Monday, October 25, 2010

What, Me Worry?

Full disclosure, y’all. I’m not the happiest camper right now. In fact, I’m a whole messy bundle of emotions that I don’t know what to do with. Primarily, I’m a little worried. I don’t really want to go into all the details just now, but do me a solid, and send out your positive thoughts in this general direction. Thanks, yo.

When I was little, my mom used to call me a Worrywart all the time. I remember worrying that lightning would strike the tree in our back yard, which would then crash into my house and right on to my bed. While I was sleeping in it. I worried, after watching the critically ignored Made for TV Movie “I Know My First Name is Steven” that I would get kidnapped. I worried that Kevin, the boy in my swim class, wouldn’t like me because I didn’t know how to do the Butterfly stroke (BTW, the worrying made me QUIT SWIM TEAM). I worried about soccer games and piano recitals, and I worried that I’d run out of underwear before school (AGAIN! It happened once when I was like 10 years old, and my mom made me wear a pair of Prinna‘s). There were no limits to my worrying.

Somewhere along the way, I ended up not worrying ENOUGH anymore. I’d waltz into dangerous situations in downtown Minneapolis, I’d show up unprepared for tests just basically hoping to pass, I ended up just kind of pawning it all off on “Fate”. I’d be all, “Meh, if I’m supposed to pass this test, I will.” or “If Kevin doesn’t like me, he’s not worth my time anyway.” I got lazy. I got complacent. I got too Sure of everything. But after getting my first “F”, I discovered Fate had a cruel sense of justice anyway.

Then I started the Selective Worrying. There were things I couldn’t do anything about, so I’d obsess over something like sleeping through my alarm clock. I’d spend night after night, waking up every couple of hours to check the clock. Instead of worrying that I wouldn’t get a job I was interviewing for, I’d worry about just getting lost on my way to the interview, and arrive 2 hours early because I don‘t know how to manage driving time. I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours worrying about what to wear, instead of what I was really scared of. Typically it was things like getting in a car accident, spending my life alone, or seeing my house catch on fire and losing everything I’ve ever had. Those aren’t things I can worry about. They’re too big, too impossible to prevent. So, I cop out and worry instead about getting poisoned by the moldy food in our fridge. That’s the kind of thing I can worry about and then fix.

When I was little, and worrying about something like whether or not I’d grow a watermelon in my stomach from swallowing a watermelon seed, I remember taking refuge under my bed. I’d drag my Barbies and My Little Ponies under there with me, and make THEM act out the situations. “Oh no, Sparkle Pony! You have a watermelon in your tummy! Dr. Barbie, you have to fix it!” And with a couple quick pats on the pony’s tummy, the watermelon would be gone and Dr. Barbie would hop in her Ferrari and speed away to Ken’s house. The only thing left to worry about then was finding Barbie some matching shoes for her hot date. Though, if you’ve ever played with Barbies, you'd know that this was impossible.

I wish I still had that kind of coping skill: the imagination to both create and solve a problem all on my own. My imagination these days is limited only to whether or not Nelly Furtado will be able to sing at my non-existent wedding. I wish I worried more, though, because then it would just be something I do and would be used to it. I would learn to embrace that trait, as I have my incessant need to eat carbohydrates, instead of shoving the worry onto something less-deserving. I’d be able to bite my nails and just deal with it. But as it stands, I’ll just continue to worry about not worrying about the right things in the right way.


JessiferSeabs said...

You and I are a lot alike -- I'm a worrier too, I can worry about ANYTHING. I come from a long line of worriers. It sucks. Whatever you're grappling with, I send you vibes for the "greater and higher good," meaning that whatever is supposed to happen will happen... for the best outcome!

Pharon said...

Thanks, Jess!!!

Kimberly said...

Crrrap...I got you “I Know My First Name is Steven” for your Birthday this year, and immediately threw out the receipt after buying it. Sars.

sarahabt said...

I worry about you....