Shortly before graduating seminary I struggled with a series of panic attacks. While finishing classes I had taken a job as an aide in the Special Ed department of the Pasadena USD. I felt pressure from my girlfriend to be ready for marriage, I had not settled on a clear career path, student loans would kick in soon, and some quick math revealed I wasn’t making near enough money to make ends meet. Enter the crisis mode.
With graduation looming, I needed to get away and get some perspective. The state I was in, my daily rhythms and comfort zones weren’t adequate to the reality of my situation and external conditions. The result was a general low-frequency dread that sprang up into acute anxiety when triggered. It was clear something had to change, but it wasn’t clear how. It was time to make decisions. This is the root of the word crisis is in fact the Greek krinein, which means “to decide.”