Friday, November 18, 2011


I'm a worrier.

You've heard of us before. Your mother or father is probably one, maybe your weird aunt cindy who collects cow figurines--but you know who we are. We're the ones who fidget in our seats, crossing and uncrossing our legs; the ones who do that annoying clicky thing with our fingernails when we're anxious; the ones who ask you a million questions? about when it's going to be done? who's taking care of it? if you have everything you need? is there anything i can do?

We can't help it. I can't help it. Half the time I think I'm not actually worried or anxious, I'm just so habitually inclined to demonstrate the mannerisms. (Which is to say, I'm probably deluding myself into thinking I'm more laid-back than I really am, or I'm severely misunderstood, and most people are not, so ergo, I'm delusional.)

I don't know when it happened, or where it started. I don't know where to pinpoint the dawn of my obsessive tendencies. Are we born high-strung or do we just end up that way? And that's what it is, too--worry is just obsession. And both (or "it," if we can agree they're the same thing) are tiring. Tiptoeing is exhausting. Framing your questions the right way, wording your email just so, making every move with determined hesitation because Don't Fuck This Up runs on repeat on a banner across your brain like a stock ticker or a digital display in Times Square.

At some point you fuck up anyway. That's normal, it's natural and it's unavoidable. But for you, the worrier, it's not. Because other people fuck up. But you're careful. You're detailed. You're good at multitasking. And you worked goddamn hard to cultivate your precision, your craft.

But what's the point? If it's inevitable that your perfection can't last (and was never there to begin with), why bother? The stress you hold in your back and neck and shoulders isn't benefitting anyone, certainly not you. Your carefulness can just as easily be maintained. So you know what, go ahead, let's grant ourselves permission:
We can chill the fuck out.

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