Papow Ponders #8: Battling My Brain

Well, tomorrow I’m off to Vegas with Flo and @darktechsupport for my first (and possibly only) Viva Las Vegas. Since my school holidays never really line up with Viva, we made sure to book tickets when the dates actually worked. We’ve been planning this trip for well over a year and the excitement has been building and building. In preparation for the whole experience, I turned to social media for a little education. To say I’ve been overwhelmed is an understatement.

I’ve watched tons of YouTube videos, read blog after blog and flicked through Instagram – now I feel totally out of my league. I’ve started to question myself a lot.

  • Am I too big?
  • Am I polished enough?
  • Do I seem approachable?
  • Will people judge me if I dance badly?
  • Are my clothes appropriate?
  • Will people think I look ridiculous?
  • Will my anxiety become too much?
  • What if my hair and make-up skills aren’t up to scratch?
  • What if I don’t have enough accessories?
  • What if I have a meltdown?

I am by no means a perfectionist in my day-to-day styling but I’m one of the only people in my town to dress the way that I do. Going from my comfort zone to a 24/7 glamour onslaught is becoming quite intimidating.

Now, the logical human in me is saying, “Good god girl, get a grip!”,  but my insidious, anxious brain is screaming so much louder.  It’s telling me that I’m inadequate, that I’m a waste of space and that I shouldn’t even bother leaving my flat. Starting to pack this week has left me with a tight chest and sweaty palms. Boy, do I know that there are so many more important issues worldwide – but my brain has the terrible ability to make mountains out of mole hills.

When I’m with people I know, I don’t feel so paranoid and I can relax. With big, new groups, my head swims with insecure thoughts. Usually after a meet-up, I have a day after to mentally unwind. Knowing that I’ve got four straight days is adding to my nervousness!

Why put myself through it? I know I’ll regret it if I don’t – it’s an opportunity that may never come again. I’ll be spending time with my better half and my pin-up wifey doing the things we love to do: exploring, eating, mooching, laughing and making memories. Why let my brain ruin it?

To prevent meltdowns and panics, I’ve given myself a positive action list:

  1. Drink plenty of water (I find it helps my brain take a break).
  2. Go for a stroll.
  3. Listen to loud music (the shoutier the better).
  4. Repeat the mantra – I am a stone in a stream (this got me through uni finals).
  5. Tell Flo or @darktechsupport if I’m feeling anxious.
  6. Locate quiet spaces to go to if I need them.
  7. People-watch (my favourite activity – makes me less concerned about what I’m doing).

I’ve had a great deal of advice and positivity from friends and people on-line which I’m really grateful for! As we head off for our little adventure, I’ll do my best to focus on the good stuff – life’s too short not to.

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