Stress Confession

I’ve started grinding my teeth again. A lot. And knowing that makes me feel extremely guilty.

I grind my teeth when I’m stressed. I also hunch my shoulders and get lower back pain from being physically tense. I’m living a dream right now, and it seems extremely wrong and ungrateful to admit that I’m also very, very stressed.

I struggle with trying to pretend I’m not feeling emotions I don’t think I’m entitled to.

But I am stressed. So there.

I’m stressed because I’m behind in my work and getting caught up means letting people down. I’m stressed because I’m not doing or seeing as much as I should. I’m stressed because people keep asking if I’m going to write a book, and I don’t know. I want to write a magazine article first, and I haven’t managed to do that yet.

I haven’t written in our family journal. I haven’t written in my own journal. I haven’t exercised or gotten rid of the things we’ve realized we can live without that are taking up precious space in the RV. I haven’t put together a speaking proposal for BlogWorld in November, which I really wanted to do.

I have visited 11 cities in the last month.

I have met, photographed and interviewed dozens of strangers that have forever changed the way I see the United States of America. I set out on this journey to teach my kids what it means to be American, and already I’ve ended up expanding my own definition – or at least understanding better what I always thought I knew.

I have been doing the big, life altering, important things.

Isn’t that supposed to be the secret to a happy life?

And yet, I am stressed. I am stressed by the things that “shouldn’t” be important, but are. I am stressed because, once a gain, I find myself at a point where I can’t easily tell the difference between my priorities and the priorities of everyone around me.

A couple of years ago, my life was changed when I learned to distinguish my own voice from the constant hum of expectation that surrounds us, the chorus made up of society, family, friends, religion, tradition, and the all-knowing They. In that life I was finally able to recognize where They started and I began.

But the chorus has changed. In this life, the sounds and expectations are new and I can no longer recognize my own in the din.

I am blessed and learning and privileged and overwhelming amazed by what I am experiencing.

And I am stressed.

But I am now a tiny bit less stressed at having admitted it.

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