Anxiety sucks rocks ~

I had a great weekend full of learning new things, meeting new friends, socializing, love, laughs, dancing, seeing old friends, and having a blast while fundraising for the campaign. It was my ten-year anniversary on Thursday and my husband Jason and I had to work, but made time to spend together in the evening. We decided that since the next day was going to be a big one for us both that we would just grill and chill. It was fabulous. I enjoyed the energy of the full moon on our anniversary while enjoying the company of my best friend with a full belly. I was feeling mighty blessed.

The next morning, I had an appointment with a person I had been waiting for weeks to meet. I was a little nervous when I got there because I was almost running late and took a wrong turn. This gets me a little frazzled because being late is not who I am. I feel that being on time is respectful to your schedule and mine, I did not want to appear disrespectful by being late! Thanks to friendly kids on their bikes who helped with directions, I got there just in time. As I set off the panic button on the car as I got out of course. It was just the thing I needed. The alarm startled me so much that I forgot to be anxious when I walked into the meeting. Funny how that works.

I was surprised and relieved they had an informational tour scheduled for me to go on for the meeting. It made me feel more comfortable than I would have sitting across from a desk for a formal interview that I was expecting. I was introduced to my second escort who was the with government relations team. She had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. Seriously… I think maybe she thought I was hitting on her because I kept staring at her multi colored hazel/blue/green eyes. Anyway, her eyes were very pretty, as was she. I am not usually, self-conscious but I felt like I was the token normal looking neighbor in a movie script. Like I was sitting by attractive actors of Mr. and Mrs. Smith film as I climbed into the large pick-up truck for a tour.

It was a pleasant morning and I met even more wonderful people I hope to work with on the campaign trail and in the future once I get elected. I was thankful for the hospitality I was shown, and the energy offered left me feeling safe to share my true self. I love when that happens while meeting new people. Often, I get anxious about big events, but this felt natural. I was thankful for that feeling as I drove an hour back home to get ready for a campaign fundraiser my team had been planning for months.

The temperature on that Friday reached 99 degrees which almost melts most Minnesotans. The event was hosted at the biggest Hops Farm in Minnesota inside the processing facility. Thank the Spirits above for keeping that building temperature tolerable for the comfort of the guest who braved the heat to support the Emy for House Campaign that evening. We had over 50 people show and had a wonderful time.

There were three speakers who educated community members and myself about hops farming, diversifying agriculture by promoting the growth of industrial hemp, and another speaker whom talked about his passions and ideas of the Ecology Democracy Network organization. I was the last speaker and had practicing for a week.

As I stood up in front of the room it was clear to me I had psyched myself out about speaking and I did not deliver the best speech ever, as I was hoping. I know I could have done better but nerves got the best of me that night. I must learn how to get over my fears, for my sake and for the sake of the people I represent.

Part of me wants to say, “If anyone thinks they can do better at this candidate thing then have at it!”

While the other part says, “Keep going, you will get better with time and practice.”

I know I will get better when I am able to just tell my story and lead with my heart. I overthink my speeches yet at the same time I want to be completely prepared. Then I over compensate with written words on a note card, instead of just trusting that what is truly in my heart will make its way out of my mouth the way I want it to sound.

I gripped the microphone so tightly I thought I might break it, but it helped me settle down just a little. Well not really… I fluttered too quickly through a good speech. You couldn’t tell it was good because I said it too fast. Anxiety is the pits I tell you.

I know exactly what I want to say but put me in front of an attentive crowd and the world around me turns surreal and I seem to lose grip on my everything, including my cool. This is not a handy skill to have when you are running for office as a public figure, so I am going to have to get over it and fix it fast. I know I can do better, and be better,

I want to be better for my community not just my image. I will keep working on myself until it is second nature to speak with my heart even while it is pounding as if it wants to leap out of my chest. It is a weird sort of feeling to be so passionate about what I believe that I put myself out in public to do what I think is right.

At the same time, I am terrified at just about all the events I must speak at. I am regularly being interviewed by powerful people while still feeling like I can sit at a table full of leaders and believe I belong. However, stick a microphone in my hand and a crowd in front of me, even knowing they want to hear what I have to say, and Forgittaboudit… this girl shakes on the inside like tin roof in a hurricane. Inside my head even hears the storm as well.

This anxiety really ticks me off, now that I think about it! It’s stopping me from being authentically me. I know who I am, what I believe in and what I want to say. Why is it that I just can’t spit it out because there are people looking at me? I mean really? WTF hey? I have no problem talking to all the very same people as we mingle in the room an hour before. But, put me in front of the room by myself and its like I turn to someone else.

My calmness takes a leave of absence and its like an outer body experience as my shell stutters through the speech I had been writing for a month and practicing for weeks. I butchered it an I know it. This anger I feel at myself right now, will help move forward with purpose of doing better. I will not quit for as long as it takes to work on this skill. I will continue until I have it down.

People look to me for leadership and I feel my heart is in the right place. I just hope that they see who I really am, I am just me, a wife and a mother, a woman full of heart. I hope they hold space for me to be human. I am simply a woman who is fed up enough to get out of her comfort zone and try to affect change for the better. I am not a professional politician, I am for the most part an introvert!

I work from home on purpose, I write stories and work on our Adventure Sisters books because that is what I like to do, and I can do it in my home away from crowds. Also, I can write how I feel not have to say it. Probably why I like to write. I love to spend time in the great outdoors, with just a few people and my dogs in my free time.

I am not used to nor do, I enjoy public speaking. I am just angry enough at the state of affairs of our politics that I am willing to get out of my comfort zone, push myself to do better and be better for the greater good of the world around me.

So, when a well-intentioned constituent tells me “You are better at one on one.” I am not surprised because I already know this… and say “You are absolutely right. This is me. All human in every way, just like you. “

Maybe this is lesson for me as well, not only to be brave enough to get better. But to realize we are all just humans trying to do our best, sometimes we mess up. Sometimes we hit a home run.

I believe these experiences are offered to learn from and grow into better people with. Its up to me to make these difficult changes. I hope others are doing their best to make the changes they wish to see in the world too. Even as your hands are shaking, your knees are weak and there is a hurricane taking place inside your body. I think it is always best to do what moves my soul, so I will continue.

To all the people who push on through when scared. Way to go! Keep kicking butt, because I know it is hard. Anxiety sucks rocks. But what sucks worse is not even trying, because then you will always wonder what if? Which we all know, just leads to more nerves about that too because that’s what we do. Anxious people stress about our stress too.

To those who do not have any anxiety thank you for holding space and practicing patience with us that do, as we fight through it. We are doing our best to be brave. Thanks for being the oak tree in the back of the room, where we can look to you for grounding and calmness. Thank you for standing besides us as we do our best.

The people who support me through this weekend where the blessings that come with the lessons I am learning. I am so thankful for those whom have been kind, compassionate and caring. This weekend was great, even if I feel I could do better at public speaking, this experience was laid before me as a Lesson through Joy.

I know I can experience joy even during times of challenges. I am thankful the Universe has been answering my request to learn my lessons in joyous ways. I knew it would.

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister


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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

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