The Unknown

This week in Therapy we discussed the fear of not knowing. I think my life has taken a complete 180 over the past year or so. It doesn’t feel like it was very gradual. It felt like it happened in an instant. I’m putting myself and my needs first, learning to slow down and working on myself which is incredible. I’ve never felt stronger in so many ways. Then why do I sometimes find myself staring out the window thinking…..”wait…what now?”

Ugh. I told my therapist that I am very VERY confused. I’m almost 30, I’m not majorly successful, married, with child or living in a nice house like I thought I would be. Yes, it did cross my mind that many people are going through the same thing, but listen – therapy is my selfish time and I need you to let me work this out for me okay? Ugh!

I told her how much I fear for 1 year from now Kelly. I said ” 1 year from now Kelly is very fragile okay? She’s vulnerable and could very well break down if she’s in the same spot and look, I’m not responsible for the actions of future Kelly, so take that as you will.” After she politely laughed, she asked me “What do you do for yourself to nurture these fears you have?”


That’s such a hard question to answer.

To be honest, I think I’ve nurtured myself a lot in the past 6 months. I’m journaling daily again, working out 6 times a week, going to therapy and eating well. I think I’ve shown massive improvement in my self esteem and an allegiance to putting myself first every day so that I can be a better person for the world. That being said….are these coping mechanisms that will work in the moment when anxiety rears its ugly head? Will I be able to whip out a journal or eat a piece of kale or hop on a treadmill every single time I feel a little off?

We talked about how some things I fear are completely out of my control. I have a lot of feelings about my future. Only so much of that is in my hands. The rest is out in the universe. I don’t know if I’ll be in Chicago or some place warm, working another crappy job or finally working for myself, married or not, near family or not…I don’t know. Then I think back to moving to Chicago. I swear on all that is good and pure that my thought process around moving to Chicago escapes me as quickly as Ted Bundy out of a court room window.

I have no real substantial memory of what in the hell I was thinking wanting to move to one of the most dangerous cities in America at 22. It was all a gut feeling. I just knew it was right. Then I did everything to make it happen.

I explained to my therapist that it’s been a long time since something really exciting happened in my life. I mean like….REALLY exciting; booking a part I really wanted, moving to a new city, getting engaged, landing an amazing job – all examples of huge life altering things that just…haven’t happened yet or…haven’t happened in a while. I know I crave excitement. I crave change. It’s just strange that I’m the one making a lot of the changes, but maybe I’ve always been making the changes and I just didn’t realize it when I was younger. Jury is out on that, but I’ll keep you posted.

So, how do we cope with fear of the future? Well, a mantra that has always been in my heart and mind is this: “I am never trapped in anything.” Meaning if there is something in my life that I don’t like, I always have the power to change it. I usually use this mantra when I’m in a job I don’t like…but after discussing this with my therapist I thought…hmm…that can be used for literally everything in life.

I’m going to try saying this to myself whenever I’m feeling an onset of anxiety.

Here’s the lesson: we have no control over what will happen. We do however, have control over ourselves in the here and now, and what we do for ourselves now will reflect in our future. It’s a little trippy but, it gives me so much peace of mind. I love my life, but I have big dreams for my future. Always assess what is going on in the present and what might not be working for you. Can you fix it? Are you willing to do the work? Can you take care of yourself along the way?

You are never trapped in anything.

Always work to be better.

To make your life better.

Then you can tell the future you’re ready for it’s blessings…or bullshit.

Self care, self flare.



Published by Kelly Tietjen

Chicago gal offering my own take on self development, creativity, mental health and more.

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