You Can’t Control Everything…
I’m terrified of planes. Actually, I’m terrified of a lot of things, but planes are definitely up there. And whenever I’m on a plane, I have a ritual: I hold my breath through take off, anytime there’s turbulence, and through the whole landing process. Now, I know that doing this doesn’t magically keep the plane in the air (and if it does, I don’t consider myself a ‘hero’, just a concerned citizen of the air); it just makes me feel like I have some control over a situation I have LITERALLY none in. But while that might settle my mind when I’m on a plane, I’ve noticed recently that I do little anxious rituals like this for a lot of things in life…and it was starting to impact how I interacted with people. So recently, I’ve been trying out letting go of that need to control everything. It’s not easy…actually, it’s insanely hard. But what I’ve realized through trial and error of letting go is that 1: sometimes by fearing the worst and trying to control the outcome, you set yourself up for a self-fulfilling prophecy that actually makes the worst happen. And 2: mentally trying to control everything to relieve a little anxiety just leaves you exhausted at the end of the day…and it’s not worth the addictive sense of relief you feel when the interaction or situation or writing that footnote to your comic has resolved.
At the end of the day, the only one who really has any control of anything around here is Pudge the fish over the weather (another piece of advice: quote Lilo and Stitch at least once a day). I made this comic for #Inktober as a way of processing my own struggle with freeing myself up from this anxious habit. Hopefully it can help you out a little too! (Or at the least, hope you like the drawings! But then again, I can’t control if you don’t).