll have your hubs by your side, eh:) And you know we’ll all be here for support!

    • kwalshmac

      Thanks, Amanda for all your support. Ryan and I can do this together. Just want to know when and where and how, that’s not too much to ask right?!!?

  • Scary and frustrating isn’t it? The one good thing in all of this is who you have by your side….together, no matter where you end up, you have each other. The rest usually falls in line. Glad to “meet” another planner and organizer like myself. If I try to come up with each and every scenario ahead of time I feel as if I’ll be less shocked and more prepared. Life still tends to throw me curveballs though!

  • Girl, I am in this exact place right now. I don’t have any advice because you about summed it all up, but know you’re not alone! xoxo

  • My life is so teetering on the verge of unknown right now. I know that we are getting married in about 3 months, but apart from that, I really have nothing really specific planned. There is as good chance that we will be moving to New York in 6 months, and I’m working to be okay with not knowing what will happen to us for a while. Oh well, as long as we have each other.

  • Pingback: Currently | A Beautiful Little Adventure()

  • Pingback: 2014 A Year in Review - A Beautiful Little Adventure()