top of page
  • Writer's pictureJackie Habib

Embracing change as we grow

Sometimes so many thoughts rush through my head that it's almost quiet. But not quiet and peaceful, quiet and anxiety-inducing. The kind of feeling that raises your heart rate even though you are motionless. People can run a mile and still not reach the accelerated heart rate this type of anxiety state can produce. It makes it hard to stop or slow it down when you can't even hear what's happening in your head.

I had one such experience last night, in the parking lot before walking over to the Shubert Theater in Boston for the Sparks show. I realized writing would help, even if it was just a brain dump. I had forgotten to bring a notebook with me before I left. Of course I would; when I actually needed it. I must remember - long, solo excursions, especially in a city environment, means I'll need to write at some point.

I tore through the car looking for anything I could write on; like an addict frantically searching for more of what they needed. I found two old car inspection printouts in the glove compartment and sat there, scribbling away, slowly soothing my anxiety with every word written. Did I write anything of value or of substance? Will my writing win any awards? No, but it saved me in the moment. And that's what is important. It was as if a hiker injured themself away from any help, but managed to MacGuver a temporary fix until they were in a better place. It has to be pen and paper for me; typing on a device won't cut it.


I'm amazed at how much I find myself changing with old age. If I were to attend a show on my own in my 20s, I'd probably be anxious and stressed. I'd show up last minute to avoid hanging around on my own. But somehow, I didn't even think about it yesterday, not even for a second.

When the show began, people cheered but no one got up. I had a front-row seat, third from the right. Right in front of Ron and his keyboard. I had the best seat in the house to see my favorite band. A lot of their songs are high energy, the type of music you want to dance to, or at the very least, sway to. And people were sitting, legs crossed, arm behind the chair of their date. It was as if they were sitting in front of their television at home.

I honestly don't remember most of the first song because I was rather surprised, and anxiously panicking, looking around and thinking, "Is everyone really sitting down for this?!" I leaned to my right and asked the guy there if he was going to stay seated, and he said, "Everyone else is." So I sat there, trying to take in the performance while my brain ran a thousand miles a second trying to decide what to do. I thought I have two options here - sit and enjoy the show as best as I can, do what others are doing (and likely live to regret that decision), or stand up and do what I wanted to do.

I'll be honest, I was terrified of the idea. I always consider how what I do affects those around me. When I'm at a museum standing in front of a piece of art, I remain aware of my surroundings so that I could scootch over when someone else wants to see the same piece of art. When I'm at a grocery store, I am actively aware if I walk away from my cart and move it if it's in someone's way. The idea of standing up when there are people behind me was even worse. I kept thinking about it, weighing the pros and cons of doing something so radical (at least, radical for me).

Pros: I enjoy the show, I do not regret it, I reciprocate the energy and appreciation the band has for the fans back to them, I stay true to myself, I paid $100 for this ticket and deserve to enjoy the show as I'd like.

Cons: I stand out of a crowd (literally), I make people angry or annoyed, I ruin people's view of the show.

Ultimately, I weighed my options and felt I would regret not enjoying the show for fear of what other people thought of me. So I did it; I stood up. I suppose I hoped it would make an impact and others would follow suit, but it didn't happen. I even turned around and waved my hands up, encouraging people to get up, but no one did. So I turned around and decided to just enjoy the show. They played several of their '80s hits at the top of the show and there was no way I was going to stay seated for Angst In My Pants and Tips For Teens.


Before the show, I stopped by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. I was in the last group of guests for the day and the museum was peaceful and quiet. I didn't have a lot of time there, but I stopped by some of my favorites. I took a photo of myself in the mirror, taken in the Chinese Loggia, which is out of character for me; a precursor to what would happen later on.

The show was last night. As I continue writing another entry about what the Mael brothers mean to me and how much of an impact their music and life's work has had an impact on me (particularly over the last few years), I wanted to write down my anxious feelings before they were lost. The next entry will talk about the show itself.


How do you know the healing is working?

When your mind is no longer governed by the past and when you feel peace in situations where you used to feel tension. You more easily connect with joy and happily use boundaries to protect your well-being. The healing is real when your mind feels lighter and loving yourself becomes more natural.

– yung pueblo


Photos by Jackie Habib

21 views0 comments


bottom of page