Today began my summer music job with Rose Rock Opera Institute, bringing an opportunity to do several things I enjoy. Reconnecting with old friends, meeting new people, and most of all-playing piano. I would be accompanying voice lessons for some amazingly talented young singers.
So why did I wake up several times during the night in a cold sweat? Why did the day start with a knot in my stomach? Why was there a veil of fog to push through while getting ready? That unpleasant companion-anxiety. Not the old friend with which I wished to reconnect, yet there it was.
As I prepared for the day, my heart racing, there was only one thing to do. Keep moving, putting one foot in front of the other. Prayers, deep breaths and listening to some James Taylor also helped.
Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not suggesting anxiety is something you just get over. I’ve been very honest about my views on medication and its helpfulness. In this instance however, it was important for me to recognize the anxiety, name it, and brainstorm ways to cope. Acknowledging its presence was the first step.
Did this unpleasant companion ruin my day? No. I did reconnect with old friends, meet new people, and play beautiful music. Although it faded as the day progressed, it did not completely disappear. Will it still be tagging along when I return to Rose Rock tomorrow? Possibly. But it will not keep me from returning.