The Roller-coaster of Stability: Feeling Unsteady in the Face of Certainty

I think one of the most constant aspects of my life in the past year has been instability.  A year ago at this time I was just finishing my masters degree.  I didn’t know where I would be working or where I’d be living or how I would support myself.  There was no certainty in my life and it started to get to me.  I felt unsteady and I was anxious and worried all the time.

A year later, I have a steady job.  I am financially stable; I’m actually making a lot more than I expected to make at this point in my career.  For the first time since I left for college, I know I’ll be in the same apartment for more than 12 months.  But despite this newfound stability, I still don’t quite feel stable.  I still feel unsteady–like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I was walking home from yoga today (a post on how wonderful yoga has been for my mental state is forthcoming, unless I decide it’s too cliche to bother) and it was raining.  I was listening to music and just walking, not dwelling on any particular thoughts.  But I was struck by the fact that splashing through particularly deep puddles in my rain boots brought me such deep but fleeting sense of joy.  This wonderful happy feeling only ever managed to last as long as the uncontrollable grin that accompanied the splash.  Once I realized how unreasonably happy I was, I would realize that my base level was not particularly happy.  Though I am, by many measurable qualities, independently stable for the first time in my adult life, I don’t feel the sense of groundedness I expected to feel.  I still feel like I’m on this roller coaster, even though there is a very real sense of certainty that comes with having a full-time job.  I wonder if the certainty I’m looking for exists.  Do I just feel this unstable because that’s how I’m used to feeling?  How long do I have to wait to get over feeling that things can’t possibly be as stable as they seem?  Part of me thinks that the piece I’m missing is a relationship.  The strong, independent woman in me feels like she don’t need no man.  But at the same time, I’m not getting meaningful, deep, regular contact with people outside my family and workplace.  And those people are awesome.  But between getting home in the evening and going to work in the morning, the best part of my day is splashing through some puddles.  Puddles are great, but I have the feeling that once they’re not the highlight of my day, I’ll finally be able to get off this roller coaster.


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