irrational anxiety

Week Two: Task no. 3
A list of twenty activities I enjoy and the dates when I had last done them.  Happily, I discovered most items on my list had been completed within the past two months.  Of course, it may be because I had done them recently that I recalled I enjoyed them?  Either way—my list of twenty has been completed.

Week Two: Task no. 6
I returned to my imaginary lives list to add another five, as well as evaluating how I had attempted to incorporate the first five into the previous week.  During week one, I spent more time over-analyzing how to include these imaginary lives that I wasn’t able to actually relax, have fun, and play with the ideas inspired by these alternate lives.  Hopefully, I will do better this week.

This week I added the following occupations to my list of imaginary lives:
6.  Interior Decorator
7.  Florist
8.  Dancer
9.  Museum/Gallery Curator
10.  Sociologist

Week Two: Task no. 8
Tiny Changes—I was instructed to make a list of ten changes I would like in my life.  These changes could vary in significance from immense to mundane.  They simply had to be alterations I wanted within myself.  From here, tasks nine and ten were to pick one and actively work on implementing that change in my life.  From my list, I choose to work on slowly pushing my comfort levels.

I have a tendency to become unnecessarily nervous and insecure in new situations—when I am unsure exactly what to expect.  This irrational anxiety prevents me from making the most of my time in foreign places, I tend to avoid social situations with people I don’t know particularly well and I am uneasy with errands or activities when I am alone, if it isn’t something I have previously done with someone else.

With the intention of placing myself in situations that would normally make me uncomfortable, this week I safely pushed my social limits.

  1. I had my hair cut at a local salon here on the island.  This involved calling an establishment I had never called nor been to, an establishment where English is not the primary language.  I made my appointment and the next morning I went to the stylist and got a haircut! (The exclamation point is indeed intentional.  I know, to a normal rational human, this is not that impressive or exciting.  However, for me—this is a situation I would normally go to great length to avoid.  I don’t like talking to the phone, I am awkward with the language barrier and uneasy with stylists I don’t know cutting my hair.)   I did it.  I was fine, my heart sped up a couple of times, but really, it was fine—and I love my new, fun, happy, short hair.  I find short hair delightfully freeing.
baby white dog attack
baby white dog attack (my new hair)
  1. I attended an 80s themed squadron party with my husband.  We are generally very content simply staying at home with our puppies drinking wine and cuddling on the sofa– but we are trying to become more social.  I pushed my comfort levels by dressing up.  I don’t dress up for themed parties.  I have an irrational fear no one else will, and there I will be tall, awkward and dressed weird.  That mental image is no fun—so presumably the real thing would be no fun, therefore, I avoid any potential chance of such an occurrence.  For this party, I pushed aside my neurotic apprehension with an off-the-shoulder belted top, legwarmers, fun hair and costume jewelry.  Once I was dressed, I felt fine.  The party was great.  More people didn’t dress up and than those who did.  I think because more men were in attendance than women, and most military men aren’t partial to dressing up in the style of the 1980s.  However, plenty of humans were dressed with the theme, and I never once felt nervous about my attire.
Sophia, 10in x 12in, mixed media on canvas, 2011
Sophia, 10in x 12in, mixed media on canvas, 2011

3.  Baby shower.  Baby showers are uncomfortable for me.  I don’t know proper etiquette or what I should expect.  I don’t know baby food flavors, or what a baby human would like me to bring for a gift?  Something fuzzy?  Something practical?   I don’t have children, and I am not around them often.  I also didn’t grow up around a lot of cousins or siblings.  (I am not anti-children, I am just sort of indifferent.)  I made an original mixed media work in the color scheme of the nursery, and included elements I thought the mother would like.  I was pleased with the final piece and the shower seemed to go well.  I knew enough of the lovely women in attendance that I allowed myself to somewhat relax.  Ultimately, I am glad I went, even though prepare-for-baby-land is an uncomfortable place for me.

The reward for attention is healing.—Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Well done on fighting your fears, such a brave thing to do.

    1. Thanks–I know that they are silly things to make me nervous, and regular people can handle them just fine. But I am trying:)

  2. Alice says:

    would this make the second baby shower?? :) good for you!

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