“Anxiety is the indescribable fear of nothing.”- Humans of New York
Time is running out, and I keep looking at the clock. Every minute is a reminder of how much work I have to do. I try to take a deep breath and focus, but there are too many things to think about. Should I start with part one of the assignment or part two? Another minute just went by, and I haven’t gotten anything done. The classroom is completely quiet, yet there is a storm brewing inside me. Thunder roars and causes my lungs to shake as my heart beats at a rate that does not align with rationality. I grab the mouse and idly click on programs on my screen. Adobe Dreamweaver taunts me saying that progress is a dream that only the students around me can reach. I close my eyes as my thoughts swim in a sea of darkness. Lightning strikes, but I try to block out the sound by listening to the hum of tides that slowly grows violent. My hands press over my eyes harder, but it doesn’t stop the thunder from roaring. The storm caries a voice in its rapid wind. No one will help you. You are all alone. Before I know it, rain leaks out from my eyes as thunder rattles my lungs. Why am I crying? No one has spoken to me for the past hour or tried to hurt me. This doesn’t make any sense. Slowly, I stand, trying to seek refuge from the rapid storm. I almost stumble. The rain has made it difficult for me to see clearly. I go to the bathroom and let the storm loose. Closing my eyes, I try to find comfort in darkness, make no effort to protect myself from the wind that nearly pushes me off my feet. Slowly, I breathe, but inhalations only invite anxiety to run through my veins. There is no logic behind these emotions, no one to protect me from the storm. I am all alone.
I soon return to class, tired and disoriented. I shut off my computer screen as well as my thoughts. The skies are starting to clear up, but they’re still gray. I plug in my earphones and listen to music instead of the voices in my head that doubt me. Between lyrics, I hear their taunts. Daya sings the words to her song “Hide Away”, while the voice reminds me that the storm is no excuse to sulk and waste time. But I start to give myself more power in shutting out the voice. Mulling over all the tasks I have already completed, I tell myself that today, I will leave class with a smile. The storm is over. I open my eyes, letting the classroom lights clear up the gray skies. It appears as though the students around me never knew that the storm took place. This is probably because they never checked the weather. And I sit exhausted in the confines of this classroom, feeling hopeful that next class, productivity will be my reality… and the sun will be out. I’ll no longer worry about time, or loneliness, or how small I feel behind my desk.